“Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I preached to you when we first met. It’s the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God’s covenant story.” (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 )
“Let me remind you” – It’s as if a father is sitting down with his son and saying, “Now I want to go over your responsibilities around the house one more time…”
Remember the main thing, “the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on.”
That last verb means “stand.” Paul calls the Corinthians to “stand” on the gospel. It indicates – and I quote- “present stability on the basis of past action.” Archimedes, the famous Greek mathematician said, “Give me a place to stand and I can move the world!” The gospel gives us a place to stand. Jesus Christ is our stability and security.
You received it. You believed it and took it to heart. Now stand on it. Base your life on it. It’s the main thing.
And it can rock your world!
Paul affirms that the Corinthians are “saved” by the gospel he preached. To be “saved” means “to be delivered or rescued.” The words “are saved” should be translated “are being saved” to reflect the present tense verb. There are three phases to salvation: past, present, and future. Having received the gospel at a point in the past, God begins to work on us so that we become more like Him.
Paul has absolute confidence in this gospel message because Christ’s death and resurrection is prophetically and historically verifiable. First, the facts…
He writes, “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….”
This gospel was “of first importance” and foundational to everything else in the Christian life. We can discuss and debate non-essential issues, but the gospel is “of first importance.” It is a non-negotiable. The reason for this is the gospel did not originate from Paul or any other man; rather it was received from God and then delivered to people. It is God’s gospel, not ours.
No one would have ever devised a plan of salvation like this one, for mankind always tries to obtain salvation the old-fashioned way—“to earn it.” But the good news of the Christian gospel is that salvation is a free gift—costly to Christ but free to us.
Remember the main thing.