As Easter approaches this is a great time to remember the foundational truths of the gospel and Christ's victory over the grave! A classic Easter sermon delivered several years ago at Grace Community Church accomplishes this very purpose, and I recommend everyone listen to it. Now it may surprise some of you to hear a Free Grace advocate like myself recommend a sermon from a Reformed church, but after you listen to the sermon I think you'll understand. The sermon centers around the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 15 - that well known and often quoted resurrection chapter of the Bible. The message is given by Phil Johnson, one of John MacArthur's associate pastors. In contrast to Tom Stegall and the groundless gospel, Phil Johnson maintains that Christ's burial and resurrection appearances are indeed elements of the gospel of salvation and must be believed by the lost in order to have eternal life. Johnson declares the gospel truth when he states:
"Notice this phrase, 'of first importance'....It's speaking of the core gospel truths that are first in order of importance....These are the primary truths of the gospel. These are the most essential, fundamental, basic truths on which all other truths rest. And Paul enumerates them in four points. In fact, we'll use those four points as our outline this morning. Here are four points of gospel truth that are foundational to every other truth of Christianity. These are the four basic, essential, first principles of gospel truth. They are the crucifixion, the burial, the resurrection, and the eyewitness evidence of the resurrection of Christ....And if you don't believe in the literal, historical, biblical account of what occurred on that first Easter weekend, you haven't really believed the gospel."
Although elsewhere Phil advocates the error of "Lordship Salvation," in this sermon at least, he gets the gospel right! Listen as he preaches from 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 in the Easter sermon: "The Gospel in Four Simple Points". Let's keep the gospel biblical this Easter. Happy Resurrection Day!