1 Corinthians 15:1-2, “1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”
The good news of Jesus is received, the good news of Jesus is where we stand, and the good news of Jesus is where we find life. In verse 2 the Apostle Paul writes the phrase, “by which you are saved.”
Listen to me, Jesus not only saves us from sin, but we are also saved to life. Yes, Jesus conquers our sin through His life, death, and resurrection. Yes, Jesus brings eternal life in heaven. But, Jesus also brings life today.
The Corinthian church was believing this lie that this physical life of pleasure, power, and purpose is all there is, so while we are here we need to try to get as much as we can out of life.
But, the Apostle Paul is writing the Corinthian church to say, “No, in Jesus Christ there is life.” In Jesus Christ you are not only saved from the past, saved to the future, but saved from the shame of today, anxiety of today, fear of today, loneliness of today, the boredom of today, and there is a full life available in Jesus today!
In our church family we see the gospel leading men, women, and children to work through hard conversations with one another, extend forgiveness, and experience reconciliation. We see the gospel bearing fruit in our men, women, and children to dig up idols and lies that rob them of the life they have in Jesus Christ.
We see the gospel leading men, women and children to sacrifice pleasures of this world to give financially to the Kingdom of God at work in our city. We see the gospel leading men, women and children to find such fullness of life in Jesus that they have capacity and desire to serve other people in our city. Praise God! Men, women, and children are finding life in Jesus today.
Listen, please don’t misunderstand. I am not saying Jesus will remove all your problems and make everything easy. That’s not what Scripture is teaching at all.
But, Jesus does bring peace that is beyond comprehension. Jesus brings boldness and power that doesn’t bully. Jesus brings wisdom with humility. Jesus softens hearts. Jesus takes off rough edges. Jesus brings healing from addictions.
Jesus saves us from the pressure of being amazing moms, because He is the One who ultimately cares for our children. Jesus brings salvation of finding the perfect careers, because Jesus is our ultimate identity and provider.
Jesus brings us salvation of how many shares and likes, and follows we receive in social media, because Jesus says, “I love you. I will never leave you, and I will be with you always.” Jesus brings life.
And then the Apostle Paul delivers the phrase, “Unless you believed in vain.” Doesn’t that sound ominous? Some of you were probably wonder, “Are we going to talk about that phrase?”
The reality is that in the Corinthian church, and I am sure in North Village Church there are men, women, and children who have been exposed to the good news of Jesus Christ, and yet they never really receive, stand firm, and taste of the full life that is available.
I am not sure how that happens, but there are men, women, and children who know all the external “Jesus” things, and even do all the external “Jesus” things, and somehow never really know Jesus.
Therefore, the warning delivered by the Apostle Paul isn’t to bring condemnation, but the warning is intended to prod the reader by the power of the Spirit to examine our faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and ask ourselves, “Do I believe? Have I received? Am I tasting of the life that is in Christ?”
If not, the response is to receive Jesus today. Profess with your mouth that there is a Man who claimed to be God in the flesh, and He was put to death, buried, and then He wasn’t.
He wasn’t resuscitated. He wasn’t revived. He literally conquered death, raised in glory, and He has come to bring life that is beyond anything we can imagine.