“ Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4)
As Palm Sunday and Easter grow ever nearer, our study points us more and more to the good news we have long taken for granted. Yet it is the truth that Christ died for us by which we stand strong against the attacks of the evil one. The left out verse two reminds us the good news we have received and stand in by faith is what saves us, if we hold fast to it and cling to it. Let us not be so careless that we stray from grace and render our past belief in vain.
In disputations, let us keep first things first. The critical articles of faith are Christ’s atonement on the cross, that he himself was buried in his tomb, and that he actually rose bodily from dead back to life again on the third day. We must let no one steal these truths from us, or remove the reason he came and died by the denial of the reality of sin and death as the curse and penalty of it. Let us stand firm and be alert to all crafty attempts by the evil one to undermine the foundations of our faith and salvation, including those presented to us as “science,” recognizing them for the godless myths they are.
Let us keep in mind the testimony of the apostles and all the great crowd of witnesses who have seen the risen lord with their own eyes. Our faith is not based on myths and the ideas of men, but historical eye witness testimony, and our own faith encounters with the risen Lord, the Holy Spirit present with us in our hearts and working in our lives today. We know whom we have believed and see his grace at work in us, remaking us into new creatures. By Grace, we are no longer what we were, though we have not yet obtained all that we will be in him, we have received the down payment.
Lord, we thank you for the testimony of the apostles and for those who first preached the word to us. We thank you for grace and the continual instruction of your holy spirit at work in our hearts today. We present ourselves to you, our souls and bodies, as living sacrifices, and pray we would be fully submitted to you and to your will today. Turn our hearts from evil and empower us by grace to walk in your spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.