Job 8:1-9:24; 1Corinthians 15:1-11; Psalms 38:19-22; Proverbs 13:4
NT: “Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-10a CSB)
During Holy Week, my church went through a sermon series titled “The Gospel Is.” When describing what the gospel is, we use The Gospel Creed, written by Rice Brooks:
The gospel is the good news that God became man in Jesus Christ. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died – in our place. Three days later, He rose from the dead, proving He is the Son of God and offering the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins to anyone who repents and believes in Him.The Gospel Creed, by Rice Brooks
Paul also considered it important to review the gospel message with the Corinthian church. Resurrection from the dead was not a common or accepted belief among Greeks. When Paul was in Athens, he was scoffed at by the Athenian philosophers for his belief in resurrection. Perhaps, the cultural rejection and ridicule of resurrection was beginning to affect the faith of the Corinthian church. Paul reminded them that the gospel, which was and is the most important message among believers, includes both the death and resurrection of Christ. Christ did physically die for our sins. Once He died, He was actually buried in a sealed and protected tomb. On the third day, He verifiably rose from the dead and was physically seen by over 500 witnesses. Even Paul, who was not even a follower of Christ at the time and didn’t deserve to see Christ, witnessed the resurrected Christ on His way to Damascus – and he was not about to allow that opportunity to be wasted. He would declare and witness to the veracity of Christ’s resurrection to his dying day. Christ lived the life we should have lived. He died the death we should have died, paying for our sins. He was buried and most definitely rose again on the third day. It was because Christ actually rose again, that the Corinthians were able to stand as transformed believers. It is because Christ actually rose again that all believers in Him have been transformed and now live free from sin with new life… and it is because Christ actually rose from the dead that all believers in Him will rise at the end of this age to rule and reign with Him for eternity. As wonderful and good as the gospel message it, it only has power to save and transform those who believe all of the message. Do you believe? The word in Hebrew for believe is the same word from which we get the word “amen:” I believe, so let it be done according to Your word.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the gospel message that has power to save those who believe. I thank You that the gospel message had the power (and continues to have the power) to save me when I believed. To all that the gospel message proclaims and to all that Christ has provided for me, I say, In Jesus’ name – Amen!