The Gospel

I Corinthians 15:1-4  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:


If you don’t know what the gospel is, this passage makes it very clear.  The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This is the good news.


There are some points we want to notice this morning about the gospel.

  1. The word “moreover” in verse 1, and the gospel is what saves, IF we keep in memory, unless we have believed in vain.
  2. The definition of the gospel, according to the scriptures.


The word “moreover” in verse 1.

The gospel is what saved, IF we keep in memory, unless we have believed in vain.


This word is referring to the past chapters of I Corinthians.  This book is written to the local church of the Lord Jesus Christ which is located Corinth.  This church had a lot of problems, and Paul writes to them, showing how they can correct their problems and be right before God.

Chapter 12-14 is speaking about spiritual gifts.  Chapter 12 explains that there are many different spiritual gifts in the church at Corinth, and that everybody ought to understand that point.  Nobody is special, just because they have a gift another person doesn’t have, but God has given to each person their gift for the benefit of others.  Paul explains that just as the human body has many different members, so the church at Corinth has many different members, and each member has it own special talent.  Each member of the human body isn’t the same, but each member works with every other member for the benefit of the entire body.

Chapter 13 explains that all spiritual gifts are nothing if they are not performed with love.  A person can be full of generosity, but if they don’t have love in their generosity, they have nothing.  A person can be full of prophesy, understanding all mysteries, full of faith, and knowledge, but if they don’t have love, their spiritual gift will be nothing at all. 

Chapter 14 Paul continues to explain the right use of spiritual gifts.  The church at Corinth had evidently misused the spiritual gifts given to them, (and particularly, the gift of speaking in other languages) so Paul spends an entire chapter explaining that when spiritual gifts are used contrary to scripture, the church isn’t edified or helped, and the witness of the church in the community is hurt.  Paul concludes chapter 14 by stating that all things should be done decently and in order.  God is not a God of confusion, but of order.

The word “moreover” in I Cor. 15:1, is continuative; we might use the word “also”.  What Paul is saying and the language he is using gives the thought that gifts are important in each local church, but if a person doesn’t have the gospel in their heart, if they aren’t saved, then the gifts mean nothing at all. 

Listen to I Corinthians 15:1-2, “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.”  Paul is saying the most important thing is not spiritual gifts, but salvation.  Paul is stating that it is entirely possible for a person to portray all kinds of spiritual gifts in their life, without having Christ in their hearts. 

As humans, we cannot see into the hearts of any other individual.  We can only see the external evidence that appears in their body.  When a person says they are saved, we believe what they are saying until the evidence revealed in their life proves otherwise.  That is all we can go by, but each individual ought to check out themselves to see if they really have Christ, or if they have believed in vain.

II Peter 2:10-11 states, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  Each person must determine for themselves how they stand before God, and they must not use external evidence, but they must use internal evidence. 

Romans 8:9 states, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  Each individual must examine their own selves to see if the spirit of God is within them, for if they have been saved by the grace of Almighty God, the Holy Spirit if there. 

I John 4:1 states, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  So every person must also try the spirit within themselves (by using the Word of God) to make certain Satan has not fooled them.

It would be terrible for a person to believe they are saved, yet are lost, and to wind up in an eternal hell.  Read Matthew 7:21-23“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Here are people that have worked for Jesus, they have prophesied (preached) in the name of Christ, they have cast out devils, they have done many wonderful works, yet Jesus declares to them that he never knew them.  Please understand, these people know Jesus, but he doesn’t know them.  You may know who Jesus is, but does Jesus know you?  [1]

What is the gospel?

The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which happened “according to the gospel.”


[1] Preached to here Radio Broadcast 05/26/02 KWRE