What is better than preaching the gospel on Resurrection Sunday?
In a word—not much.
Yesterday our church gathered to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and we considered the opening eleven verses of Paul’s explanation of Christ’s resurrection which center on the gospel. In those verses (1 Corinthians 15:1–11), Paul unpacks what Christ’s death and resurrection mean, how they transformed him, and what they offer to the Corinthians and others.
In our time, we considered in detail Paul’s words and how they still offer hope to us—forgiveness for sins, eternal life, and friendship with God. If you are wondering what the gospel is or know someone who is uncertain about Christ and Christianity this would be a good sermon to consider.
1 Corinthians 15:1–11
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. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
- What are the four sides of the gospel frame? And what do they matter? Why are they not part of the gospel, but necessary for preserving the gospel?
- What are the four parts of the gospel focus? What unifies these four ‘parts’? What happens if one or more of these ‘parts’ are denied?
- What is the ultimate goal of the gospel? Why is a gospel that preaches forgiveness without friendship (better labeled ‘adoption’) an incomplete gospel?
- What impact does forgiveness and friendship have on the believer? How did it change Paul? What did it impel him to do? See 1 Corinthians 15:9–11.
- What does it mean to believe in vain (v. 2)? Does this make faith a work? Or does it indicate something of true Spirit-given faith?
- Why must we work hard to preserve the gospel? What do we have to guard the gospel from? What is the best way to protect the gospel? (Hint: preach it regularly)
- What is most encouraging to you from 1 Corinthians 15:1–11? Who can you tell about the gospel of Jesus Christ?
For Further Study
On the Gospel
- What is the Gospel? by David Schrock
- The Gospel Is Better Than Amnesty – by Jonathon Woodyard
- Framing the Gospel: Four Biblical Truths for Rightly Proclaiming and Protecting the Gospel by David Schrock
On the Cross of Christ
- Beware of ‘Airy Nothings’: Hugh Martin on the Atonement — a brief quotation relating the center of cross (penal substitution) to all its other benefits
- A Meditation on the Cross (Matthew 27): How Penal Substitution, Christus Victor, and Christ’s Moral Example Lead Us to Preach the Cross, Resist the Devil, and Imitate the Lord by David Schrock
On the Resurrection
- Why was Jesus Raised on the Third Day? by Mitchell Chase
- On the Third Day by Jim Hamilton
- From Slight Peg To Cornerstone To Capstone: The Resurrection Of Christ On “The Third Day” According To The Scriptures by Stephen G. Dempster — Dempster is a biblical theologian par excellence and he shows why in this article on the use of “on the third day” in the Old Testament.
Soli De Gloria, ds