The Essentials Gospel Truth

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance 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” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The word Gospel means the good news of God’s Kingdom. This is the truth that the wise men still seek and the place that all should desire with their heart to abide. The gospel is a message of the work of Jesus, God’s begotten Son, during His three year ministry here among men. It is a message of the forgiveness of all sin by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ. Since man’s fall to temptation in the Garden of Eden God had a plan for man’s redemption through the work of His Son for all those who would trust in Him. By their faith in the Christ they could be reconciled to God who is holy and just. God’s plan for redemption, man’s reconciliation and his salvation is clearly laid out in the Bible.

Our text comes from the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Church and brings to our minds the three essential elements of the gospel message. The first is that Jesus died for our sins. There is not one nor has there been any who have lived and that not sinned against God’s Word. All were born into sin, all were born with a sin nature, and God is holy and just and none can meet the measure of complete righteousness. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) For one to approach the throne of God’ grace he must first acknowledge that he is a sinner. He must know that his sin has put him in a hopeless place as there is no way that the wage of sin can be paid by any effort on his part. “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23) Man cannot pay that wage and still live. Without knowing that truth of the cost of sin, the hopelessness of resolving that sin, and realizing the hopelessness of the guilt that one has before a holy God, there is no resolution to receive the free gift of God which is salvation. But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

To understand the work of Jesus we must first know and believe who He is. He was a God-man born of a virgin woman. “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9) Therefore He was fully God with the holy blood of God untainted by the sin of man’s blood. He is fully man in that He was born of a woman. Jesus then was unlike any man that was ever born in that He was a member of the Godhead and therefore was God in the flesh. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).

Jesus certainly was the primary target of Satan. We know of His temptations in the wilderness but in no way did He not face temptations throughout His life. If Satan could have caused God to stumble into sin, then God would no longer be holy and a part from His creation. Yet He overcame the temptations of the evil one by His Word, as He was the Word of God and Satan himself has to obey the Word of God. “Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

Because of Jesus’ righteousness He is the only perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. He was the perfect Lamb of God as John the Baptist testified, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) The sins of men are against an infinite God and therefore requires an infinite sacrifice. Without the righteousness of Jesus man, a finite creature, would have to pay an infinite penalty in Hell. Jesus who was righteous and an infinite God could pay the wage of our sin once and for all. Jesus went to the cross to pay the sin debt of the world past present and future. Those who accept Jesus and the price He paid for them will inherit the Kingdom of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12).

And Jesus was resurrected from the grave on the third day. He wasn’t brought out of the grave as Lazarus to die again but was resurrected to infinite life as the God that He was, is, and shall ever be. There is no doubt that of His resurrection as there were over 500 hundred witnesses to His resurrection. Jesus was resurrected as proof of the power of God to overcome death. Only the God who created life can overcome the death of life. Only God the Creator has that power. Only God can remove the sing of death and rob the grave of its victory. “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54–55).

Of all the false religions in the world today only Christianity possesses a Founder, Jesus Christ, who has transcended death and promises that His followers will possess eternal life too. All other religions were founded by men and their prophets who now lay in the grave until the judgment day comes.

There is no price, there is no work that can earn the cost of the salvation that God offers as a free gift. “But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” (Romans 5:15) Salvation can only be obtained by faith in the work of Jesus Christ and believing God for who He is. This free gift of salvation is given unto man by the grace of God towards His creation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

This is the truth that turned the Apostle Paul from a persecutor of the Christian faith to the foremost minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16).

These then are the essentials of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All men are sinners in the eyes of God for all have disobeyed His Word. God sent His only begotten Son to pay the price for the sin of the world. (John 3:16) Jesus was resurrected from the grave to provide everlasting life to all those who will follow Him. This salvation from the wrath of God is a free gift by His grace. The Apostle Paul tells us how we can receive it, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, November 17, 2016

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