We hear much talk about the gospel. In some ways the gospel has become a fad. When something becomes a fad some people jump on the bandwagon and have no idea about what they are involved in.
When some people say gospel they are celebrating social gospel. Others, when they hear gospel they are excited because they hear all the moral teachings of Jesus. Legalism. There’s another form of legalism going around – love God, love people.
Love God, love people is actually an abbreviation of Jesus’ teaching on the two greatest commandments. The two greatest commandments are a summary of the Law: the first is of 1-4 and the second is of 5-10. The gospel freed us from the Law and to the Law. We need to be clear when it comes to the gospel.
Voddie is immediately drawn to 1 Cor. 15. Paul is addressing, in once sense, a mixed multitude. He is arguing against those who don’t believe in the resurrection. At the same time Paul emboldens the doctrine of the resurrection.
We need to be emboldened. We live in a culture where no one celebrates the 10 Commandments, but the 11th commandment – Thou Shalt Be Nice! If none of the other 10 matter then the 11th must be the most important.
Argument from Authority
Paul reminds them of the gospel they received and stand on and by which they are being saved. The gospel is not just a message to get saved, but to stay saved, to be saved. Any kind of saved you can think of.
Paul may be addressing those who think they can lose their salvation. The simple answer that one cannot lose their salvation comes from John MacArthur, “If you could use your salvation, you would.”
Blogging gap! Voddie went to Ephesians but I had an emergency wife call. Everything is okay.
If you tip the scales with your own personal story then the gospel is reduced to your testimony. That’s why people lie. You should hear how some testimonies develop over time.
What’s worse is you have Christians in church to listen to these inflated testimonies. We get all about these powerful, captivating stories.
All I have is God in the flesh who died and was raised on the third day. He forgave my sins and is taking me home on the last day. Paul is making much of the fact that God has gone out of his way to present this gospel that has an historical context. It could not be proven false.
The argument from authority says this: God went public with the gospel and it’s verifiable.
Argument from Logic
If you say there is no resurrection from the dead how can you say that Christ was resurrected from the dead? People want a resurrectionless Savior because it doesn’t fit into their personal philosophy.
People don’t like the idea of hell so they want a Christianity without a hell. We don’t like the idea of judgement so we have Christianity without sin…. And so on, and so on, and so on.
You think you’ve just removed a small problem by removing the resurrection.
Seven Problems if the resurrection is taken away.
1. If no resurrection from the dead then even Christ has not been raised. But he just demonstrated that Christ has been raised.
2. Preaching is vain. If Christ has not been raised then our preaching is vain and our faith is vain. Some people pick the supernatural parts of the gospel out while trying say our Christian faith is good because of the good things we do. It is all useless if the resurrection is false.
3. Faith is vain. So much for those who say you can have a viable Christianity without the resurrection. However, there is no gospel without the resurrection so faith is meaningless.
4. I’m a liar. We are even found to be misrepresenting God because we testify that God raised Christ whom He did not raise. If there is no such thing as resurrection God was just called a liar. Not only a liar, but a blaspheming liar. If you believe there is no resurrection, I’m a liar for preaching the resurrection.
5. If Christ is not raised then your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. If Christ has not been raised there is no justification. There is no penal substitutionary atonement. If Christ has not been raised then He was a sinner and we are all still in our sins. There is no hope for sinners. God will crush you. Justice cries out for it. For God not to consume you would not be fair.
6. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
7. We of all people are most to be pitied because we have hoped in the greatest lie ever perpetrated.
Since point one has been proven true the other six points are flipped. Christ has been raised and there is hope. Preaching is not vain, faith is not vain, we are not liars, faith is not futile, those past have not perished, and we are not most to be pitied.
The gospel matters. It all matters. Do we have know everything there is about the gospel? We will spend eternity not knowing everything there is to know.
Argument from authority: God said it and proved it.
Argument from evidence: We believe it because God did it in the open.
Gospel matters. What he hold to when we come to the end of our days matters. Because ultimately the gospel is the only hope for those who will face a righteous God.