CCCNZ Ambassador Mark Grace
I do love these verses from 1 Corinthians 15:3-5:
"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, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve".
At our heart, we are a movement of independent churches working together to point people to Jesus, through the gospel from the Scriptures.
Paul never assumes the gospel is of first importance amongst the Corinthians. He knows the human condition too well.
Likewise, I can never assume the gospel is foundational in my life and ministry, but continue to ask: Is Jesus' death for sin and resurrection, according to the Scriptures, of first importance to me?
Really. Do I think from it? Do I act out of it? Do I see people in light of it? Are my politics shaped by it? Is my heart saturated with it?
So often I’m happy if the gospel is in my first 15, at other times I’m satisfied if it makes my first 11, and at other times I give myself a pat on the back if the gospel makes my top three.
We must never assume the gospel is of first importance in our churches, ministries, or workplaces.
So Paul summarises it. He states it for the Corinthians, and for himself. He speaks the gospel to their hearts, and to his heart.
Into the confusion of the Corinthian church and their troubles, Paul models the centrality and significance of the gospel by stating it; by coming back to it to show just how foundational it really is.