Gospel Terms – “Christ”

I often hear as a rebuttal to the gospel being about the Kingdom of God and the King of that Kingdom, Jesus the Messiah dying so that man might enter that Kingdom words that echo Paul’s thoughts in I Corinthians 15:1-4:

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”

So from these verses people will reason that the gospel is about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Well, the gospel does contain that information…but that is not even what Paul has said here. Paul is not pointing out that a man named “Jesus” died for the sins of others – in fact, he doesn’t even cite Jesus’ name.

What Paul delivered as of first importance (which by the way implies there are other things also) was the CHRIST did these things. The Messiah did these things. The King of the Kingdom did these things…so even in I Corinthians 15’s quick summary, Kingdom principles are evident.

It is not wise to assume that this is the summation of all Paul would preach as gospel when speaking to his hearers. Paul is leaving a lot out here that we know he preaches in other places.

Can you think of any?

How about “WHY” the Christ died for sins….that information on its own seems odd or misplaced. Paul spoke on that as we know from Acts and Romans for example.

Paul was an apostle of Christ commissioned to preach the gospel to the Gentiles by the Messiah. He would not have been speaking a message that Jesus had not commissioned him to speak, nor that Jesus would not have originated himself.

So aside from the question I’ve asked above, what is Paul saying when he says these things I Cor 15:1-4?

For more information on the Christ, check out the article: “King of the Kingdom”

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8 responses to this post.

  1. People need to hear about sin and the consequences of their sins. They need to know that they’re going to be guilty on Judgment day. Apart from that information, Jesus’ sacrifice doesn’t make much sense. Of course, a good way to do help people understand their sin is through the Ten Commandments (Romans chapter 3).

    We don’t come to Jesus for wealth and happiness. Anyone who does is probably a false convert. We come for the forgiveness of sins, and eternity in heaven.

    People puzzle over how to share the gospel, while wearing a WWJD bracelet. They come up with some goofy ideas, and all they’d have to do is read the Bible to see what Jesus did.

    Reply

  2. Bill,good points. People who come to Christ for a promise of a better life may fall away as soon as persecution comes in (just like the parable of the sower says they will). One must come to Christ because he is the only means for salvation from death in the age to come! Eventually that same person coming to Christ for self preservation will (because they have repented) begin to live life for God rather than simply to escape hellfire…this is the maturing process I believe all Christians need to go through.

    Thanks for your comments.

    By the way, how do you understand the title “Christ?”

    Talk to you soon
    -Victor

    Reply

  3. Victor,

    I believe the word Christ is Greek for anointed one, meaning the Jewish messiah.

    I assume you’re looking for something more, than that, so you tell me.

    Thanks,
    Bill

    P.S. Are you familiar with Ray Comfort and/or Way of the Master?

    Reply

  4. Hey Bill,
    I am very familiar with Ray Comfort/WOTM (as I thought you might be in light of your comments above). They have been very helpful in giving a good model for Biblical Evangelism, especially the importance of conviction and repentance.

    My question above wasn’t intended to be loaded 😉 although it looked that way, I was curious because of the initial premise of the post. When Paul and others would preach “Christ” or talk about the gospel being information about the “Christ dying for our sins etc…” what do you think that sounded like?

    Talk to you again soon I hope
    -Victor

    Reply

  5. Paul was a missionary to gentiles, and they were pretty messed up. I think he would probably start at the very beginning, and explain about God creating the universe, and have to explain everything along the way, including sin and repentance, and the last thing being Christ crucified. He would have a lot of bad information to correct before he could ever talk about Jesus.

    Bill

    Reply

  6. Acts 17:30-31 – Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

    Don’t you think this is Paul saying the same thing Jesus did when he said:

    Mark 1:14-15 – Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

    Repent because of day coming when God will judge the world through the Messiah = repent, because the Kingdom of God is at hand.

    This brings up a good point, the Kingdom of God is almost entirely neglected by the church today as the hope of a Christian and even more so as the theme of the gospel itself.

    Jesus always preached about the Kingdom, so did Peter, Paul and the others…why doesn’t their modern counterparts today?

    -Victor

    Reply

  7. Victor,

    As far as the modern pastors go, if they start out with “Jesus loves you,” then it makes no sense to say Jesus is going to judge people, and send the majority of them to hell. I guess it might make life easier to go the soft route. In the Bible, they didn’t go the soft route, and it got them plenty of enemies, and eventually martyred.

    I just found these blogs a couple of days ago, and I got into a conversation with some girl (Surface Earth). I’m not sure if blog comments are a very good medium for that kind of conversation. I think it would have gone much better in person. Check it out if you get a chance and tell me what you might have done differently.

    http://lastrow.wordpress.com/2007/02/12/when-one-is-witnessed-to/#comment-2138

    Thanks,
    Bill

    Reply

  8. It almost makes sense (depending on the level of pride or brokenness shown by the person in converation) that people should be told that Jesus is going to judge you BEFORE telling them that God loves you. I think to know that you are deathly sick AND THEN that their is a cure is going to affect that person’s lifestyle greater than on the way out the door of a checkup giving them some great tasting vitamins.

    As fas as your conversation, I think that anytime one can communicate the gospel to someone, even if only in writting, that is a good thing. You never know what written words will impress upon their heart or be in their mind that night…

    I looked at the conv…maybe they will continue the discussion…;-)

    -VG

    Reply

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