Today’s message summary of August 16, 2015 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
What is the true message of the gospel? What is the gospel?
It is the message that Paul gave to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
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.
The Corinthians were practicing immorality, and Paul had to remind them of what the true gospel was in order to refute other messages or beliefs that were prevalent in the day. There were differing opinions on the resurrection of the dead, and in what to believe. The Sadducees did not believe there was a resurrection. In fact, many believed that there was spiritual truth in opening other doors and seeking one’s own way. Gnosticism is a result of this way of thinking.
Our church needs reminders of the foundational gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you remember this gospel when you are cursed at or mistreated by someone? Remember that Christ died for you and was treated much worse than you can ever imagine.
What the gospel is not…
- It is not about good deeds (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10)
- It is not about self help.
There is nothing in Scripture that says that self-help is in righteousness. There is nothing that one can do to save himself…it is only in righteousness from God.
- It is not about listening to gospel music.
You do not become more holy when you sing louder. It is only the sound preaching and teaching of the gospel.
- It is not about the preacher.
A pastor is not to be the primary focus of hearing him speak. It is about coming to church to praise the Lord and hear His Word.
This popularity contest was what drove the Corinthians to elevate the apostles and people of the church to a higher status.
1 Corinthians 1:11-13
My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
What are the implications of the gospel?
- Preaching of the gospel (Romans 10:14)
- Salvation of sinners (1 Corinthians 15:2; 1 Peter 2:24)
- Priority of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1)
The gospel must become the first of all things taught within the church before anything else is taught.
So, what is the gospel? (How this question is addressed will determine your eternal state before God.)
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it.
- The gospel is about the birth of Jesus.
- The gospel is about the life of Jesus.
- The gospel is about the death of Jesus.
1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
- The gospel is about the resurrection of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:13-17
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.