By Not Known
Messages bombard us every day. Emails, SMS, IM and Face Book posts are a digital
tsunami that threatens to swamp us. Let alone web sites, newspapers,
government announcements, junk mail, phone chats, post-it notes, memos and
even face-to-face talks.
Many of these messages are spam. They have a momentary significance that passes
with a digital stroke or a well-aimed ‘post’ to the ‘delete’ bin. But it’s a challenge
to know which are spam and which are significant. And it is tragic when we
confuse the categories-deleting the significant and preserving the spam.
Paul forcibly draws our attention to the importance of God’s message about Jesus
(1 Cor 15:1-8). It is gospel and of first importance.
This is the message about Jesus. Specifically it is the message about who he is,
what happened to him and its significance.
He is the Christ. This Old Testament term points to Jesus as the anointed deliverer
sent by God. He died and was raised. His burial is evidence of his death and his
appearance to so many people is the evidence of his resurrection. All these
happened according to the Scriptures as God fulfilled his ancient promises in
covenant faithfulness. Best of all is its significance, for all this happened to
‘delete’ our sins.
This is like an email of genuine high priority. It is to be opened (received), taken in
(believed) and stored in a permanently open folder (hold firmly). If we do that, it
is the message that saves us. It is also like an email that is worth forwarding to our
entire address book (preached … passed on).
What a tragedy if we treat the gospel like spam and reject it. But it is also tragic if
we profess to believe in Jesus and do not hold on to the gospel as a matter of first
importance. In this sense the gospel can become like an email that we keep in the
Inbox but gradually lose sight of as later messages clutter in and crowd it out.
When this happens, the gospel fades into the background of our life and is far from
the first importance that it deserves.
Let’s be refreshed in our understanding and positive response to the gospel.
Messages this good come only once in a lifetime. Let’s give the gospel the
continuing importance it deserves in our life and in the activities of the church.