An Objective Gospel

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #176

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:3–7).

The gospel is something that occurs outside of us, independent of us. For all those reading these words, the gospel was enacted many centuries before any of us were born. This being the case, as it was in the first century, the gospel spreads by means of being “delivered.” Paul here outlines the objective content of what it was that he received, and then in turn delivered to the Corinthians.

The first is that Christ died for our sins. The second is that He did so in fulfillment of the Scriptures. The third was that He was buried. The fourth is that He rose again on the third day. The fifth is that this also was in accordance with the Scriptures. The sixth was that He was seen by a succession of witnesses, beginning with Peter and working down to James, with hundreds of witnesses involved.

The chapter began with Paul saying that the Corinthians were to continue to believe this message, to stand in it, and to hold it in memory. That was the appropriate response to this gospel; this is the gospel for which that was the appropriate response.

This then is the content of the gospel that must be faithfully preached. Christ died as a sin substitute, He died as a predicted sin substitute, He was in the grave for three days, meaning that He was dead beyond all question, He rose on the third day, He rose on the third day as predicted by the prophets, and He was seen alive after that by hundreds of people.

This is the message that will be announced and declared by faithful preachers until the end of the world, and this is the message that lazy preachers instinctively shirk, and the message that dishonest preachers always try to circumvent.

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