1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Today I wish to join with Paul, in reminding you who you are in Christ Jesus, all because of the good news he brings. Paul gives four progressive points as the basis for reminding us of the gospel. He says:
1. "I preached the gospel to you."
2. "You received it."
3. "You have taken your stand on it."
4. "By it you are saved."
The preaching of the gospel was, in Paul's words, of "first importance." Throughout his writings it becomes more and more apparent the gospel was Paul's number one priority. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Far too often we become absorbed in various programs of church work, budget meetings, workshops, Bible class schedules, etc. that we lose sight of our primary purpose of taking the gospel to others. We may accomplish great things for the church, raising funds, building buildings, increasing the number of names on the roll, and even more. But unless our priorities are centered around the gospel message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we are missing divine priorities.
The problem we deal with is sin. The solution to erasing the misery, guilt, and penalty of sin, is the blood of Jesus who died on the cross, paying our sin-debt. The success of prioritizing the gospel can come only when we each realize that Jesus has paid our debt for us. The song writers put it in this way:
I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.