TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
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:
Regarding First Corinthians 15, David Guzik said, “The word gospel means ‘good news.’ As the word was used in ancient times, it didn’t have to describe the message of salvation in Jesus Christ; it could describe any good news. But the best news ever is that we can be saved from the punishment we deserve from God because of what Jesus did for us.”
On this Monday of Holy Week, we are continuing our unique 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. Not only are we talking about the power of Easter and Resurrection Sunday, but 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.
Let’s start by reading the Nicene Creed:
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.
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 our last message, we looked at the first few lines of the Nicene Creed which tell us about the nature of God, specifically His uniqueness, omnipotence, and sovereignty. The next few lines of the Nicene Creed tell us about Jesus Christ: “We believe… 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.” From these few words, we see three important facts about Jesus Christ, the focus of Holy Week.
First, we see the eternality of Jesus Christ. Jesus was “begotten from the Father before all ages,” that is before time began. According to Luke 2:11, when Jesus was born, the angels declared to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” The coming of Jesus Christ had been promised for hundreds of years. Yet, Jesus Christ did not come into existence when He was born in Bethlehem. Jesus was in existence “before all ages” just like God the Father.
David Mathis said, “Christmas does indeed mark a conception and a birth. For mere humans, no doubt, such is the stuff of our origins. Prior to earthly beginnings, we simply did not exist. But it is not so with the Son of God. According to Micah 5:2, Jesus’ ‘coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.’ Unlike every other human birth, Christmas was not a beginning, but a becoming. Christmas wasn’t His start, but His commission. He was not created; He came. No other human in the history of the world shares in this peculiar glory. As remarkable as Jesus’ virgin birth is, His preexistence sets Him apart even more distinctively, even as he is fully human.”
Jesus’ eternality negates any of the secular ideas about Jesus being an ordinary man who achieved a high level of spiritual insight and transcendance. Jesus is not a mortal who rose up into the divine plane; Jesus came down to man; He came into time out of eternity.
Second, we see the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. He is the “only Son of God” — emphasis on “only.” Hebrews 1:6 says, “When he [God] bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Jesus is not one among many; there is no one else like Him. John 3:16 calls Him the “only begotten Son.” The Greek word translated ‘only begotten’ is “monogenes.” It literally means ‘one of a kind’ while at the same time showing that Jesus is of the very same essence as the Father.
The apologist Norman Geisler points out: “Jesus Christ was unique in that he alone, of all who ever lived, was both God and man. The New Testament teaches the fully unified deity and humanity of Christ. The Nicene Creed states the uniform belief of all orthodox Christianity that Christ was fully God and fully man in one person. All heresies regarding Christ deny one or both of these propositions. This as a claim alone makes Him unique above all other religious leaders or persons who have ever lived, and it can be backed up with factual evidence.”
If Jesus were not unique, He would be just one of many religious leaders with similar teachings about how to get to Heaven. But Jesus — completely eternal, completely unique — leaves us no room to contemplate Him as one of many. He stands alone.
Third, we see the nature of Jesus. He is “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God…of the same essence as the Father.” In John 14:9, Jesus says to Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” Jesus’ nature is that of His Father. He is complete God, complete light, complete truth. Every attribute that Scriptures apply to God are also applied to Jesus.
No one in their right mind would claim to be God. But Jesus did. He told the Jews who wanted to know who He was, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Here, Jesus was not just describing His eternality. By using “I AM,” the name by which God revealed Himself the nation of Israel, Jesus was claiming for Himself all of the attributes of the Heavenly Father as a part of His own nature.
Apologist and professor J. Warner Wallace said, “All worldviews have distinctive beliefs and characteristics distinguishing them from other ways of viewing the world. Christianity is no different. When it comes to the nature of Jesus, the Deity of Christ is a Christian essential. It has been affirmed by believers over the centuries based on the reliable eyewitness testimony of those who saw Jesus rise from the dead. Jesus was all man and all God and as part of the triune Godhead, Jesus is the uncreated Creator of the universe. As bold and exclusive as this claim may seem, it is the defining and distinctive teaching of the Bible. To reject the nature of Jesus is to reject the clear teaching of the Scriptures.”
This Easter season, we reaffirm our belief in the eternal, unique Son of God, Jesus Christ who is the “express image of the Father.
Edward Perronet said,
All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Crown Him, ye morning stars of light,
Who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Sinners, whose love can never forget
The wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Let every tribe and every tongue
Before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song
The crownèd Lord of all.
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 [email protected] 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.