The Magnificence and Priority of the Gospel!
“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.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NASB
This passage of Scripture is incredibly relevant for all people for all time. This Scripture text may very well be considered as the core of the life of the church and its ministry. What we have in this passage is the (1) essence of the gospel (Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised to life in the resurrection), (2) the fundamental core of the revelation of the Bible (Jesus Christ and his saving work on the cross and in the resurrection form the central narrative and meaning of the Bible), (3) the gospel message must be treated as top priority in the church and with all Christians (this is of first importance), and (4) it must be the basic thrust and meaning of all ministry in the church (“delivered” is a technical word meaning that it was taught and transmitted by Paul as an apostle with all authority to others).
Thus, we in the church must be careful to (1) not change the gospel to something else (there is a drift today toward social justice as the highest priority; this kind of thinking led over 100 years ago to the rise of classical liberalism), and we must not (2) get bored with the gospel leading us to emphasize some other aspect of Christian teaching and life. If the church changes the gospel in meaning or priority, then the church and the kingdom suffer.
Palm Sunday and Easter are great Sundays for the church to commit itself to the gospel of Jesus Christ in preaching, teaching, life, and ministry. I hope you will be in church on Sunday to celebrate the gospel with us.