The Gospel

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: 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, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.  1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:1-6, 8‬ ‭(NIV)

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul sets out the evidence in support of the gospel. He reminds his readers that the gospel he preached to them is the same gospel that led to their salvation.

At a time when some people wanted to add to the gospel, Paul sought to remind the Corinthians of the simplicity of the gospel:

  • Christ died for our sins (according to the Scriptures);
  • Christ rose from the dead (according to the Scriptures).

The gospel fulfilled what God had said in Scripture.  What Paul is saying is that some people were seeking to add to the gospel, things that weren’t in the Scriptures.

Of course Jesus fulfilled many other Scriptures (e.g. the virgin birth, being born in Bethlehem, seeking refuge in Egypt, crucifixion, etc.).  Paul calls the two essential features of the gospel he mentions as being ‘… of first importance …’  These were facts that could not be ignored.  Without them there is no gospel.

Paul then goes on to remind the Corinthians of the many human witnesses who could attest to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead – people who could at that time be questioned about what they had actually seen.  Paul uses this evidence because the Corinthians were facing false teaching that tried to undermine their belief in the resurrection.

To Paul the evidence was clear, the death and resurrection of Jesus were predicted in Scripture.  The Scriptures also told of the fact that the Messiah would pay the price for sin.  The human witnesses could verify exactly what they had seen.  Some of the witnesses had been with Jesus throughout his ministry.  Others may have only accepted Christ after the crucifixion and resurrection, but could attest to the fact that they had actually seen the risen Jesus.

Think again about the simplicity of the gospel presented by the Apostles.  Keep it simple!

Every blessing

 


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Author: profsloan

The purpose of this blog is to encourage others to read the Bible daily and to grow in Christ. Each day I will generally publish a devotional or a reading for the day, together with a prayer.

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