Evidence of the Gospel's Truth & Transforming Power
This past week-end as I was studying God's Word I decided to spend the next week digging into 1Corinthians 15; WOW what an amazing chapter. Here's what I wrote in my booklet on day one, covering only the first 11 verses:
Within the first few verses it became clear that knowing the definition of "vain" in context was crucial.
VAIN: producing no result, useless
What result is desired in "belief" of the Gospel?
We are called to believe the Gospel, to receive the Gospel, to stand in the Gospel, to hold fast to the Gospel. Those who believe in vain DO NOT hold fast to the Word preached to them - they hold fast to self, to the world,to their sin.
*As a side note, notice how Paul says, "the Gospel I preached to you" - THE GOSPEL MUST BE PREACHED (see v. 2 and 11)
The most important thing to be "delivered" to a person is the Gospel, which Paul says, is what he also received:
1) Christ died for sins (which was recorded in the Scriptures, which simply means the Old Testament Prophets wrote and told of the coming Messiah who would die for sins, He would be the final Blood sacrifice for sin)
2) He was buried and raised from the dead on the third day (Also recorded in Scripture)
3) His Resurrection was confirmed by His appearance to over 500 people, "most of whom are still alive". Paul pointed out that most of these 500 were still alive so they could confirm this Truth if they wanted to
4) Jesus also appeared to him, Paul, a man who was persecuting the followers of Christ before this appearing and conversion
Paul confirms that his salvation is only by the Grace of God, and the Grace toward him was not in vain, and the work Paul was doing in the furtherance of the Gospel is evidence of this.
The big take away is, the Gospel must be preached, and God's Grace must be given - BUT - a person can receive preaching and Grace with no result, without it producing Salvation, why else would Paul say "the Grace toward me was not in vain"?