Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Notes on 1 Corinthians 15:3

[Some initial notes taken in preparation to hopefully preach on 1 Corinthians 15:3-7:]

I delivered to you: Historically, Paul had delivered this message to the Corinthians. God could have spoken this message directly to the Corinthians, but He had sent His apostle to them. God delights in using His servants to deliver His message, and we should delight in joining in with God's gospel work, delivering His message to the whole humanity that He has created.

as of first importance: Nothing is more important than the gospel message Paul is about to explain. This is a first-order teaching, and a teaching by which all other teachings are to be understood. The gospel message should be "of first importance" for every Christian, and should be "of first importance" especially for every preacher.

what I also received: Paul received the gospel message; it was not something he invented on his own. There is a continuity down through the ages of those who have been faithful to preach the gospel and those who have heard the gospel being faithful to preach to the next generation. We should humbly honor those from who we have received the gospel, and we should continue this chain of revelation by faithfully passing on the gospel to the next generation.

that Christ: The gospel message is a message about Christ, the anointed one of God, the chief of God's servants, who was known by His disciples as the Son of God and Son of Man.

died: The Christian message is first a historical message about Christ. Gospel means "good news" and this is the "news" part of that phrase. Christ sacrificed His very life.

for: This word "for" can also be translated "on behalf of." When explaining this foundational teaching of the good news, the Apostle uses this word to transition from the "news" to the explanation of why this news is "good." The Christian message is, at its heart, a historical assertion with a theological explanation. We cannot ONLY proclaim that Christ died on the cross or that He is risen, we must say WHY these events matter.

our sins: Christ died because WE sinned. He did not die for His own sins, but on behalf of our sins. "Sin" is a word that indicates rebellion against God's sovereignty, a breaking of God's Law. The Bible is clear that we are all sinners (Rom 3:23). The Bible is also clear that all sin earns the death penalty from God (Rom 6:23b). Christ took this penalty in our place.

according to the Scriptures: The "Scriptures" to which Paul refers do not refer to the New Testament (at least not primarily), as it was still in production. The Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) had probably not yet been written when Paul penned this letter to the Corinthians (it is clear from the following verses that Paul knows of the Lord's resurrection primarily through his own encounter and verbal eyewitness testimony). These "Scriptures" are the Old Testament, which prophesied of the coming Messiah, and which Christ fulfilled.

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