Back to the Basics - 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Back to the Basics

How often do we make something much more complicated than it needs to be? How often do we take a step back and just return to simplicity?
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Paul begins this next section of his letter to the Corinthians by reminding us to go back to the basics. Why is this needed? Remember, the Corinthian church was struggling. There was division, they weren’t using spiritual gifts properly, they were prideful in their own gifts, etc. The gospel is by which we are saved and on which we stand. We must stand firm in the simple truth of Christ.

Paul tells us that he did not make any of this up. He received the Gospel directly from Jesus Christ. Christ fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament when he rose on the third day. He was of human flesh, born a man, but He conquered death. Paul truly believed that the Christians blasphemed Jewish tradition and law by saying that a man could forgive sins and had risen from the dead. It wasn’t until Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus that he truly saw and believed. Paul reminds us that he was did terrible things and is the least among us all, yet, Jesus still chose Paul to spread the Gospel. Jesus came for everyone and uses the weak and poor. He uses all of us, and it is by the grace of God that we are able to live in His kingdom.

However, Paul says that he worked harder than anyone else to spread the Gospel of Jesus. He didn’t become a complacent Christian, satisfied with his own salvation. Paul desired that no one would experience the penalty of sin. His passion for the unbelievers and his commitment to the struggling Christian was unparalleled.

Do we have the passion and commitment today? What are we doing to strengthen ourselves in Christ, and are we working tirelessly to encourage and strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we have the passion to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us?
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