What One Must Know to be Saved: Corinth

August 2, 2008

Luke records in Acts 18 that Paul entered Corinth and taught them the gospel.

Act 18:4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
Act 18:5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

Later, Paul summarized his message to the Corinthians:

1Co 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Later in the same letter, Paul further elaborates on the gospel message he delivered in Corinth:

1Co 15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
1Co 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
1Co 15:6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
1Co 15:8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1Co 15:11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

That is the message on which they “took their stand.” In other words, those are the essential facts upon which their saving faith was based. Paul’s message to the Corinthians was the same as it was to everyone else:

  1. Jesus was the Christ
  2. Christ died “for our sins”
  3. Christ was raised from the dead
  4. Evidence! All this was in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and is confirmed by the eyewitness testimony of more than 500 people.

Paul also pointed out that the gospel had a dramatic effect in his own life (a fact they could easily observe). Paul “got it.” When someone understands the gospel message about what Jesus did for us, and why, it has an effect.

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