1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.Last week Pastor Jim made the point of stressing that Paul was teaching the Corinthian people (and therefore us) that the gospel is complete. It is the gospel by which they stand. It is the gospel that we must hold fast to. If you change the Gospel in any way, then you are trusting in something that is not true.
3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Today he further explained what that gospel is exactly.
The gospel is
1. What was given to Paul. He didn't make it up. He didn't create it. It was given to him, and he has given us what he received. He didn't add to it. He didn't take away from it. He didn't change it. He gave what he received.
2. What Paul received was
a. Christ died a physical death. It was a nasty death crucifixion was.
b. Christ CHOSE to die. He didn't have to die. He committed no sin. He did not deserve death. Death would not come for him UNLESS he chose it.
c. Christ died FOR US. He chose to die for us. That's the only reason why he died.
d. God cannot look upon sin. He is so holy, that he can't just "let it go". Sin is something that is deserving of punishment.
e. As sinners, and we are all born in sin, we all deserve punishment. We all deserve death.
f. BUT if we truly believe in Christ. If we truly believe that he died for our sins. for what WE did, then our punishment has already been meted out.
g. Christ rose from the dead. yes he did. Paul made the challenge to the Corinthians clear. If you don't believe me, go ask one of the many others who saw him raised. Most of them were still living at the time. Christ was seen. His resurrection is real.
So what we need to decide is this.
Do we really trust this gospel?
Do YOU really trust this gospel?
If you don't trust these fundamentals, then as much as you want to call yourself a believer, you really aren't. You must trust the fundamentals before you can really say, yes, I am a believer in our living Lord, the Resurrected Jesus Christ.