Read 1 Corinthians 15
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:17 “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
What does your faith stand on? Personal experience? Anything else? The Gospel? What is the Gospel? For those of us who need a refresher course, let’s analyze the basic ingredients of the “Good News”.
By the way, if you need a refresher, you’re not alone. The Corinthians church needed one, too. “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you received and on which you have taken your stand” (v.1).
Here’s the analysis; (1) “Christ died for our sins…” (2) “He was buried” (3) “He was raised” (4) He appeared” (5) He ascended (6) He’s returning (7) You can know Him. The first four are from verses 3 to 5. The last three are from the Gospels. It’s a basic seven point analysis. It’s the bedrock own which your faith can stand.
Often we emphasize point seven the most, and why not? It’s the one we relate to best, because it’s in the area of present day experience. As the old gospel song says, “You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.”
But we must never forget that Christian faith is rooted, not in the mystery of subjective faith, but in history. Whether we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour or not, He still died in our history. He was buried in a real grave and left it, three days later, in our history. He was seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses and ascended in our history. We know He lives, because history tells us so.
The greatest moment in man’s history was not the landing of American astronauts on the moon (as President Nixon put it), but the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It was, and is, the pivotal moment of all time. Without it, our faith falls; with it, our faith stands.