Summary: Four Things Paul reminds the Church of
“Some Finial Reminders”
May 26, 2019
Last week I was finishing up the book of 1st Corinthians in my daily devotions. It is a good book to study. It deals with a lot of basic theology and elementary spiritual principles and guidelines. Paul concludes his letter to this immature church that had many carnal Christians in it with:
“Now, Brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you and on which you have taken your stand.” 1 Corinthians 15:1
What is it that he wants to remind them – and us? Let’s take a look at a few things that Paul felt important enough to emphasis. First of all, we are saved by the gospel of Christ. Peter said,
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Jesus said, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
Paul writes to the Roman Christians, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:9, 13
Paul wants these Christians – and us – to remember that there is one way to heaven. You probably remember that before Christ’s followers were called ‘Christians’ they were called ‘Followers of the Way’. There is one way to salvation. There is one way to heaven. There is one way to God – that is through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now, there is an interesting thing about the Greek grammar you need to be aware of. It differs from English in that in English there are three tenses. Do you remember them? Past, present, and future. In Greek there are four – Past, present, future and aorist. The aorist tense is ‘progressive’ or ‘on going’. It is kind of a combination of all three tenses. So, in English we might say “we are saved” meaning it happened in the past. In Greek we would say, “We were saved; we are saved and we are continuing to be saved.” It is ongoing. It isn’t finished or concluded. God’s part is. He did His part. But we have freewill. We have to believe and continue to believe. That is why Paul says.
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:2
This is the second thing Paul reminds the church of. You can lose your salvation if you don’t hold firmly to the word. Now, if I were the enemy of God and I wanted to hinder the Gospel and the Body of Christ, I would convince them that once you are saved – you have your ticket to heaven. Once saved – always saved. But that isn’t what the Word of God says. Paul wants to remind them of that. Peter knew about backsliding. He backslid himself for a time. He, talking about backsliders, said,
“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” 2 Peter 2:20-22
Paul warned against backsliding. Peter warned against it. The Bible clearly warns that we can believe in vain if we don’t hold firmly to the Gospel.
Jesus said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith…” “They that endure to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:10; 24:13
To deny that you can’t turn away from the faith you have to change the Word of God – and God warns that some people will do just that.
“…which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16
There will be people who distort the Word of God to suit their own purposes. That is why it is so important to read the Word of God for yourself as a Spirit filled seeker. Most Christians in the Church today read it as those 5 foolish virgins with no oil – no Holy Spirit. They argue about translations and versions of the Bible when it doesn’t really matter - if you are Spirit-filled. If you aren’t then you are going to err and miss the truth whatever translation you use. Peter warns,