Hold Fast to the Word (1 Corinthians 15:1-3)
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 —1 Corinthians 15:1-3
The heart of the gospel is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again according to the Scriptures. This is the good news of salvation. Our sins are forgiven and paid for, and our resurrection is secured by Jesus, our Lord. Wow!
Because of the gospel, we stand, and we are being saved. What a gift! What grace! What hope! Pause and marvel over what God has done for you. Worship the Living God right now for who he is and what he has done. Your two biggest problems in life—your own sin and your coming death—have been remedied by God in Jesus!
As God has answered our two biggest problems (again, our sin and our death), the gospel is also the truth in which we stand, and must live all of life based upon it. Yet, although we have received this gospel, we must continually be reminded of this gospel and called back to it from false and competing gospels, lest we believe in vain.
This letter to the Corinthians is a good example of how to be reminded of the hope and truth of the gospel. In this letter, Paul shows how the Corinthians need to be reminded with the gospel to quell factions (chs. 1-4), discipline overt sin (ch. 5), reverse improper sexual activity (ch. 6), deal with marriage, singleness, divorce (ch. 7), flee from idolatry (chs. 8-10), humbly serve one another with gifts of the Spirit (chs. 11-14), etc.
All the topics that Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians are an outworking of the gospel of Jesus. As the Corinthians have received the gospel of Jesus, they must now remain in it as they encounter the complexities of daily life in a corrupt city, forsaking previous ways of living, and standing firm in the gospel.
So the question comes. What about you? Are you remaining in the gospel of Jesus? Are you handling conflict with the gospel? Are you ridding yourself of sin with the gospel? Are your sexual ethics an outworking of the gospel? Do you give your spiritual gifts in humility because of the gospel? Are you seeking marriage or remaining single because of the gospel?
The gospel of Jesus’ death for our sins and resurrection according to the Scriptures touches every aspect of life. Are you building all of your life upon it?
If this is new to you or if you want to brush up on this, I highly recommend this interview with Paul Tripp: Preaching the Gospel to Yourself.
Watch the full-length conference message from Desiring God’s 2014 Conference for Pastors.