The Gospel, the basics of Salvation
“Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel, which I delivered to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved; If you hold fast to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”
“For I delivered to you, as of first importance, what I also received; That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures.”
“And that He appeared to Cephas (that’s Peter) then to the twelve.”
“After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep.”
“Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
The gospel can make you stand. And it can save you, if you receive it, and if you hold fast to it. To receive the gospel, is to believe the gospel. And to hold fast to it, is to act upon it. If we don’t act upon the gospel, we will have believed in vain.
After all, “Faith without works, is dead” James 2:17. “Faith without works is useless” V-20.
We read in Romans 5:1-2.. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, (by a working faith) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith, into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
We were spiritually DEAD, and we were spiritual enemies of God. Eph 2:1-2 says.. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
“But now, in Christ, you who were formerly far off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Eph 2:13. “For He Himself is our peace.” Eph 2:14
We stand, in Christ, don’t we? We stand in the gospel. And we stand in the grace of God. To stand means to be saved. When Paul delivered the gospel, in 1 Cor 15:1-4, he said, “..in which you also stand, by which also you are saved.”
When he wrote to the Romans, in Rom 5:1-2, he said.. “..we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have our introduction by faith, into this grace in which we stand.”
So then it’s obvious, that standing in the gospel, is the very same thing as standing in grace, and they are both the same thing as standing in salvation.
As a matter of fact, Eph 1:13 calls the gospel.. “..the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation..”.
“Standing in the gospel”, and “standing in grace”, are figurative expressions, meaning that you are in a saved condition.
But Galatians 5:4 tells us that some people have “fallen from grace”. If you’ve fallen from grace, you’ve fallen from salvation, haven’t you? And if you’ve fallen from grace, you’ve also fallen from the gospel. In other words, you haven’t “held fast to the gospel”.
But that’s exactly what Paul said that we have to do. He said, when you receive the gospel, then you stand in it, and then you’re saved by it, IF you hold fast to it. Otherwise, you’re initial believing, will be in vain.
Can we fall from salvation, from the grace of God? Of course we can. That’s part of the very basics of the gospel, that’s been preached to us in the bible. You’re belief can be vain! It takes MORE than belief, doesn’t it?
But that gospel, can make us stand!
1 Cor 15:3 says, “For I delivered to you, as of first importance!” So the very first and foremost thing that everyone needs to know, the thing that’s of FIRST importance, is that “Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures (according to what had been prophesied), and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures.”
For those of you who are here today, but are not yet Christians, that is the very beginning of your faith, it’s the beginning, of your “standing” in grace.
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you, except for Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” That’s why he said it was of “first importance”. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified! That’s all you need to know, and to believe, for you to be able to “stand”. But without that, you are dead. And I’ve never seen a dead man stand! We’re ALL dead, without Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
What was the very first thing mentioned by the apostle Paul, when he made known, the gospel? The first thing he says is that Jesus “died for our sins”. When it comes to salvation, we start off dead, don’t we? We’re dead IN our sins. That’s exactly why Jesus had to die; to pay the price for our sins, because we have no way to pay it, ourselves. The price demanded by God, to forgive someone of their sins, is the blood of a sinless sacrifice; and that’s Jesus.
1 Peter 1:18 says.. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things, like silver and gold, from your futile way of life, inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot or blemish, the blood of Christ.”
So Christ died, because we were already dead. We all die spiritually, the moment that we sin. Remember James 1:15.. “..When sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” As soon as sin is accomplished, we die!
Jesus was Buried
The second thing that the gospel tells us about Christ, is that “He was buried”. And we need to be buried too, but there’s something else that has to happen to us first.
Before we’re buried, we’ve got to die another death. We’re already dead IN sin, but now we’ve got to die TO sin. Jesus died to sin!
Romans 6:10 says, “The death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; But the life that he lives, He lives to God.”
Even though Jesus was never IN sin, He still died TO sin. In other words, He died with regard to sin. He died with regard to OUR sin. The reason that Jesus came in the first place, was in regard to sin.
Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”.. That which was lost IN sin! That’s why Jesus came. If it weren’t for sin, He wouldn’t have had to come and to die. But He came in regard to that sin, and He died in regard to that sin.
Jesus was Resurrected
Jesus died, and was buried, and was resurrected. And the bible says He’ll come again. But the next time, it won’t be in regard to sin. Hebrews 9:28 tells us, “So Christ also, having been offered once, to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation, without regard to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
When Jesus comes the second time, it won’t be to save anyone from sin. When He comes the second time, He’ll be saying.. “Time’s Up!” Our opportunity to be saved from sin, will have ended. Sin won’t have anything to do with Christ’s second coming. But rather, He.. “shall appear a second time, for salvation!” It will be in REGARD to salvation. Christ will be GIVING the reward of eternal salvation that He has promised, to the faithful.
1 John 2:25 says, “And this is the promise that He Himself has made to us, eternal life.”
Jesus says in Rev 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly (or suddenly) and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
But let’s think back to Christ’s death. “The death that He died, He died to sin..” Rom 6:10
V-11 says.. “Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God, in Christ Jesus.”
So, when we sin, we become dead IN sin. But now we’ve got to die TO sin. We’ve got to die, with regard to committing sin.
Rom 6:12-13 tell us clearly, “Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it’s lusts. And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin, as instruments of unrighteousness. But present yourselves to God, as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
The apostle Paul is telling us to stop sinning, and start living a Christian life. He’s telling us to be led by the Spirit.
Romans 7:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” Remember Eph 2:14.. “For He Himself IS our peace.” We need to be led by the Spirit of God. We need to be led by the bible.
Walk in Newness of Life
When we’re told to stop presenting our members as instruments of unrighteousness, and to start being led by the Spirit; We’re being told to repent! “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body.. But present yourselves to God, as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness TO God.” That’s repenting. When we die to sin, and present our whole being to God, that’s repenting. When we do that, we’re presenting our soul to God! Our whole being, our very life, presented TO God.
Do you remember what God said in Isaiah 6:8.. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Who will go for GOD? That’s what US means, God. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
And do you remember what Isaiah said.. “Here am I, send me!”
“Present yourselves to GOD!” “But consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God.”
Christ died, in regard to sin, and then He was buried. And after we make the decision to die to sin, and to be alive to God (in other words after we repent), then we need to be buried too. We need to be buried, INTO His death, by the means of baptism.
“Or do you not know, that all of us who have been baptized into Christ, have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism, INTO death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Rom 6:3-4
The gospel is all about salvation. The death of Christ, and His burial, and His resurrection, are all for the one purpose, of our salvation. And that’s exactly why we need to be buried with Him, in baptism. It’s for our salvation. It’s for the forgiveness of our sins. Paul was told in Acts 22:16.. “And now, why do you delay, arise and be baptized and wash away your sins..”
You can’t stand, until your sins are washed away and completely forgiven.
“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death (that’s baptism, that’s the likeness of His death and His burial), then certainly, we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” Rom 6:5
We KNOW that if we join Christ, and are united with Him, in his death to sin, then it’s a FACT, that certainly, we shall be also joined with Him in His resurrection. Spiritual resurrection, from spiritual death. Dead to sin, but alive to God.
“Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with! That we should no longer be slaves to sin. For he who has died, is freed from sin.”
“Now, if we have DIED with Christ, we believe that we shall also LIVE with Him.” Romans 6:6-7
In 1 Cor 15:5-8, Paul gave the evidence, of Christ’s resurrection from death. He wrote, “..He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, he appeared to me also.”
We need to be in the likeness of His death. And we need to be in the likeness of His burial. But we also need to be in the likeness of His resurrection. Jesus SHOWED himself to be alive, many times. And we also need to show ourselves to be alive. Alive to God!
And the way to show yourself alive to God, is to show yourself by your fruits. Jesus said, in Mathew 7:16.. “You will know them, by their fruits.”
V-18 says, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”
“So then, you will know them by their fruits.” V-20
Lots of people, claim to be a Christian. But not that many, “show it”. When the chips are down, when we’re faced with decisions, and have to respond to life’s trials, that’s when we’ll be known by our fruits.
Hear the gospel, and receive the gospel. Turn to God, repent of sins. Confess openly that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Be buried with Him in baptism, and wash away your sins, and let God stand you up. Show yourself, to be in the likeness of His resurrection. “You shall know them by their fruits.”
May God bless you in the study of His word. And may we show our fruits.
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