Lesson 1. The Gospel: Foundation for Life as a Believer

Day 1

We begin our study of 1 Corinthians, not in chapter 1 but in chapter 15, because it is necessary to set the foundation for our understanding of the book. We will then return to chapter 1 in the next lesson and sequentially study our way through the book.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth because they were experiencing difficulties and disagreements in the church, and they had written to him asking for help. In this letter, Paul provides them with the solution to their struggles by giving them instructions on living and maturing in Christ through the gospel.
The Corinthians had factions and divisions (1 Corinthians 1:10-17) in their church; some struggled with pride and boasting (1 Corinthians 5:6-8), and others with sexual impurity, thievery, greediness, drunkenness, and gluttony, slandering and cheating (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), divorce and remarriage issues (1 Corinthians 7:8-16), lawsuits (1 Corinthians 6:1-8) lack of gospel love (1 Corinthians 13), and much more. Paul wrote to provide them with the message that would free them from sin traps and grow them up and mature them into Christ so that they might understand what it truly means to be a Christian.
As we begin, we want to look at the method and the message Paul used to deal with the issues in the Corinthian church. Please read the following passage, then provide your thoughts and answers to the questions that follow:
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1 Corinthians 15:1-7

Question 1. What did Paul remind the Corinthians of in 1 Corinthians 15:1 NIV?

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Question 2. According to 1 Corinthians 15:1 NIV, what two things had the Corinthians done with the gospel?

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It is essential to understand that Paul’s emphasis, his heartbeat, was for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He wrote the Corinthians to remind them of the gospel because he knew that the gospel was both the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16-17) and the power of God for those already being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18); in other words, for everyone, no matter where they are at in their life. The gospel is the solution for all issues in life and is the message Paul used to guide the Corinthians.
Notice that the Corinthians had “received” the gospel. The gospel is a gift given by God, and our role is to receive it! Jesus laid down His life for our sin and rose from the dead to rescue us; believers must receive His work on our behalf to benefit from it. Have you received the good news that Jesus died in your place to forgive you of all sin and that He rose from the dead on the third day to give you eternal life?
Finally, the Corinthians had taken their stand on the gospel. They had, as it were, planted their feet in the cement of the gospel and stood firm in the truth of it. The gospel is not merely a truth we believe; instead, it is the foundation of our salvation and Christian maturity.
The Bible is clear; the gospel of Jesus Christ is where all believers are to take their stand. Sadly, many professing Christians have forgotten this and have taken their stand on other truths and issues. Can you think of any causes on which Christians are taking a stand today?

Question 3. Have you both received the gospel and taken your stand on it? Why or why not?

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Living and Growing in the Gospel