“Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – – unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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…” (I Corinthians 15:1-5a)
The word “Gospel” is a translation of the Greek word evangel, which occurs 101 times in the New Testament. It is best understood as being a good message. This is especially promising as we live in an increasingly difficult and evil world.
So, what is this good news that Paul preached about, that he himself had received? (And, by the way, he himself did not live in easy times)! – –
- It is very good news that Christ (the Messiah, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament), died for our sins. If Christ had not died for our sins, who else would have been qualified to do so? Only the perfect Son of God, who was completely perfect, could offer Himself up as our substitute. (All of us should have died for our own sins, and we are all sinners! But God could not accept imperfect substitutes)!
- This same Jesus also was buried – – that means that He really died: He didn’t just swoon or pretend He was dead!
- The Scriptures also foretold centuries prior that the Messiah would also rise from the dead, which He did!
- This is not a fairy tale or a human fabrication! There were more than 500 eye-witnesses who testified to the risen Savior, many of whom had been with him 3 days and earlier! They were certainly not mistaken!
Now, how is this good news for me, for you? All of us are sinners, deserving of death. But God is very gracious to offer us eternal life when we place our faith in Jesus Christ alone! This life is assured to us no matter what happens on this earth. Our eternal destiny is sealed forever in Heaven! That, my dear friend, is the greatest news ever, no matter how bad it gets down here! Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!