Great Gospel Texts: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

That’s the main thing!” Sometimes the expression is used almost thoughtlessly after statements such as “At least we had fun!” or “I got my money’s worth out of it.”

When Paul had been in Corinth about five years earlier, he preached the main thing. Now he reminds them of that fundamental truth. He had proclaimed it among them “as of first importance … that Christ died for our sins … that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1Co 15:3-4 ESV).

When your life is summed up, from cradle to coffin, the main thing will not be how much money you made or how much fun you had but whether you knew, personally, that Christ died for your sins.

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was according to the Scriptures. Paul was not peddling sensational news from the street nor speculation from philosophers. What Paul had preached in Corinth was in agreement with the Old Testament Scriptures. A virgin had borne a son whose name was Immanuel (Isa 7:14), God with us! The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Him (Isa 11:2), and He taught in parables (Psa 78:2). Yet He was despised and rejected of men; He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities (Isa 53:3,5). When He died and was buried, God did not let His body see corruption (Psa 16:10), but He was raised to be a living Savior to all who put their trust in Him! What the OT predicted, Paul preached.

Christ died for our sins. Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, the sin nature has infected every person ever born. Because of sin, we are at enmity with God. We don’t naturally please God nor delight in godliness. We naturally please ourselves and set up our own standard of morality and righteousness. But when measured against God’s holy standard, we fall miserably short; no one is exempt. Regardless of race, gender or socio-economic status, in God’s courtroom we’ve all been found guilty and are awaiting our sentencing of eternal separation from God into hell and the lake of fire. Unless a blood sacrifice is found, we will certainly perish.

But listen to the words of hope: Christ died for our sins! The very thing that separated me from God – my sin – Christ died to remove that I might be saved from wrath to come.

Christ not only died, but He was buried and was raised on the third day. The work was done, and death was defeated, so God raised Him out of death and seated Him at His own right hand. His resurrection guarantees that those who trust Him will also one day be raised out of death and be forever with Him.

In the humdrum of life – the bills to pay, the children to care for, the classes, the trips, the relationships, the work – make sure you have the main thing. Life on earth is temporary; your body is dying, thanks to sin working out its effects within you. When your body lies cold and silent and your soul stands before God, make sure you have the main thing – that Christ died for your sins. Otherwise, you will have lived in vain.