The Gospel

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Introduction: Last week we finished a series looking at the big picture view of the whole Old Testament. We have focusing our attention on the whole message that threads throughout the whole Old Testament. Today, I want to focus on answering the question, Why is it important to have a clear understating of the whole Old Testament? What is so significant about understanding the big picture of Genesis -Malachi? Because the whole Old Testament reveals the gospel.
Illustration: Let me begin by posing a question; have you ever tried to focus on something far away when its really foggy outside? Or have you ever been driving at night when its raining and find it hard to see. In the same way , Christians often find ourselves with foggy vision. We often go through life with fears, anxieties, frustrations, and all assortments of attitudes that make it seem like to those observing our lives that we are walking on a tight rope with no confidence in the safety harness that we are wearing to provide rescue and deliverance to us if we fall.
Transition: There may be far more reasons than I’m aware that cause this fog in our lives, but one big reason is because of our understanding of the gospel. We live in a day, and cultural context where the meaning of the gospel has been very muddled. So much so, that depending on the version of Christian you may be talking to we often have very different ideas about what being a Christian actually means. And so our answer to why we need a clear understanding of the Old Testament is because we need clarity on the gospel.
Transition: Thankfully, since we have the Word of God, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the final authority we can have the fog lifted and stand firm in truth.
Transition: Today, we are focusing our attention on I Corinthians 15:1-11 where the apostle Paul plainly defines the gospel according to the scriptures. Follow along as we read this passage together.
Transition: I want to observe three major points from this text that answers our question… 1. The Scriptures bring clarity to the death of Christ. 2. The Scriptures bring clarity to the burial and resurrection of Christ. 3. Which in turn brings clarity to our reception of the gospel.

The scriptures bring clarity to the Death of Christ

We have discovered from our survey of the old testament that death was the consequence of sinful rebellion against God. However, God provided a way for His people to have their sin forgiven. God provided animal skins for Adam and Eve to cover their shame. Something had to die for their sin to be covered. God commanded that lambs to be sacrificed and blood put on the doorposts in order for the angel of death to passover His people and deliver them from slavery. Again, something had to die to save them. God provided a system of scarifies with priests offering sprinkling of blood for the atonement of the sin of God’s people. Again, something had to die and someone had to act as a priestly mediator between God and His people. Theses are just a few examples of how Jesus Christ, the anointed great high priest, the lamb of God, died for our sins according to the scriptures.
Big Point: His death wasn’t a result of Roman uproar. It wasn’t according to the Jewish haters of His day. It was not a symbolic martyrdom to rally His disciples. No, the death of Jesus was according to plan! God, demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The death of Christ was according to the will of God to deliver His people from their sin. Jesus gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so that you might be made right with God.

The scriptures bring clarity to the Burial and Resurrection of Christ

We have discovered from our survey of the Old Testament that God promised there would be hostility between the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman. That according to Genesis 3:15 the serpent would bite the heel but he would crush the serpents head. We continually observed this hostility all through the Old Testament. It was demonstrated every time the righteousness clashed with unrighteousness. Every time good and evil collided. Every king that led the people tower rebellion was an of spring of the serpent. Every king that led the people in revival was an offspring of Eve. However, when we meet Jesus, the final king, we see this promise coming to fulfillment in His burial and resurrection. Satan thought he had the final blow when He bit the heel of Jesus and watched Him buried in a borrowed tomb. Jesus really physically died. He was really, dead in a tomb for three days. But He crushed the serpent’s head when on the morning of the third day He raised from the grave. Victorious over sin and death.
Big Point: The Resurrection of Jesus according to the Scriptures reveals that He has the power to take away our sin. He has the power to bring life where there was only death. This is why the scripture tells us in Eph 2:4-5
Ephesians 2:4–5 ESV
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
Transition: When we have clarity on what the truth of the gospel according the scriptures, we then have clarity on what it means to “receive the gospel.”

The scriptures bring clarity for the Reception of the gospel

i. (15:1b) “which you recieved)
The same gospel that Paul received.. (15:3) (See Galatians 1)
What does it mean to receive the gospel??
Promise of John 1:11-13
John 1:11–13 ESV
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
This is not blind faith. No, it is informed by the scriptures concerning who Jesus is and what He has done. Receiving Christ by faith is not a result of human will or ability. It is a work of God’s grace, through the Holy Spirit bringing new life, This is what happens when a person’s will is convicted and convinced by the grace of God to enable a person to receive the gift of God and trust Christ alone in order to be right with God.
iv. Big Point: Receiving the gospel of Christ means… that a person hears the truth about Christ, and confesses that good news by faith. Rom 10:17 It doesn’t have to look like Paul’s example. When I received the gospel I was a child at home and simply prayed with my parents to confess jesus as my Savior.
Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
v. Big Question: Have you recieved the gospel? Are you standing in the gospel? Are you being saved by the gospel? Are you holding fast to the gospel? If not, please receive this warning from God’s word… you may have believed in vain… there is such a thing as false faith. See II Cor 7:10 A person who may give a head nod to Jesus based on the flesh, but even though they have made a profession they do not belong to Christ. Warning of no change, no Jesus. No fruit, no root. We believe that Jesus holds us fast in the gospel, so if you are not holding fast is begs the question do I really belong to Jesus.
2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Transition: A clear gospel according to the scriptures helps us to realize that Jesus Christ was not some idealists who was trying to start a new religion. When we see the gospel clearly from the scriptures we begin to have our minds cleared up of the fog that distorts our understanding of what it means to be a Christian. The gospel is not an antidote formula to help a person out of a hard spot in life. It’s not good news because it tells you how to have a good life. No, the gospel is good news because it answers the question of how a person can be in a right relationship with the creator of the universe. And the gospel is the true answer for this question because it is rooted in the Creator’s own plan to deliver His people. The gospel reveals God’s own words of how He has accomplished the reconciliation of His people. The gospel does not seek to make you a better version of yourself, rather it is the good news that you can actuality be made into a new creation in Christ Jesus. In Christ, you can have eternal life instead of eternal death.
Conclusion: Are you a true Christian today? If not I invite to to respond to the proclamation of the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ for your sins by trusting in Christ alone.
If you are a Christian today, do you realize the ongoing impact the gospel continues to have on your life? I’d encourage you to pick up a “gospel primer” for Christians in the back this morning and begging using this little tool as a means of holding fast to the gospel. It is a great way to remind ourselves of the blessed hope that we have in Christ. That we are so safely harnessed in by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ that we can sprint across the tight rope of our life with confidence and joy!
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