“Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you- unless you believed for no purpose.” 1 Corinthians 15:1,2
We dug right in to the study this week as we began to clarify what the gospel is and its importance in our lives as Christians. If you’re visiting the site for the first time or have decided you’d really like to be a part of this online bible study, you can find the link to order a book and other details by clicking here.
On Day 1, we defined the gospel and studied how essential and foundational it is to our faith. We explored briefly the consequences of those who preach a false gospel as well as ways our churches and culture try to add or change the message of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, the gospel is plainly stated.
“… 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 five hundred of the brothers at the same time,…Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me [Paul] ….”
Our focus on Day 2 was how the gospel saves us and from what we are saved. We read bible passages and contemplated questions concerning the realities of hell. We, also, considered our condition apart from Christ and the realization of our desperate need for salvation.
The mid-point of our week, Day 3, we looked at how the gospel makes us holy. Our focal passage was Romans 8:28-30. This passage reminds us that God’s purpose is that we would be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, His Son. By God’s grace, we will grow in holiness and be transformed.
On Day 4, we considered how the gospel sustains us. We grappled with questions about why some abandon the faith. We read the Parable of the Four Soils found in Matthew 13 and thought about the various levels of belief. We also considered how to remain faithful and persevere in belief when we are discouraged or doubtful about the things of God. Paul encouraged the Philippian church in their faith with these words.
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:4-6
We do not need to trust in our own strength for faithfulness which is fallible. We only need to trust in God’s power that He will uphold us and carry us to the finish line of the work He began in us. God will, no matter the circumstances in our life, enable and sustain us in faith.
Day 5, we studied how the gospel is for life. In our key memorization passage, 1 Corinthians 15:1,2, Matt Chandler points out that Paul was writing to Christians. His questions posed to us were: “Why would Paul preach the gospel to Christians — those who have already believed the gospel? Is there a principle there for us in the church today? Why might we need to hear the gospel over and over again?” His point is that the gospel is for all of life. We are to live gospel-centered lives.
Questions to Ponder
- What is most important in the Christian life?
- Do you agree with Matt Chandler that the gospel is for all of life? Why or why not?
- Have you ever been asked to share your salvation story?
- Is it easier or harder to grow in grace-driven holiness rather than works-driven holiness? If growth occurs, does it matter how you got there?
- Can we trust in our own strength to persevere in faith?
- What would change in your life if you lived entirely gospel-centered?
We’re off to a great start! I’m so glad you’ve joined in!
Begin the lessons for Week 2.