#683. PASS ON WHAT YOU RECEIVE (4/11/22)
This week, in our series on 1 Corinthians we begin looking at Paul's teaching on the gospel from chapter 15.
Summary: If we’ve received this gospel, we are commissioned to pass it on in the various relationships that God has given us.
This week we have being looking at how Paul is urging the Corinthian church to hold onto the truths of the gospel that they have received and believed. Holding onto the gospel is not only good for us, it’s also vital for the mission to which we are called. Paul wrote,
‘Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.’ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Like Paul, the gospel that we have received is to be passed on. More broadly, any teaching that we’ve received is to be passed on as God gives us opportunity. Inside and outside the church, we are to be ready to help people to grow in knowledge.
We are all called to ‘remind’ each other of the gospel and God’s truth. When someone is falling into sin, unbelief, false teaching, an unhelpful emphasis, discouragement… we are to be ready to wisely bring them back to the truth.
Every one of us is called to be generous. In time, money, gifts… and sharing the truth we have received. The devil wants you to be ashamed of sharing what you know. It’s the natural human reaction to share good news when we receive it so let’s do this with what we receive from God, particularly the gospel.
There was a time in Israel’s history when they were in famine due to a siege. God broke the siege and abundant food was found in the deserted enemy camp by a group of lepers. We read:
‘The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.’ (2 Kings 7:8-9)
Do you see that this is a picture of the gospel. We are ‘lepers’ who have been given the feast of God’s love and truth in Christ; will we keep this to ourselves!
In Corinth, some were leading others astray:
‘But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?’ (1 Corinthians 15:12)
Like Corinth, every church will have people who speak false teaching. Many are not malicious, but they are ignorant of the truth. Many Christians are influenced by worldly teaching. Too many do not have a healthy diet of God’s word and so are not Biblical in their views. May we set an example of loving God’s word and being ready to share God’s word.
Are we ready and willing to share the gospel? Are we ready and willing to ‘remind’ our church family of the gospel and good teaching? Whether it’s inside or outside the church, may we share with gentleness and humility as Peter writes:
‘But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’ (1 Peter 3:15)
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His word recently? How would you like prayer?
3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
TAKE YOUR STAND, HOLD FIRMLY TO THE GOSPEL
Please read 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
On Sunday we began looking at chapter 15. This section is about the gospel with a focus on the reality of Jesus' resurrection.
In 15:1-9, Paul gives an outline of the gospel message that some of them, it seems, were in danger of rejecting. Paul is urging them to continue to take a stand and hold firmly to the gospel that they had received.
WE MUST NOT BECOME COMPLACENT
This chapter, and many similar sections in the Bible, make it clear that we all need to be reminded to take care to hold onto our faith. Although we believe that a true Christian will never be lost, the Bible never uses this doctrine (the doctrine of The Perseverance of the Saints) as a basis not to fight the fight of faith and take care to hold on to what we believe.
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
If we are to take our stand and hold tight to the gospel, we need to know what it is. Here Paul summarises it:
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Summary: The gospel is what God has done, through Christ, to save us.
CHRIST IS OUR SUBSTITUTE
A very important term to be aware of is 'substitutionary atonement'. This is at the heart of the gospel. As Paul says:
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins…”
Jesus was our substitute. He was sinless and yet He died for our sin. We deserved judgment but He took this in our place.
BRIDGE TO LIFE
A really helpful illustration to familiarise ourselves with is The Bridge to life.
i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?
ii) How would you summarise the gospel message?
iii) Perhaps you might like to try explaining the gospel using the 'Bridge to life' illustration above?
iii) What are the alternative 'gospels' that the world offers?
iii. What are the various things that can help us to take a stand and hold firmly to the gospel?
SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?
SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?
SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.