from a sermon
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, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
I Corinthians 15:1-8 [ESV]
- Some people have beliefs that aren’t supported by the Bible.
- Some people live immoral lives, as if they weren’t Christians at all.
- Some people are still influenced too much by a sinful world.
- Some people can’t seem to put their old ways behind them and move on to maturity in Christ.
Paul had an answer to bad theology, and that’s good theology.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul started out, “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you…” Paul had been to Corinth before, and he had taught these people the Gospel of Jesus Christ – you can read about it in Acts 18. These people had heard the Gospel, had believed it, and were saved. But now Paul found out that some things weren’t going well in the Corinthian church.
- God loves you and has a plan for your life.
- Sin separates you from God and his plan.
- Jesus died to pay the price for your sin and bring you to God.
- You can receive the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers.
- Skeptic: “The Christians say that Jesus died, but did he really? Wasn’t it all a hoax?”
- Believer: “Well, no, it wasn’t – he really did die. And the proof is: they buried him. They sealed up the tomb, and they even put soldiers there to guard it.”
- Skeptic: “Okay, the Christians say that Christ rose from the dead, but how do we really know – there weren’t any eye-witnesses, nobody who actually saw him rise from the dead.”
- Believer: “Yes, but he appeared to people, not once, not twice, but many times. Some of the people who saw him are still living – you can go and ask them.”