TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Regarding First Corinthians 15:1-11, Justin Edwards said, “That Jesus Christ died for the sins of men, and rose again for the justification and salvation of all who believe on him, are fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, and are taught as such by all who are prepared and called by Christ to preach it.”
Today, we are continuing our series drawn from the Word of God, the Holy Bible, and a historical text based on the Word of God, the Holy Bible, that was passed down from the early church all the way to us today — the Nicene Creed. In this series, we are talking about the importance of the historical Christian faith that was passed down to us from the early church, how that we as Christians who are falling away from it ought to return to it, and how that the world ought to hear it so they can believe on Christ.
Regarding the importance of creeds in the church, John Leith said, “While creeds are an attempt to give articulate, intelligible expression to Christian faith, they — at least the great ones — are not intellectualistic. They are fashioned in history, not in the relative isolation of a scholar’s study. Christianity is first of all a historical religion, not simply in the sense that it has a history but in its conviction that God has decisively acted and made himself known in history. The great creedal affirmations of the Old and New Testaments are recitals of and reflections upon the historic events in which God is believed to have disclosed himself.”
In this series, we have looked at the following factual statements from the Nicene Creed based upon the Word of God:
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He was seen alive by Mary Magdalene and the other women,
the disciples, and over five hundred other brethren;
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
Today, we will look at the next section of the new Nicene Creed, which reads as follows:
We believe in one holy universal and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.
In these words, we see the nature of Christ’s body, the Church. Closely tied to the influence of the Holy Spirit, which we talked about in our last message, is the work of the church in the world. Galatians 3:26-28 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” The church is universal in that all are welcome in it. Barriers that once divided men and nations melt away in the universal church.
Not only is the Church universal, but the Church is holy. The Church is set apart for the purposes of God. The Greek word used in the New Testament for church is “ek-kle-sia”, which means “called-out ones.” The church is made up of those who have been called out of the world and into the family of God.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul explains the means by which believers become members of the body of Christ. Under the Jewish system, the only way to be considered a child of God was to be extremely observant of the law. Of course, no one succeeded at doing this perfectly. However, because of the cross, we become children of God by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. As children of God and members of the body of Christ, we have a special relationship with God as a loving, caring Father.
Paul goes on to state that traditional dividing lines between Jews and Gentiles are no longer relevant. Those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb stand on equal ground at the cross. Along with Jews and Gentiles, Paul also mentions the divisions between slaves and freemen and male and female, all of which were harsh divisions during the first century. Martin Luther said, “This list might be extended indefinitely: There is neither preacher nor hearer, neither teacher nor scholar, neither master nor servant. In the matter of salvation, rank, learning, righteousness, influence, count for nothing.”
Leon Morris said, Paul “is not writing about a unity that comes about as a result of human achievement. He is saying that when people are saved by Jesus Christ they are brought into a marvelous unity, a unity between the saved and the Saviour and a unity that binds together all the saved.” In His divine providence, God saw fit to open the doors of salvation to everyone — not based on what we have done, but based on who Jesus Christ is and what He did on the cross. Thus, when we kneel at the cross, every vestige of self is torn away. Our achievements, our pride, our social status mean nothing. We are all sinners saved by grace. And, as saved and called out ones, we join in the wonderful demonstration of family and fellowship that is present in the universal Church, the Body of Christ.
Ella Bangs wrote:
O Church of God, triumphant
O’er human doubts and fears,
Which in the faith of ages
Comes marching thro’ the years;
Baptized with blood of martyrs,
With conflicts dearly won,
Beset with persecutions,
Yet ever marching on.
With backward look we see thee,
Thy scattered members few;
We see thee struggling ever
Their courage to renew;
Strong amid tribulation,
Uprising from each fall,
We see thee marching onward
Triumphant over all.
O refuge of the nations,
On thee our hope is stayed;
Thy courage thro’ the ages
Shall keep us unafraid;
And with thy strength increasing
Till earthly years are past,
God help thee to march onward
Triumphant to the last.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.