Of First Importance

Has anyone ever asked you whether or not you’re “saved” or “born again”? Have you ever wondered exactly what Christians mean when they ask these questions? First of all, let’s get something straight: The primary message of the Bible is good news. What is this Good News?

The good news is what the Bible calls “The Gospel.” “Gospel” simply means “Good News.” One of the clearest statements in the Bible about this good news is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians for several reasons, but in chapter 15 he was wanting to clearly explain the “gospel”—the heart of the Christian message. He wrote,

Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Notice that it is “by this gospel you are saved.” Saved from what? Sin. Sin is the bad news. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), and the penalty, the result of that is death or eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). But, if you “hold firmly” to this gospel; if you believe it, you can be saved from the penalty of sin. Paul goes on to explain the substance of that gospel:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time…

Notice four important points Paul made:

  • This gospel is “of first importance”. It is the heart of the Christian message.
  • The gospel message—the good news—is that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead!
  • He did these things “according to the Scriptures.” The Old Testament had predicted that the Messiah would die and then rise from the dead. Jesus fulfilled these promises as proof of who He is.
  • He was buried to prove that He really died, and He appeared to more than 500 people to prove that He really rose from the dead. His death was a demonstration of His love for us. His resurrection was a demonstration that He was—and is—God.

Do you believe this good news? To “believe” is far more than just knowing who Jesus is and what He has done. It’s even more than acknowledging that Jesus was a real person who really died for your sins and really rose from the dead. Believing—as that word is used in the Bible—means “trust”—trusting in Christ and Christ alone to save you. To trust Him is to put your life—your eternal destiny—in His hands.

Trust is what you do when you get on an airplane. Imagine the next time you fly, something unusual happens. You meet the pilot and check out his credentials to fly that airplane. You are convinced he is the best pilot in the world and you are perfectly safe in his airplane. But you still haven’t demonstrated your faith in that pilot until you get on the plane, buckle up and put your life in his hands. That’s the kind of trust we must have in Jesus Christ. We absolutely need to discover intellectually who He is and come to the place that we accept that He is the Son of God who died for our sins and rose from the dead that we might have eternal life through Him. But each of us must take that final step of faith: we must trust Him with our eternal destiny. The Bible tells us Jesus is the only flight—He is the only one qualified to get us there.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Are you trusting Him alone? Or, are you trusting in your own goodness, your own religious activity or your own ideas? Jesus Himself promised that you can know for sure that you are “saved”. Take a look at John 5:24(Jesus talking):

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Did you “hear” His word? In other words, did you read or hear the Gospel message that He died for your sins and rose from the dead? Did you “believe” – did you trust Jesus to save you? If so, Jesus’ own words tell us that you have “eternal life” and you will “not come into judgment” and you have “passed out of death into life.” You are saved!

We invite you to contact us and let us know if you have any questions, or if you have believed this great good news. If you have believed and are trusting Christ alone for salvation, there is something very important you need to know. We look forward to hearing from you.