Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
We are habitual forgetters.
• Friend’s story of scheduling test and then forgetting to do it
• Clair Sauer’s story of forgetting to turn in the driveway of client
• Easter Monday 6 a.m. story of forgetting to lock doors
• Paul wrote to a church he had helped to plan and disciple. A church he had preached the Gospel to. He writes to remind them of the Gospel he already shared. Urges them to remember, receive, take stand in Gospel.
• We know how uncomfortable we feel when we eat too much, and then we forget. We know how stupid we get when we drink too much and then we forget. We know the damage we do when we lose our temper and then we forget. We know the blessings of quiet time with the Lord and then we forget. We know the beauty of our Lord’s Supper and then we forget. We know the value of confessing our sins and then we forget. We know the death and resurrection of Jesus is of first importance, and then we forget.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Sin is the elevation of anything other than God, to ultimate.
• God is creator of all and knower of all. He knows where every star is. He knows the orbits around the solar system that planets travel. Every cell, every atom, every thought, every event, he knows. He knows every event at every level of happening and how those events play into other events and lad into other events and other events at every level of those events happening and how it flows throughout all eternity. And He never has a headache over any of it.
• Just think about what gives us headaches. 8 grandchildren spending 6 hours at my house, eating candy and drinking juice and crumbling crackers and sticky fingers and doing dishes and eating too much and worried about picking stuff up and is the house clean and is everybody having a good time and when can I take my Advil and go to bed.
• Dave Ramsey’s point that you can buy fun but not happiness. Matt Chandler writes, “So in the end, sin is when I say, “Money is what I’m after. It’s what I’m all about. It’s what I’m going to get. It’s what my life’s about. It’s the air I breathe, it’s what I want. It’s the sole purpose of my existence.” Monday is not evil, but by making money ultimate, you’ve fallen into sin. We can do the same thing with sex, we can do the same thing with family, we can do the same thing with marriage. Those things are not of first importance. They are secondary.
• We belittle God when we make secondary stuff primary. In a book, “Death by Suburb”, the author writes, “Soccer is dumb when your wife is dying of cancer.” How perpetually ignorant do we look when death is coming for us, but we’re spending every hour of every day accumulating our trinkets and then organizing our trinkets and putting up shelving to store more of our trinkets and then sifting through and sorting out and selling some of those trinkets so we can buy even more of our trinkets and eventually passing along our trinkets to children and grandchildren who already have more trinkets than they want? Nothing against trinkets, or sports or success or entertainment or any of that, but as often as it gets to be ultimate, it’s sin.
God’s reaction to our sin is to see to it that His Son is crucified, dead and buried.
• He creates hell as a just and right response to our sin, but that’s not sufficient. God’s is to have mercy, and so he sets into order the Levitical system, the Day of Atonement, two lambs. The one gets stabbed in the throat and drained of its blood. And then this other one gets prayed over and all the sins of Israel go on this goat and they release it into the wilderness and call it the scapegoat.
• Then God shows up in the flesh. He orders history in such a way that Jesus gets His blood drained and carries away the sins of the world. So, what is of first importance? The sacrificial, ransoming, expiating, propitiating cross of Jesus Christ. That’s what.
The resurrection of Christ changes everything
• It proves:
1) That all of Scripture is true
2) That Jesus is Who He says He is
3) That the Father has accepted the sacrifice of His Son once and for all
4) That because He lives, so also does Jason Crouch/ Larry Oelke/ Bonita Flemming live.
5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy 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 toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
• The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ changed Peter from a champion forgetter to a servant could not forget and therefore spending his days thanking and praising, serving and obeying.
1) Peter was a champion forgetter. One minute he was correctly confessing that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. The next Jesus was calling him Satan and telling him to get out of his way.
2) One minute he was drawing his sword / cutting off a guy’s ear / talking big about how he would stand with Jesus and never ever ever deny His Master. The next he was swearing like a drunken sailor that He never even met this Jesus. What could have possibly happened that turns this frightened, arrogant man into the father of the church, who in the end is no longer afraid but allows himself to be crucified upside down? The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed Peter. That’s what happened.
• The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus changed James. What’s amazing about James is that he was the brother of Jesus and at one point he thought Jesus was crazy and wanted nothing to do with him. Post-resurrection, we find James worshiping Jesus as God, leading the church in Jerusalem and willing to be martyred.
• The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has the potential to change every one of your days / conversations / chapters of life for the better.
1) As often as you remember who God is and how majestic is His Name, that often your lousy attitudes will give way to praise and exaltation.
2) As often as you remember all that He has done for you in the person and work of Jesus Christ, that often your misplaced and wrong priorities will give way to that which is of first importance.
3) As often as you search the Holy Scriptures and use your ears to hear what God is wanting to say, that often the forgiveness of sins will be able to sweep over your soul and make you stand up straight and tall in the glory of the empty tomb.
4) As often as you admit that you have fallen short, believe that Jesus is your Savior and dine at your Lord’s Table with a desire to get life right, that often you will be proclaiming the death and the resurrection of Christ until He comes again. That often your faith will be strengthened. That often your neighbors will be blessed. That often all will be well with your soul.
Worship Sermons & Letters
Pastor Paul Muther