Summary: What was most important... still is!
Title: What Was Most Important
Text: I Corinthians 15:1-9
Thesis: What was most important, still is!
I passed on to you what was most important and what has also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he raised from the dead on the third day, just as the scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then the Twelve. After that he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time… than James and later by all the apostles. Last of all… I saw him. !5:3-6
Naomi Seldin began her article in Simpler Living like this: “First and foremost, allow me to let you in on a little secret. It’s not a little secret. It’s a huge secret I’ve been privy to over the years since I’ve been doing this work, a secret so blasphemous it is hardly uttered above a whisper. It’s a secret the knowledge of which is so powerful it can move mountains. It’s a secret many of us will go to our graves never having discovered.
The secret: Your kids don’t want your stuff! (Naomi Seldin, A message to seniors: Let you clutter go, Simpler Living, June8, 2010)
Many of the things we have in our homes are things that have been passed on to us. In some cases those things have been passed down from one generation to the next and we feel obligated to pass those things on to the next generation. And it makes us a little sad to realize they don’t want it.
Some of those things have been kept by loving mothers who dutifully saved every finger painting, popsicle-stick project, plaster-of-paris hand print, lock of hair, first tooth and who knows what in anticipation of that day when her, all grown up son or daughter, will be moved to tears when she presents them with her box of treasures. It is shocking to know they don’t want that stuff.
Everyone knows that everything important is on your computer or a flash drive or in the cloud.
In our text today Paul wrote, “I passed on to you what was most important and what has also been passed on to me.” The thing that was passed on to Paul and the thing that Paul passed on to the Christians living in Corinth and now to us is not something to clutter up our lives, it is truth that gives clarity to our lives.
He described this truth as being “most important.”
Part of our heritage is the truth of the death of Jesus Christ. This knowledge was important to Paul and he wants us to have it too.
I. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, I Corinthians 15:3
I recently read article about a group of friends who get together every January to read the Christmas letters they have received from family and friends. They call these gatherings “Annual Mock Readings.”
We all want to hear about someone’s $450,000 starter home they got for just $390,000… or that 1,000 square foot addition (digital photos included) and the $5,000 pool table which they know is extravagant but “the kids love it so if they are happy, we’re happy.” We love hearing about little Johnny who is in the 99th percentile of his age group and already showing signs of being unusually gifted and likely the next Einstein.
We love talking about the people and the things for which we are proud.
A. We are quick to acknowledge our accomplishments and successes
Many people accomplish a great deal in life… most of us more than we realize and we are proud of those wonderful things.
B. We are less inclined to acknowledge our faults and sinfulness
Similarly, many people have accumulated a great deal of sinful baggage in their lives… most of us more than we realize.
Sin has a cumulative effect. We understand the cumulative effect… in my study there is a spot next to a door jamb where my hand brushes every time I go through that door. The spot is not only dark but the paint is even worn from the wall. It wasn’t always like that but today that spot reflects the cumulative effect of my actions.
Similarly a person save one egg cartoon or paper sack or newspaper and over time, the cumulative effect necessitates that someone intervene, bring in a dumpster, haul out the trash and take it away.
That is what Jesus has done. He has removed the greasy spots and hauled away all the accumulated sinful baggage and clutter in our lives.
Recently I was kind of shocked when I ran across the web site for one of the new “Fight Churches.” Fight churches are churches for tough guys and gals… they are cage fighters for Christ. The graphic I saw was of a totally bulked-up, bodybuilder Jesus on a cross flexing his muscles and snapping the six foot long, six inches wide and four inches thick timber that held his arms.