Monday, April 25, 2011


I heard this on TV Sunday morning. I decided to post it today and had to wait until it was posted on the website. Prayerfully, I will return to the budget series tomorrow.


“The Gospel

I Corinthians 5: 1-5

Each year the world turns its eyes toward Jerusalem, to remember the most important event of all history. Hello, I’m Phil Sanders and this is a Bible study, ‘In SEARCH of the Lord’s Way.’ I’m excited about our study today, so stay with us.

Hello, I’m Phil Sanders and we’re here to search God’s Word for the Lord’s Way. We’re interested in being like the noble Bereans of Acts 17 and verse 11, who examined the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul was teaching was true. We want to know the truth, and the Scriptures give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And for this reason, we regard the Scriptures, the Holy Scriptures, as the standard by which we judge all our beliefs and practices. We hope you too want to know the truth. We hope you’ll join with us each week in this noble search for the Lord’s Way.

You might think I was talking about Easter a moment ago, as an important event, but the celebration of Easter as a holiday is not really a Biblical matter. Easter as a holiday arose many years after the Bible was written. No, I have no interest in bunnies or eggs or the traditions of men. On the other hand, the Bible devotes many chapters in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John along with many verses in the New Testament to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are the most important events in all history, but they are also most important to you and the future of your soul.

The cross of Christ reveals the worst of men and the best of God. On the cross Jesus became sin that we might become righteous, He became poor that we might be rich, and became obedient that we might have life. Jesus died on the cross that He might live again. God raised Him from the dead to declare to all that Jesus was His Son. Because He lived again, we have hope of life beyond the grave. Because He lives, we can have confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior. Oh, nothing is more important than the gospel story of His death and resurrection.

We offer copies of this program free. If you would like a transcript, a CD or tape of this study or those in the past, mail your request to In Search of the Lord’s Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083 or e-mail us at Or, call our toll-free telephone number. That number is 1 (800) 321-8633. We also stream this program on our website at The Edmond church will now worship in song, and then we’ll read from 1 Corinthians 15 verses 1 to 5.

Our reading today from God’s Holy Word, comes from the Epistle of Paul 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 1 to 5. ‘Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He arose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.’ That’s a reading from God’s Word. Let’s pray together. Heavenly Father, we’re so thankful that Jesus was willing to die for our sins. And we are so grateful that you caused him to be raised from the dead, that we might have hope of eternal life. Help us to love you and to live for you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

The word gospel means ‘good news,’ and the gospel is indeed good news for everyone. We’ve all heard good news at some point in our lives. It might be a doctor’s report of good health or a successful surgery. It might be the announcement of a birth, a marriage, a new job, or some victory. We rejoice at good news. The greatest news, however, is the good news that God reveals to us about our salvation from sin and our future hope in heaven. You’ll never hear a message more important and more necessary for you to know.

You can lose your health and still go to heaven. You can lose every penny you have and still be right with God. You can lose every loved one you treasure, and still have the love of God. But if you lose your soul to sin, all your money, all your good health, and all your loved ones cannot save you. The gospel is your hope of forgiveness and your hope for eternal life. There are no substitutes for the gospel of Jesus Christ, nor is there hope from some other source. And that’s why the gospel is so vital to you.

The inspired apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 3 to 5, ‘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, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.’ Paul’s message was not his alone. He received it from God and faithfully delivered everywhere he preached. In Galatians 1: verses 11 and 12, Paul said, ‘For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.’

Now he said some things were of first importance. It’s not that other things were not important to know or even necessary, but these things were of first importance. First, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. Now all of the Old Testament looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. That a man died on a cross is sad news, but this message that He died in order to atone for our sins is something that we cannot ignore. We need God’s forgiveness to be right with Him and to be able to enter eternal life in heaven.

First Peter 2 and verse 24 says, ‘that He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.’ We can never say too much about all the love and grace the Lord Jesus showed us when He died upon the cross.

Sin is not some small problem that will go away by itself. Sin is the most critical problem we face. Sin will cost us our souls. Sin ruins lives, breaks up homes, and separates people from God our Father. The Bible says in Isaiah 59: verses 1 and 2, ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.’

The second thing that has first importance is ‘that He was buried.’ They buried Jesus in a tomb after they took Him down from the cross. Pilate would not allow Him to be buried until the soldiers verified that He had died. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepared his body for burial, and He was placed in Joseph’s new tomb.

Sin causes us to die in sin, and of course we die in sin, by spiritually separating us from God. Physical death is when the body and the spirit are separated. Spiritual death takes place when we are separated from God and His grace. Spiritual death means we are lost in sin and have no hope of eternal life. Many people don’t know they are dead in sin and that they need a new life. The Bible describes people who are spiritually dead and lost in sin. The church at Ephesus needed reminding, and so do many of us. Ephesians 2 and verse 12 says, ‘Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.’ That is what it means to be dead in sin; we have no hope and no God to help in times of trouble.

The third thing that has first importance is ‘that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.’ The prophet and king David, said about the resurrection in Psalm 16 verses 8 to 11. That the body of Jesus did not undergo decay, because He came out of the grave victorious over death. Death couldn’t hold Him! You remember Romans 6 verses 8 and 9 says, ‘Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death is no longer master over Him.’ Because Jesus conquered death, you and I can have confidence of life beyond the grave. Romans 8 and verse 11 says, ‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.’ Because Jesus arose, we believe we can be raised from the dead on the last day.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is vital to our faith. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 16 to 17, ‘For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.’ The resurrection gives us hope for eternal life. Without this hope we have nothing. Again the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15 verse 19, ‘If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.’ But Jesus did rise from the dead, and we can have confidence in our forgiveness and in our resurrection.

The fourth thing that has first importance is ‘that He appeared’ to the disciples. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 5 to 8, ‘that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, (Paul said that) he appeared also to me.’ Now if Paul had lied, people were alive to have caught him in that lie. Jesus did not merely appear to a few; He appeared to hundreds!

The Bible says this in Luke’s opening to the book of Acts. Acts 1: 1 to 3 says Jesus ‘presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.’ Now the Lord Jesus had to prove His resurrection to His disciples. They despaired and doubted at first, but Jesus showed Himself alive with many convincing proofs. And so convinced were they that nothing could keep them quiet. They went everywhere preaching Jesus as Lord, risen from the dead. And they couldn’t stop speaking what they had seen and heard. (Acts 4 and verse 20)

Now this message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus cries to us and it awaits an answer. You see, the gospel demands a response. I don’t understand how anyone could hear these precious, life-changing truths and then walk away in apathy. When the disciples preached Jesus, they preached with urgency, because they wanted to persuade people to follow the Lord Jesus. They took abuse, they endured persecution, they abandoned everything to preach Jesus crucified for our sins and risen from the dead.

And even when they had been persecuted for their faith, everyday they went to the temple and from house to house and kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. (Acts 5 and verse 42) Paul said in Romans 1 verse 5, that he ‘received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith.’ Later on he said, knowing the fear of the Lord, Paul sought to persuade people to come to Christ. (2 Corinthians 5 and verse 11) You see, they realized the urgency of their message and how it affected people’s souls and their eternity. And so nothing silenced them!

The Bible makes it clear how the gospel message captured their hearts and their lives. 1 Corinthians 15 verses 1 and 2 says, ‘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.’ You see, they knew they must not let anything stop this message from making a difference in their lives.

The gospel was a ‘preached’ message, it was preached good news. 1 Corinthians 1 verse 21 says, ‘For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.’ They proclaimed to everyone who would listen, because they knew that this message could save souls and give them eternal life.

And people ‘received’ this good news. That is, they welcomed or accepted it as the truth. They let its message sink deep into their hearts and they acted upon it. Now not everyone accepts Jesus as risen Lord, but those who do will be blessed. When the inspired apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, people listened to his message and responded.

Oh, they were guilt-ridden because they knew they were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, whom God had made both Lord and Christ. And so they cried out, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Now this is an important question, and perhaps you too should be asking what to do in response to the message of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Peter answered them and said in Acts 2: 38, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ He pleaded with them! Acts 2 and verse 40 says, ‘And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’’ Well, verse 41 gives the response, ‘So then those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.’

Early Christians didn’t merely agree Jesus is the risen Lord, they took a ‘stand’ on the good news. They denied themselves, and took up their crosses daily, and followed Jesus. Though popular opinion was against them, they kept right on preaching. Though the authorities punished them, they kept right on preaching Jesus as the Christ. Though some were imprisoned and others died for their faith, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus. (And as the book of Acts says throughout the book, they preached JESUS CHRIST and HIM crucified, buried, and raised from the dead BOLDLY!!!—my addition)

They knew they would be saved by His message if they ‘held fast to the word He preached.’ The Lord Jesus predicted that his followers would face serious problems. He said in Matthew 10 verses 21 to 22, ‘Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.’

My friend, what about you? Have you received this marvelous good news of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross for your sins and His resurrection from the dead. Have you taken your stand on it? Have you held fast to the gospel or have you fallen away from the Lord and quit the church? The gospel is crying out for you to listen and to respond to it in faith. I hope and pray you will today.

Let’s pray. Oh Father, may each of us hear the gospel and receive it into our hearts. And may we be obedient to it, so that we may please you. Father, we love you and we’re thankful for your grace and mercy. This we pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Since Jesus rose from the dead, He is truly Worthy of your faith and confidence. The gospel is crying out to you today to take your stand on Him and to hold fast to Him. The good news of the gospel won’t do you any good unless you receive it, unless you are saved by it, and unless you hold fast to it. God wants to save you, to give you eternal life, and bless you forever; but He won’t bless you if you believe in vain. You have to make a commitment for a lifetime.

The Bible speaks three times of the necessity of obeying the gospel if we want to be saved, first in Romans 10 verse16; then in 2 Thessalonians 1 verse 9; and a third time in 1 Peter 4 and verse 17. My friend, have you obeyed the gospel by believing Jesus is the Christ, by repenting of your sins, by confessing the name of Jesus, and by being baptized into the death of Christ? Since baptism is called a burial in Romans 6 and verse 4 and also again in Colossians 2 and verse 12, we would expect to cover a person completely in water. The very word ‘baptism’ means an immersion, a dipping in water. And, anyone who loves the Lord, he’s not going to quibble about doing His will, and doing it the way the Lord desires. And so these conditions for our salvation are urgent and necessary. This is why the people at Pentecost were baptized that very day. (And guess what, the government CAN NOT save you!!! It is your personal responsibility!!! It is the personal responsibility of each of us!!! The government CAN NOT save us!!!—my addition)

Now, once you become a Christian, you’ve got to stay faithful in your obedience to the Lord. Some people fall away from the Lord and His church. If you are one of them, you need to come home. If you drift away from this good news, you will have believed in vain. Hold fast to your faith lest you believe in vain. Go back to church, get your life right with the Lord, and stay faithful for the rest of your life. Don’t let anyone or anything come between you and God.

We hope you’ve been blessed by today’s study of God’s Word. If you want a free printed copy, a CD, or a tape of this message, mail your request to In Search of the Lord’s Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083 or e-mail us, that address is Or, you can call the Search office toll-free at 1 (800) 321-8633. Our programs appear on our website at You can access or download them in a printed, audio, or video format. We also offer Correspondence courses. Just call or write and we’ll send them to you. You can also find free study sheets to go along with our programs online, and they’re free. They will help you study God’s Word with us.

Please attend worship at one of the churches of Christ in the area served by this station. They love guests, and you’ll be glad you visited. If you’re looking for a church home, call us and let us help you find one. Well, Mack and I will be back next week, Lord willing. Keep searching God’s Word with us and tell a friend. God bless you and we love you from all of us at In Search of the Lord’s Way.”