December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.”—1 Corinthians 15:1–11 (NIV)
As Paul nears the end of this letter, he turns to remind the Corinthians of the foundation for all they believe and all that Paul has just instructed them in—the gospel. The gospel is what saved them and what allows them to live for Christ and be transformed more like Him through the work of the Holy Spirit.
I think of the way someone puts on sneakers before going on a run. We can’t expect to run well if we don’t have the proper footwear. In the same way, we can’t expect a house to be built well if the foundation was laid with shoddy material, and we can’t expect a band to perform well if they have not practiced and know the songs by heart.
These examples may seem random, but they all have the same concept in common: We need to know the foundational elements of a craft before we can practice and execute it well. This is why Paul takes time here to recount what the gospel is. Let’s take time to review it for ourselves:
This is what Paul is ultimately reminding the Corinthians of. When we repent from our sin, believe in the gospel, and commit our lives to Christ, we enter His family and become His children, His ambassadors, and His prized possession. We find our true purpose—to worship Him forever and share Him with others—and we have access to God personally.
May we remind ourselves of the gospel daily like an athlete who puts on the right shoes to run, a builder who lays a strong foundation, and a musician that practices and knows the music by heart. Our God redeems, restores, transforms, equips, and endures.
Pause: Have you taken time recently to let your heart and mind soak in the gospel again? What part about it is sticking with you today?
Practice: Dwell on the gospel. Read Philippians 2:3–11 and think about how Christ tangibly showed His love for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to receive the gospel with renewed gratitude and awe.
Pray: Heavenly Father, I cannot thank You enough for Your grace and salvation! You shower me with undeserving love, and I never want to forget that. Help me not to lose my awe for Your salvation of me. I commit myself to You again today and remember that I am who I am because of Your grace. May You continue to transform me. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.