What is the Gospel?

Scripture reading:

1 Cor 15:1-8

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1Cor 15:1-8, ESV)

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1Cor 15:24-26, ESV)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16, ESV)

THEME: God focused, Christ centered and Bible based.

I would remind you;
Paul planted the church of Corinthians and first preached the gospel to them. He however felt the need to remind them again of the gospel. After the church was planted, the Corinthians became a fleshly church with many false teaching. There was immorality and strives among them. In 1Cor 5:1 we read “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife”. There was false teaching and abuse of the gifts. Paul reminded them about their pagan life style that influenced them with regards to spiritual gifts. 1Cor 12:1 “You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led”. There was also false teaching about the resurrection of the dead. In v12 “…how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead…?” Some among the Corinthians did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. That is why Paul had to remind them of the gospel. In the following verses Paul remind them that there is no gospel without Jesus’s resurrection. 1Cor 15:13-15 “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised”.

Today there are so many false teaching about Christ, gifts of the Spirit and salvation, free will and election, that it is necessary that we are also reminded again about the gospel. We must live Christ centered life’s as the only source of salvation and that Jesus is enough.

I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received;
The gospel was not invented by a man nor was it taught by man. It was God’s plan from Gen 3:15 ​​​​​​​​“I will put enmity between you and the woman, ​​​​​​​and between your offspring and her offspring; ​​​​​​​he shall bruise your head, ​​​​​​​and you shall bruise his heel.” ​​Christ was predicted shortly after the fall of man. The hostility between Christ and satan and between God’s people and the world, started at the fall.

The following two verses remind us that the gospel is a direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
“For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ”. (Gal 1:11-12, ESV)

“was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone” (Gal 1:16, ESV) 

Which you received;
The Corinthian church received the gospel and believed and was born again. We received the gospel and believed and are born again.

In which you stand, By which you are being saved;
To believe in the gospel is a position of faith you stand before God. This position of faith is to be born again and to receive the ears and the eyes to see Jesus Christ spiritually so that you are united by faith in his death and resurrection. It is a gift of God.

If you hold fast to the word I preached to you-unless you believed in vain;
True believers will persevere as they are drawn by the Holy Spirit daily to Jesus since conversion. The Holy Spirit in them motivates them daily to follow Christ. They follow Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit that live in them. In Phil 2:13 we read “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure”.

Those who did not persevere, were not true believers. In 1 John 2:9 we read “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us”.

According with the Scriptures;
​I will put enmity between you and the woman, ​​​​​​​and between your offspring and her offspring; ​​​​​​​he shall bruise your head, ​​​​​​​and you shall bruise his heel.” ​​​ (Gen 3:15, ESV)

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. (1Pet 1:10-12, ESV)

Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:26-27, ESV)

Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He was raised on the third day;
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Col 2:9-15, ESV)

What does that mean to us?

How do we share in this?

The penalty and sins was paid for;
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. (Eph 2:13-17, ESV)

Our old self died;
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. (Rom 6:4-12, ESV)

As Christ was raised, we rose together with Him to a new self;
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:4-10, ESV)

Christ is enough;
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Eph 1:16-21, ESV)

Christ is fullness;
“may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”. (Eph 3:18-19, ESV)

We share in the fullness by the indwelling Holy Spirit;
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Col 2:9-10, ESV)

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Rom 5:5, ESV)

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Rom 8:9, ESV)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39, ESV)

“my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you”! (Gal 4:19, ESV)

And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, (2Pet 1:19, ESV)