Tuesday, March 3, 2015

THE SAVING GOSPEL

The following article is from the April 1973 issue of the Christian Victory Magazine, edited by Dr. Fred John Meldau and Dr. Maurice Dametz:

THE SAVING GOSPEL
     "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; and that he was seen" (I Cor. 15:1-5, KJV).
     So frequently the question arises - "Just what is the Gospel?" Here we have the inspired definition. It is one of the great summaries of divine truth. It will be noticed that it has four points:

     1. Christ died for our sins.
     2. He was buried.
     3. He rose again the third day.
     4. He was seen, that is, His was a physical resurrection - He had a real, visible body.
 
It is significant that in the previous chapter Paul stated: "I had rather speak five words with my understanding...than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (14:19). Here in the definition of the Gospel are five words - "Christ died for our sins" [1 Cor. 15:3, KJV] - and no five words that the Apostle ever uttered are more precious. These five words set forth the centre-point of the Gospel, that is, crucifixion (Christ died) which is substitution (for our sins) by divine revelation (according to the Scriptures). This is the keystone in the arch of divine truth. Paul gave priority to this - "I delivered unto you first of all." [1 Cor. 15:3, KJV] There is no human opinion here - it is "according to the Scriptures," - the fulfillment of scores and scores of prophecies and types. It is absolute proof.
     The second statement is, "that He was buried." [1 Cor. 15:4, KJV] And why was He buried? He was not to see corruption. [Psalm 16:10, KJV; Acts 2:27, KJV] He was buried as a proof that He was dead. He was put in a tomb which was closed tight, and there He remained until the third day according to the Scriptures.
     The third statement is that "Christ rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." [1 Cor. 15:4, KJV] Glance through the Book of Acts and see how this was the theme of all the Apostle's preaching and teaching - "Jesus and the resurrection." [Acts 17:18, KJV] A risen and living Christ who is able to save and to keep. Christianity is nothing at all without the person of the risen, living and loving Christ.
     The fourth general statement in the Gospel is that "Christ was seen." [1 Cor. 15:5, KJV] He came up from the grave in a real body. It was a spiritual body, but a real, visible body nevertheless. He appeared again and again in the body to His disciples. He was seen of Cephas, then the twelve, then five hundred, then James, then the Apostles, and last of all, Paul. In that same body He went to heaven and sat down on the right hand of God. He is coming again in that same body and He is going to change our bodies like unto the body of His glory. This is the Christian's blessed hope, and this Gospel is the saving Gospel."1


ENDNOTE:

1 "THE SAVING GOSPEL," by Dr. Maurice Dametz, co-editor of Christian Victory Magazine, Dr. Fred John Meldau, editor, Christian Victory Magazine (Denver: Christian Victory Publishing Company), Volume 47, April 1973: pages 4-5.

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