I Would Remind You of the Gospel
"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word 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 in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
"Brothers, let me remind you of the gospel," Paul says. Hear the kindness in his voice. Paul cares for his fellow believers. He wants nothing less for them than their salvation. He calls them "brothers." By this Paul does not mean he is writing to men only. Paul refers to all those who trust in Jesus as His "brothers;" for they share a Heavenly Father. He considers all who believe in Jesus to be his spiritual family. He loves them dearly. When we speak to each other in the church let us also speak to each other as those that love each other just as God loves us.
Paul says, "Let me remind you of the gospel." And what is the gospel? Paul explains, "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins...that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day..." The gospel is all about Jesus. It is the news of what Jesus has done to save us - particularly through his death for our sins and his resurrection on the third day. If you believe Jesus has died for your sins and is risen from the dead, then hear this good news, "Your sins are forgiven. You are, by God's grace, a redeemed child of God." Apart from this gospel there is no salvation. There is no other name by which we must be saved.
This gospel is of the first importance. This is the gospel through which "we stand and are being saved." This is the gospel we must "hold fast" to. If you do not believe in this word, in this gospel, then you have "believed in vain." Since the resurrection of Jesus from the dead there have always been those who deny it. Some have denied the resurrection and bribed others to keep silent. (Matthew 28:11-15) Some deny Christ's resurrection and abuse those who proclaim it. Others deny Jesus' resurrection by teaching that His bodily resurrection is an "open question," or a teaching invented by men. Some do so from pulpits all around our land. Dear readers, do not be deceived by these smooth talking serpents. The Lord Jesus has died for our sins. He has overcome the grave. On the Last Day He will return to raise the living and the dead. Hold fast to this gospel! In this gospel, in Jesus, there is life and salvation for us.
The cross puts to death the notion that we are righteous in ourselves. If we were truly good, or could become righteous by training, education or any other way then God would simply have told us what to do. The cross teaches us that only the shed blood of Jesus can cover our sins. Only by dying with Christ can we be righteous in the all seeing eyes of God.
The cross puts to death the notion that God does not take sin seriously. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23a) Through Christ's suffering on the cross God demonstrated His justice by punishing the sins of the world. Through Christ's same suffering God showed Himself to be merciful, for He laid all the sins of the world on Jesus. God did this in love so you might have forgiveness in Jesus’ name. God freely forgives the sins of all who trust in Jesus, but this forgiveness was not cheap - Jesus gave His life to win it for you. Jesus has died for your sins. In His name you have the forgiveness of sins. Now you have been reminded of the gospel.