TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
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:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet 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 which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Regarding First Corinthians 15:1-11, Philip Schaff said, “Observe what the primitive apostolic Gospel consisted of: a connected series of historical facts, the story of Christ’s life in its main features — dying for our sins according to the Scriptures; His resurrection from the dead attested by a multitude of competent witnesses; His ascension and session at the right hand of God; and His final coming again to judge the quick and the dead. In this historical sense, our Lord Himself had used the word Gospel.”
Today, we are continuing our 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. In this series, 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.
Regarding the importance of creeds in the church, R. Scott Clark said, “It is true that there are churches and even entire denominations that have relegated the ecumenical creeds and confessions to the museum or to the dustbin. In such cases, the fault lies not with the creeds and confessions but with infidelity. For those congregations and denominations that still believe God’s Word as it was understood in the ancient church and in the Reformation, the creeds and confessions are the living voice of the church’s understanding of God’s Word on the most important issues of Christian doctrine and living.”
In this series, we have looked at the following factual statements from the Nicene Creed based upon the Word of God:
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.
Today, we will continue looking the final section of the new Nicene Creed, which reads as follows:
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 the third to last line of the creed — “We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins” — we see an emphasis on the forgiveness of sins. Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Sin is the problem that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. God, in His grace and mercy, decided not to destroy us immediately, but to do everything in His power to draw us back to Himself. But, since God is just and holy, sin has to be paid for.
The Hebrew word translated “forgiven” in the Old Testament is unique because it gives us a unique meaning of forgiveness that is often lost in preaching and teaching from the New Testament. This Hebrew word, nasa, means: “to bear, to take and carry away.” When we are forgiven by God, our sins are not simply blotted out into non-existence in God’s eyes. Something happens to our sins. They are picked up and carried away by Christ. That is what happened on the cross. Jesus picked up our sins, put them on His own shoulders, and carried them away,
R.C. Sproul said, “The guilt we have incurred objectively for breaking God’s law and the guilt we feel subjectively as a result make up the heaviest burden that will ever weigh upon us. Knowing that we have offended an infinitely holy Lord is something none of us can finally suppress. Despite our best efforts to ignore our sinful condition, in our heart of hearts we always know that we are guilty of not meeting God’s standard. Until we receive forgiveness from our Creator, we feel dirty and defiled, and the only solution is the cleansing that is available through forgiveness.”
This forgiveness is only available to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Acts 10:43 says, “All the prophets give witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” The Greek word translated “remission” means: “release from bondage or imprisonment; forgiveness or pardon of sin; letting them go as if they had never been committed.” Until Jesus Christ came and paid for our sins on the cross, no man had ever experienced complete forgiveness from God. God, in His grace and mercy, had overlooked sins. God also allowed His wrath to be satiated or satisfied by the sacrifice of animals on altars. But, complete forgiveness — being proclaimed as innocent — had never been done before.
In Luke 7, Jesus Christ told the sinful woman who came to wash His feet, “Thy sins are forgiven.” It caused quite a stir among the religious professionals who were in the room. They could not imagine sins being forgiven without a sacrifice or offering. But when Jesus came on the scene, He began to declare forgiveness of sins because He was the lamb of God who would be sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. And, our sins — all of our sins — are as good as dead because of the forgiveness we receive when we receive the gift of what John Piper called the “gradual, final, and victorious eradication of our sins’ Through Jesus Christ, we can be seen as perfect, as innocent, as sinless in God’s sight because Jesus bore and carried away our sins on the cross.
Isaac Watts wrote:
Happy the man to whom his God
No more imputes his sin,
But, washed in the Redeemer’s blood,
Hath made his garments clean!
His spirit hates deceit and lies,
His words are all sincere;
He guards his heart, he guards his eyes,
To keep his conscience clear.
Happy beyond expression he
Whose debts are thus discharged;
And from the guilty bondage free,
He feels his soul enlarged.
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.