Friday, May 18, 2012

The Gospel 101

This is of first importance. Before anything else... this.

1 Corinthians 15:1-7

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

This is the Gospel and it is of FIRST importance.

If there is not this, there is no Gospel. People may believe in Jesus and have warm feelings toward Him and kick smoking habits and stop watching pornography and find a husband and get responsible financially and all sorts of great things. But if Jesus did not actually live, die, and rise again, it is all hocus pocus, feel-good, sentimental, "eat and drink for tomorrow we die" soup for the soul. The proof and foundation of the claims of Christianity are only validated inasmuch as Jesus really lived, died, and rose again. Easter is Christianity. If not for Easter, then Christianity is Islam is New Age is Pop Psychology is Better Life Now.

If Christianity is not true, there is no reason to believe it.

There are many, even wolves within the Christian community, that would claim that the power and effects of believing in Jesus are worth it even if He is a fictional character, a protagonist of a great mythology, a great idea, a muse, a good man who once taught good things to good people to help them become better people.

Let me be absolutely clear on this point. If Jesus was not God and did not live perfectly, die substitutionally, and rise definitively Christianity is in vain. You and I are still in our sins before the Father and are still enemy combatants against Him both by nature and by choice.

My hope is that Jesus is who He says He is and that He did what the Bible says He did. My salvation is only as secure as my trust in Him being for me true Israel, the fulfillment of the Scriptures, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Good News.
If He is that, Christianity is the only true religion and all other truth claims are lies inspired by demonic darkness.

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