Wednesday, January 23, 2013

God's Home Run: The Power of the Gospel

"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16, NKJV)

     Recently I thought of an illustration to show how vital and important each part of the gospel is to the whole. Think of the Gospel as God's home run - "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, the gospel of salvation has four action words (notice the four verbs in bold print):

1. Christ DIED... (1 Cor. 15:3)

2. He was BURIED... (1 Cor. 15:4a)

3. He was RAISED... (1 Cor. 15:4b)

4. He was SEEN... (1 Cor. 15:5)

     God hit a home run when Christ died, buried, raised, and appeared. If a preacher removes the resurrection appearances from the gospel it would be like a baseball player hitting a home run and stopping at third base! MLB official rules say that when a batter hits a home run he has to physically step on all four bases. If the player doesn't tag all four bases the home run doesn't count. This is why all the teammates wait at home plate to congratulate the runner. Only after the runner tags home plate can the team put the run on the scoreboard. The Scriptures tell us that after Christ was raised on the third day He appeared to His disciples. In baseball terms, Jesus rounded third and tagged home. Not only did Christ hit "the walk-off home run" (the game-winning home run) - He tagged all the bases and scored it!

     So to recap the baseball illustration:

1. Christ DIED for our sins - Jesus hit our sins out of the ballpark (John 19:30) and rounded 1st base,

2. Christ BURIED in a tomb - Jesus rounded 2nd base,

3. Christ RAISED on the third day - Jesus rounded 3rd base,

4. Christ APPEARED to His disciples - Jesus physically tagged home plate in the presence of His teammates (John 20:30-31) and scored the winning run!