We now come to perhaps the most important part of this letter, because it stands at the core of our faith.
Now, brothers, 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…this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. (1-4, 11).
What is the gospel?
1. That Jesus died for our sins.
2. That Jesus was buried.
3. That Jesus rose again.
And all this happened according to what God had prophesied in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah 53, but in many other passages as well.
Paul says this message was of first importance to him. Why?
By this gospel you are saved. (2)
If anyone is going to be saved from their sin and have eternal life, they must believe these three things. There is no other way.
If eternal life was to be earned by our works, then the law would have been of first importance to Paul.
If there is no eternal life, then how we live our lives on earth would have been of first importance to Paul.
But there is eternal life, and the path to it comes through the cross of Christ, and God proved he accepted Christ’s sacrifice by raising him from the dead. Because of this, this was what Paul considered more important than anything else. And wherever he went and whoever he was with, this was the message he brought.
How about you? Is the gospel of first importance to you? Is it so important that you take it out to the people around you? If we truly believe it, how can we not?