Yesterday we looked at the fact that Paul preached the gospel to the folks at Corinth. The gospel is not simply transferred by good deeds and pure motives, it must be preached.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
The Gospel Received
The second thing we notice is that the gospel must be received.
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (power KJV) to become children (sons KJV) of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:11-13
Verse 11 always makes me sad. Jesus came to God’s own people, the ones He had chosen, and lavished His love and attention on for centuries. He came to His own, and they did not receive Him.
But hallelujah, the offer has been opened up to us all.
And the statement made by John here is clear. To as many as receive Him. How many? As many are receive Him.
And the promise here, that accompanies this gospel, this good news, is that we have the right to be called the sons of God. He is willing and able to adopt every single person on earth who receives Him.
Those who receive, stand
The next piece to this “how” puzzle is that those who received the gospel preached to them now stand.
It is interesting to me that Paul does not talk about standing ON but IN.
We love to sing about standing on the solid rock (well, at least I do!) But this is not Paul’s first time to use the idea of standing IN.
Two places come to mind. The first is Romans 5
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. ~ Romans 5:1-2
I see this as walking through a door of faith into a room of grace, where I now stand.
Another place we stand is in prayer – check this out from Ephesians
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. ~ Ephesians 6:13
Lest we think all this standing is our doing – don’t forget just three verses up the page Paul reminds us:
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. ~ Ephesians 6:10
Today, if you have never received - today can be your day. Open your heart up to the Lord Jesus. Acknowledge to Him that there is nothing in you worthy of His attention, but that you give yourself to Him heart, soul, mind and strength. He will come in, and make His home with you. He loves you with an everlasting love, and when you receive Him, that love begins pouring out on you in ways you would never have anticipated.
Next if you do know the Lord – Stand firm, in grace, in prayer, in faith, in love.
See you then