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  • Jide Lawal

The Most Important Part of the Message

- Jide Lawal, RBTC Instructor, Aspects of Grace


We live in an age where it seems we must process so much data. Before we wake up, there are already hundreds of text messages, emails, and notifications on our phones. Poring through them to see which ones are important can be a chore, especially because more messages join them throughout the day.


The Spirit of God inspired Paul to remind the Corinthians to reflect again on what is most important. As he writes in 1.Corinthians: “…I want you to remember the message I preached and that you believed and trusted. You will be saved by this message, if you hold firmly to it… I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. This part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. He was buried, and three days later, he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say (1.Corinthians 15:1-4, CEV).


Paul told them “the most important part of the message”. Maybe we should focus on this too!


So, what do the Scriptures teach about the death of Christ for our sins and His resurrection?


  1. The death and resurrection of Christ were necessary.

During his missionary journeys, Paul would go into the synagogues and reason with people out of the Scriptures about the necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection. “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them… alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead…” (Acts 17:2-3, KJ2000).


Before Christ died, God was healing the sick, making poor people rich, opening the wombs of the barren, and so on. God didn’t need Christ to die before He could provide blessings like these for man. So why did Christ need to die?


Christ needed to die, because:

  1. Man needed to be bought back.

  2. Man needed a New Ancestor.

  3. Man needed the curse on the earth to be reversed.

  4. God wanted a family that would share His nature.


  1. The death and resurrection of Christ were real.

The death and resurrection of Christ was such a notorious fact in Judea that Paul could present it to the rulers of the day as undeniable, years after the event. In Acts chapters 24-26 we see Paul standing before Felix, then Festus, then Agrippa and testifying of Jesus’ death and resurrection.


Acts 25:13-14, 19 - “And after some days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to greet Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix … [whose accusers] had certain questions against him of their own religion, and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive” (KJ2000).


Acts 26:8 & 26 - “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

… For the king knows of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner” (KJ2000).


  1. The death and resurrection of Christ were efficacious.

Efficacy is the ability to produce a desired or intended result, and the death and the resurrection of Christ worked. They produced the desired result:

  1. Propitiation – Christ’s Sacrifice appeased the wrath of God.

  2. Regeneration – Christ’s Sacrifice produced a New Creature.

  3. Justification – Christ’s Sacrifice produced righteous men and women.

  4. Reconciliation – Christ’s Sacrifice changed us from being God’s enemies to being God’s friends.


We are saved when we come to terms with what He did for us, and express faith in Him. We will be judged based on our acceptance or rejection of His Work (Acts 17:30-31). Repentance as a concept is useless to the unbeliever, outside of expressing faith in what Christ did for him. Hear Paul: “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:20-21, KJ2000).


We show repentance towards God by expressing faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is what distinguishes our faith from other belief systems that merely exhort men to repent from sin or say that Jesus was merely a good teacher. When we preach a gospel that does not emphasise His sacrifice, we regress into the emptiness of those religions.


Perhaps preachers need to make sure they explain the gospel when preaching, and not assume that the unbeliever has already heard it all before. Let’s continue to deliver this heart-changing doctrine (Romans 6:17).

And “as you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7, KJ2000).


Thank God for the necessity, the reality, and efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice!


Continue in grace!



 

Aspects of Grace

This course presents a balanced perspective into how the grace of God operates in the believer’s life. It explains the meaning, usage and effects of the different aspects of the grace of God - such as saving grace, serving grace, standing grace - and how to access them/these graces.

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