As one particular key truth of the gospel was being attacked in Corinth, Paul felt it was necessary, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to review the whole gospel for the Corinthians. In doing that, Paul gave us all a wonderfully simple outline of the gospel, so that we can say to one another and our neighbors, “This is the gospel.”
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (NASB)
After burying my father-in-law, I bring you a message that comes out of the overflow of the living water of God’s Word I was immersed in, in preparing to preach his funeral. How we face death is an important part of our walk with the Lord and our witness to the world. In this message, we are going to look at how we face death as Christians.
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (NASB)
On Wednesday, August 19th, 2015, at 1:40 PM, the Lord called my father-in-law, Curtis Baker, home to Himself. This is the message I preached at his funeral, sharing my personal reflections on the man he was, as well as preaching on his reasons for and the hope he has in being a Christian.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God...” (NASB)
The time of Acts was an incredible, powerful time in the life of the young church, but was not without its problems. Our brothers and sisters of that time faced pressing opposition from powerful religious and political enemies. It does us good to look in on what they faced and how they handled it, as God worked powerfully among them and through them. In this message, we come to a passage that has always reached out and gripped my heart, where Luke tells of something I wish for us today.
23 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
And the peoples devise futile things?
26 ‘The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
27 “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.
29 “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,
30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.