|“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind |
you of the gospel I preached to you…”
|—1 Corinthians 15:1a|
Did you ever ask someone a question and instead of receiving a direct and succinct answer, the person you were asking gave you a long and involved explanation? My wife and friends tell me that I do this very thing all the time. Apparently, I am so enamored of the details that I feel I must share every last one whenever I answer a question.
I recently watched a video on YouTube of someone trying to explain the gospel of life-transforming redemption through the blood of Jesus. The speaker was someone who tended to follow that pattern that I am all-to-often guilty of myself: too many details shared in a very involved manner.
In contrast to this well-intentioned teacher, the Apostle Paul had a unique perspective that gave him the ability to share the gospel in a very clear and concise manner. For example, notice what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8:
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 Peter, 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.
Wow! What a powerful presentation! That Paul—he really knew how to make things clear. If only I could take a lesson from him.
Dear ones, the gospel really is just that easy to understand. We are all sinners. God loved us enough to send His one and only Son, Jesus, to die in our place and pay the penalty for our sin. Then God raised Jesus from the dead. He appeared, not as a ghostly apparition, but as a glorified human with the ability to eat and drink, but also with the ability to pass through walls and to quickly move from one place to another. Then, Jesus ascended to heaven where “He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty making intercession for us”—to borrow words from Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25.
This day, let us not shy away from sharing this good news with those the Holy Spirit may prompt us to engage. This gospel, this precious gospel, is truly the greatest news mankind has ever received. And, God wants those of us who believe to share it with the world.