By H.D. Matheson
The Moore American
MOORE — The spring gospel meeting starts today and continues through Sunday at 728 S.E. 12th St. in Moore with Jerry Roberts of Texas. Times are 7:30 p.m. today through Friday; 6 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday.
The apostle Paul wrote the church at Corinth saying he determined to know nothing among them except “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Yet, in this letter he writes about the sin of division and how they must be perfectly united. He also writes about their pride (being puffed up) and what he had endured for the sake of Christ.
Paul also dealt with the sin of fornication and their attitude of acceptance of the guilty party. He wrote of the duties of marriage. Also, he wrote of the support of gospel preachers, eating sacrifices to idols, a denial of the resurrection and many other matters.
These things are said to point out the fact that preaching Christ seems to include many things other than the story of the crucifixion.
Paul describes the gospel in the following way in 1 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; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
This teaching, about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, says Paul, is “first of all” (in v. 3) means “of foremost importance.” It is the heart of the gospel.
It is the point from which all other aspects of the gospel flows; such as: the plan of salvation, the law of Christ, and Christian living. Based upon the fact that Jesus died for us, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6); was buried (Matthew 27:57-66) and raised from the grave through the power of God (Colossians 2:12). It is upon these that we place our hope in God for our own resurrection at the last day, so that we might overcome the fear of death and go live eternally with our Lord in heaven.
We could not fully preach Christ without preaching Him as the Son of God. There are many people today who say Christians preach intolerance and promote hatred when we preach Christ as the Son of God. Why? Because this preaching is considered offensive to Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other religious people who do not profess Christianity.
Why did the Jews hate Christ enough to demand his death? They told Pilate, “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God,” John 19:7.
Sometimes some misguided souls will tell you that Christ never claimed to be the Son of God. But, when He asked His disciples, “But whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16). Then Jesus said, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).
Having made this affirmation, it seems pretty clear to Christians. He said that the Father in heaven was Peter’s source of information that He was the Christ. Mary the mother of Jesus was told by an angel “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Even unclean spirits cried out, “when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God” Mark 3:11. Jesus said the Jews accused him of blasphemy “because I said, I am the Son of God” (John 10:36).
His resurrection declared him to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4).
Christianity stands or falls on the claim that Christ is the Son of God.
Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). There is no other way. Your neighbor may be an excellent person but outside of Christ they are lost. Muslims and Jews may be exceptionally good people but if they deny Christ as the Son of God and our only Savior, they are lost (Matthew 10:32-35) then read Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12 these verses will explain the sword in Matthew 10:34.
When Christ was born, angels told the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
A Samaritan woman brought the men of the city to meet Jesus at Jacob’s well. After hearing him, they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42).
Peter and the other apostles preached, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31).
Paul preached in Antioch of David’s seed, “Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:” (Acts 13:23).
Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus of God, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”( 2 Timothy 1:9-10).
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;” (Titus 3:5-6).
Just listen to Peter, whom so aptly declares to Christians what they have accomplished if they remain faithful to Christ we “have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 2:20-22).