Let’s start with what the gospel is not.
- The gospel is not the Beatitudes.
- The gospel is not Great Commission.
- The gospel is not the Golden Rule.
- The gospel is not the story of the Prodigal Son.
- It’s not even a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all good news, and they are important, life changing elements of our faith.
They are not, however, the gospel.
Last week we looked at how the gospel is delivered and the impact it has on those who receive it.
Today we are simply going to break it down.
Paul says this:
For I delivered to you as of first importance … ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
Notice first that the gospel Paul is getting ready to share is of first importance. This letter to the Church in Corinth has addressed many issues from divisions to how to run a meeting.
But now, Paul comes to the most important thing.
It’s not just the most important thing in this letter. It is the most important thing, period.
So here goes – get ready – the most important thing –
… what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
Three facts. Three simple statements. Three non-negotiable.
Christ died for our sins
He was buried
He was raised on the third day
There it is. That’s the gospel.
I have heard folks tell me, that they can't memorize scripture so they don’t feel they could ever preach the gospel. But look at this.
I would be hard pressed to believe that anyone reading these words could not remember those 3 facts.
Hey – if it’s still too much boil it down to 4 words
Christ (I like the name Jesus, but Christ has it’s own implications about being anointed and the sent, chosen one) -- let me start over
Christ died buried raised
These 4 words change everything – EVERYTHING!
I promise I will dig a little deeper tomorrow, but really – how much deeper does it get than this:
Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead.
Oh - But there is more to this - so please come back tomorrow!