If we want to believe in Christ – if we want that relationship with Him, what do we need to believe? We hear so many things today. Some say that there are many paths to heaven. Some say you need to be a good person. But that’s not what the Bible says. Paul gives us the answer:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I
preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1 Cor 15:1-10 (ESV)
Paul is writing to the church in Corinth. It had many of the problems we have today. He wants to remind them of the gospel he preached to their salvation. We see the main points of Paul’s gospel in verse 3 and 4.
…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
Remember, Paul was considered a super religious man who denied Jesus was Messiah until he personally met him on the road. Paul reminds his audience of the truth of Jesus’ resurrection when he lists the people who saw Jesus after He died, was buried and then raised on the third day. Why did Paul have to write all that? He was trying to persuade the people of Corinth that they needed Christ as their savior. In the next book we see the REASONS that Christ died.
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:14-21 (ESV)
I am struck by verse 14. We are all sinners. Christ came to die for all sinners. There is no exception. It doesn’t matter what we have done. When we accept Christ we are new (v. 17)!
On Friday I plan to touch on the reasons that Jesus was able to die in our place. I plan to wrap up this quick study on our relationship and position with God next week. See you Friday!