Summary: What is the Gospel? Why isit important?
• Next week we will celebrate the greatest event in human history! We will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus! This one single event has changed the destiny of millions of people over the history of the human race.
• Over the history of mankind there have been many who claimed to know the way to eternal life or the way to see God.
• The problem with all these other people is the fact they could not defeat what seemed to be the undefeatable- death.
• What good is a savior who cannot resurrect you to enjoy the bounties of heaven?
• Over the next 3 weeks or so we are going to look at 1 Corinthians 15. This chapter is the most extensive chapter in the bible on the subject of the resurrection.
• The book of 1 Corinthians was written about 25 years after the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection had been the central theme of the preaching of the church since the event happened. Somewhere along the line some of the people were being convinced that the resurrection of the body could not happen.
• In the 15th chapter of this book, Paul is going to show the folly of that thinking along with the ramifications if the assertion were true.
• As we start this series in 1 Corinthians 15 we will start with a message I have entitled, “What is the Gospel.”
• Paul starts off this great chapter in the first four verses by giving us a brief overview of the Gospel. Today we are going to answer the question, “What is the Gospel?”
• Then we will do an overview of what the Gospel can do for us, and what is expected of us if we are to receive the benefits
• Next week on Resurrection Sunday we will look more closely at the resurrection to see why it is the foundation of the Gospel, and on the following week we will look at why we need the Gospel.
• Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. READ
I. WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? V 1,3-4
1. The Good news, glad announcement
• Paul begins this chapter by telling his readers that because of the philosophical skepticism, he is going to “make known” to them what they had already accepted as truth in the past, the gospel!
• The word “gospel” literally means, “good news”, “glad announcement”.
• Mark 1:1 says, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
• Isaiah 52:7 says, “How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
• They had apparently forgotten what they what they had initially believed. We do not know what caused this wavering. What Paul is doing is calling to mind the “good news” that they had already believed. He was gently rebuking them for their lack of trust in the truth.
• The Gospel literally is the good news about what Jesus has done for us.
2. The Gospel contains facts to be believed (like the resurrection), commands to be obeyed (like love other people), and promises to be received and enjoyed (peace, joy, eternal life).
3. In this brief overview of the gospel, Paul does not give us all the elements of the good news, but instead he gives us the foundation of the gospel. What is that foundation? Next week we will dedicate the message to the foundation of the gospel.
4. What is the “good news” of the Gospel?
• Jesus died
• There are those who said He did not die, but that does not fit the record we have. When the soldiers reported what happened on Resurrection Sunday, the religious leaders paid the guards to say they were asleep at their post. (Matthew 28:11-15)
• His own followers thought He was dead. (John 20:19)
• Attest to by the Old Testament. The Old Testament Scriptures tell us that the Messiah would die for the sins of the people. READ 1 Peter 1:10-12.
• He was buried. All of the gospels affirm the burial. The burial was recorded carefully in all four gospels; this was an important fact to show He did not survive the crucifixion.
• He was raised on the third day! The great thing about the gospel message is not that Jesus died.
• John MacArthur Jr. in his commentary on 1 Corinthians writes, “A follower of Buddha writes of that religious leader, “When Buddha died it was with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains.” Mohammed died at Medina on June 8, 632, at the age of 61, and his tomb there is visited yearly by tens of thousands of Muslims. But they come to mourn his death, not to celebrate his resurrection. Yet the church of Jesus Christ, not just on Easter Sunday but at every service of immersion baptism, celebrates the victory of her Lord over death and the grave. (John MacArthur Jr. commentary on 1 Corinthians)