1st Corinthians 15:1-11
The gospel is the entirety of the New Testament, but there are certain basic facts that are elementary to it.
I. “WHICH I PREACHED”
A. 1st Corinthians 1:21; Mark 16:15-16
Preaching the gospel, no matter how foolish it may seem to a skeptical world, is essential to salvation. Setting a worthy example is certainly important and necessary, but we cannot escape the reality that salvation doesn’t happen without preaching.
B. Acts 8:26-39; 9:1-18; 10:1-48
Even on occasions involving direct intervention from on high, men were always sent to preach! An angel sent Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch, Jesus sent Ananias to Saul, and the Spirit sent Peter to Cornelius. Human agency is always a factor in conveying the message. This is part of God’s design.
II. “WHICH ALSO YOU RECEIVED”
A. Matthew 13:18-23
How one receives the word of Christ is a reflection of the heart.
B. John 13:20
Receiving God demands we receive His Son, and receiving the Son demands we receive the apostles and prophets He commissioned. To reject the inspired men is to reject Christ who sent them, and God who sent Him.
III. “IN WHICH YOU STAND”
A. Ephesians 6:11-14
The Lord arms His soldiers to “stand” against the devil. We must, therefore, be active, not passive, in our service to God. We must be fighting, not spectating.
B. 1st Corinthians 10:12
To remain standing requires regular introspection.
IV. “BY WHICH YOU ARE ALSO SAVED”
A. Romans 1:16
Christ’s gospel is God’s power to save. That’s why it matters.
B. Acts 4:12
This saving power is exclusive to Christ. No other name will work.
V. “IF YOU HOLD FAST THAT WORD… UNLESS YOU BELIEVED IN VAIN”
A. John 8:31
Salvation is a conditional proposition, dependent on continued steadfastness.
B. Galatians 6:9
The word “if” carries a great deal of weight.
C. 2nd Peter 1:5-11
One’s election is assured, stumbling being absolutely prevented, only if faith is built upon.
D. 1st John 1:5-10
Walking in the light, continuing down the path with Christ, is the determining factor as to whether or not we are cleansed of sin.
VI. “THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES”
A. John 15:13; Romans 5:6-11
It is the epitome of love that one would die for another, but the depth of that love is manifest in the fact that those for whom He died are so very undeserving.
B. Romans 4:25; 1st Peter 2:24
His death took care of our sin problem.
C. Isaiah 53
He died intentionally. Prophecy foretold the crucifixion.
VII. “THAT HE WAS BURIED”
A. Acts 13:29
Burial is rather typical following death, of course.
B. Matthew 27:57-66
What is remarkable is that His tomb was sealed and under guard, making the next event so amazing.
VIII. “THAT HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES”
A. Luke 24:1-12
Despite the seal and despite the guards, He left His grave alive.
B. Romans 1:1-4
That He returned from death is the Holy Spirit’s declaration that He is God’s own Son.
C. Psalm 16:9-11
This, too, was prophesied.
IX. “THAT HE WAS SEEN”
A. Acts 1:1-3, 8; 10:40-41; 13:31
Many witnesses beheld Him after the resurrection. Not everyone saw Him, but He qualified enough witnesses to verify the accuracy of events.
B. 1st John 1:1-4
He was not only seen, but heard and touched, as well. Eyewitness testimony of Christ’s resurrection is the fullness of our joy!
C. Acts 26:22-26
Although not all were witnesses to this marvelous event, it could not escape attention, as it did not happen in a corner.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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