Over the past several years we have studied together Proverbs. One hundred and nine messages have come out of that book. Thank you for studying with me. As I began to think about what to share next, I thought about challenging Bible words, I thought about another book to go through verse by verse and then I was thinking about this weekend’s big event and Joe Shear. I thought about the famous drivers of what may be the greatest era in stock car racing and that we had it happen right here in Wisconsin. Some of the greatest of all time. Think about the ‘72 season of 67 wins by Trickle then Reffner would win 68 in 1975. Shear winning 7 features in a row at MIS. I thought about when I asked the Shear family about Joe’s favorite Bible verse. That led me to think about famous chapters in the Bible and that is where I landed and where we will go for our next set of chapels. So where to start? How about 1 Corinthians 15?
Why 1 Corinthians 15? Because it contains the gospel, the center point of Christianity. The king pin of truth unto salvation. Please get your Bible out and read the first 11 verses. God through Paul’s writings declares the gospel, the good news was preached and by it you are saved. Right there we can pick up that we should know the gospel and we should be sharing it. Are you? Do you know the gospel and are you intentional at sharing it? The people you know I might not know and the people I know you might not know so it is your privilege to share the hope we have in Jesus. We should never hide it under a basket as it says about our light in Matthew. Now look at verse 3. This is first, FIRST, importance. Side bar, “I also received” Have you received, taken to oneself, drawn near? And what are the points of the Gospel?
- 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,
- that he appeared (to a whole bunch of people, over 500)
So what does the Gospel tell us and what are we to share, declare?
- Our sins- that we are sinners. We have missed the mark. We have fallen short (Romans 3:10-12, 23, 6:23; Titus 3:3) Sinners are in need, in need of another to save them from their sin.
- Jesus is the Christ. One example of hundreds = 1 Timothy 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. In John 14:6 God makes clear that God the Son, Jesus the Christ, is the only one that can save. (see verse 57 of this chapter in 1 Corinthians)
- Jesus died for payment of our, my wretched, disgusting, filthy sin. (Romans 5:8) We need to follow Romans 10:9,10 = because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Can you see why God calls this first importance? Do you see why it is so important for us to declare the Gospel? I challenge you this week find the person God wants you to share with and obey. Now let’s key into one more thing, okay two, before we are out of time from this passage. There is a lot we could dig out but go with me to verse 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. Let’s talk about grace and tie mercy in to it. Do you stop and think deeply about grace and mercy when you read them? I think we should. In simple terms, grace is being given what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve. We don’t deserve to be with God in Heaven and we deserve to be separated from God and in hell for eternity. WOW! This is a big deal. Does it get you excited? I know I get excited as I think about this. Add to this we have key words like faith, hope, first fruit and so on.
Let’s stop at one more section and word. Verses 54-58 speak of the victory we can have in Jesus. Every driver, every team chases the win, the victory. In life there is only one that can give us victory because He has victory over death and the devil. It is our LORD Jesus Christ. Have you reached out to Him? Have you cried out to Jesus as LORD? I hope you have.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,