Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #164
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
During this series, as we have been working our way through the Apostles’ Creed, we have read 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 because it is a succinct statement about the Gospel and how it should impact our lives. These verses define what the Gospel is, what it can do, and what we ought to do in response.
First, this passage tells us that the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is the “good news” that Paul delivered to the Corinthians and that has been delivered to each of us today. That good news is like bringing a jug of cold water to a man who has been tied to a stake in the ground in the desert for a week without anything to eat or drink. I’m glad, today, that somebody took the time to tell me about the good news.
Second, this passage shows us that the Gospel is what saves us. The Corinthian believers were “saved” by the Gospel. Everyone who is a child of God was saved by this Gospel as well. We were not saved by our own ingenuity, strength, or intelligence. We did not work for it or pay for it. We had nothing to do with our salvation. It is all of the Gospel and the grace of God.
Third, this passage shows us how we should respond to the Gospel. The Corinthian believers “received” the Gospel, “stood” in the Gospel, and were commanded to “remember” the Gospel. Receiving the Gospel is an act of our will by which we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and the saving work that He accomplished on the cross. Just as we receive the Gospel, there are many people who have, unfortunately, rejected the Gospel and chosen their own path. After we have received the Gospel, we ought to “stand” in the Gospel. To “stand” in the Gospel is to live by the Gospel. It is another way of saying that we should live like we are saved. If we are saved, we ought to act like we are saved — we ought to put off the old man and put on the new man, which is Christ Jesus, so we can “walk in newness of life.” We can do this if we “keep in memory” the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This great event ought to be first and foremost in our hearts and minds. That is why we celebrate communion — in remembrance of Him. That is why we celebrate Easter — to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.
That being said, we are continuing with the final message in this series as we look at the Biblical basis for the statement of faith known as the Apostles’ Creed. The Old Roman Form of the Apostles’ Creed reads as follows:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, who under Pontius Pilate was crucified, and buried. On the third day rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, the life everlasting. Amen.
1. We see the fulfillment of forgiveness. Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Sin is the problem that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. God, in His grace and mercy, decided not to destroy us immediately, but to do everything in His power to draw us back to Himself. But, since God is just and holy, sin has to be paid for.
2. We see the promise of the resurrection. In John 5:28-29, Jesus Christ said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Just as Jesus Christ was physically raised from the dead, everyone will be physically raised from the dead one day. We often emphasize that death is not the end for someone’s spirit, but the Bible teaches that death is not the end for our bodies either.
3. We see the assurance of eternal life. In John 10:28, Jesus Christ said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” With so much uncertainty in the world, isn’t it wonderful to have this assurance? We may not be able to say that we are certain about much in our temporal lives, but we can say that we are certain about eternal life because the assurance of eternal life rests in Jesus Christ and Him alone.
This Easter, we rejoice because of the fulfillment of forgiveness and our being able to stand as innocent before God. We revel in the promise of the resurrection because Jesus Christ rose from the dead and has promised that we will rise as well. We rest in the assurance of eternal life, knowing that nothing can take away from us that which Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose from the dead in order to give us.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Because He Lives” by David Crowder*Band and “We Won’t be Shaken” by Building 429