Sunday Worship Service’s Sermon (5-08-2022)
The gospel I preached, the gospel we firmly Hold
(1 Corinthians 15:1-20)
Today, on Mother's Day and Homecoming Day, to our children who
came to Home Church, and to our mothers who raise our children with love and
pray every day, I have something I want to present.
That is Jesus who is the most precious gift God has given us because
He loves us. Through this time of worshiping with mothers and children, I bless
you with the happiness of meeting Jesus, gaining Jesus, and returning to your
home with Jesus.
In today's text, Paul urges the Corinthian believers: 'of the gospel
that I preached to you' and 'the words I preached to you, hold fast to them,
and do not believe in vain'. What was the gospel that Paul preached to the
Corinthian Christians? What was Paul's message to the Corinthian believers?
What was the gospel that Paul told the Corinthian Christians to hold onto firmly
and not to believe in vain?
It is the cross and resurrection of Jesus: as in verses 3-4, that “Christ
died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was
raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” This is because, if you
are a Christian, you must have faith in the cross and resurrection of Jesus to
receive salvation. This is because, in order to receive this grace that Jesus
gives through the cross and resurrection, we must believe the truth of verses
3-4 with our hearts and make it our own.
If we say we are living a life of faith, but if we do not have
faith in the cross and resurrection of Jesus for us, then we do not yet believe in Jesus as the Savior and
therefore cannot be saved.
The center of our Christian faith is based upon the belief that Christ died for our sins according to the
Bible, and that Christ was buried and was raised on the third day according to
the Bible. This is the foundation and beginning of our faith. This faith makes
the Lord's Church the true Church of the Lord.
Above all, when we realize that these two truths exist by the grace of God, we can receive Jesus, who was
crucified and resurrected for our salvation, as our Savior. When we take these
two beliefs as our own, our faith and life are full of vitality, joy, and hope.
Also, when you regard these two gospels as God's grace, you begin to live a life in which that grace is not in
The church in Corinth was a church that Paul planted and served
for three years, and Paul saw something very unfortunate in some of the Christians in Corinth. He describes this in verse 12. I'll read it. “But if it is preached that
Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no
resurrection of the dead?”
Paul delivered this good news to the Corinthian Christians that
“Christ died on the cross for our sins, that he was buried, and he was raised
the third day according to the scriptures.”
However, among the Christians in Corinth who received this gospel,
there were those who did not yet have faith in this resurrection.
So, Paul repeatedly exhorted the Christians living in Corinth,
'Keep the gospel that I preached to you, and do not believe in vain', and he
preached this gospel to them again.
This gospel is not only preached on Easter. This gospel tells us
who Jesus is. This gospel brings us to truly meet Jesus. This gospel is the
power to save all people in the world. This gospel changes our lives anew. This
gospel establishes our home as a home like heaven, and this gospel establishes
our church as the true church of the Lord.
Because this truth is so important, Paul taught three important
things about the cross and resurrection faith in order to establish this faith
in the cross and resurrection firmly in the lives of Christians so that they
can truly trust Jesus.
First, Paul said that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus
were events that were fulfilled “according to the Bible.”
Let's read verses 3-4 again. “For what I received I passed on to
you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according
to the Scriptures.”
The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are not stories made up
by people. This is an event that was fulfilled according to Scriptures. The
phrase ‘according to the Bible’ here means that ‘Jesus’ crucifixion and
resurrection are truths and historical facts. And this is that the cross and
resurrection of Jesus are events that fulfilled the Word of God for our
Second, Paul said that Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection were
'real events in our history'. Christ was ‘buried in a tomb, and then he was
raised on the third day. The word “on the third day” here shows that the
resurrection of Christ is a real event with a “time stamp.” Also, Paul listed
the people who personally met the resurrected Jesus in order to confirm that
the resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact in
today's texts verses 5-8.
“The resurrected Jesus appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve
disciples. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers
and sisters at the same time. Then he appeared to James, then to all the
apostles. And Paul confidently said that most of whom are still living.” It was an exhortation to visit them and hear their testimony
firsthand if anyone doubted the resurrection of Jesus. And Paul confessed this
to emphasize once again that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are real
events in our history: 'Christ also appeared to me, and through the cross and
resurrection of Jesus I have been transformed into a completely different
person' (1Corinthians 15:10).
In Acts 26, there is a scene where Paul is taken to Rome and tried
before King Agrippa and the Roman governor Festus. However, Paul does not
defend himself in front of them for his own life at that time. Rather, in the
short time given to him, Paul tells King Agrippa and Festus, the Roman
governor, and to everyone there about the ‘death
and resurrection of Christ.’ And then he said: 'The king is familiar with these
things, it was not done in a corner (Acts 26:26), this is what God has done for
our salvation in the midst of our history.' He also said to them that I pray to
God that all who are listening to me today may become what I am (Acts 26:29). That's
not all. If we look at the church that the Holy Spirit came and established on
this earth, it proves that the cross and resurrection of Jesus are actual
events that God performed in our history for our salvation.
Third, in addition, Paul taught nine reasons why Christians
should hold fast to this gospel and not believe in vain. Through these nine things, we will see how great is the grace that
Jesus gave us through the cross and resurrection.
(1) Because the resurrection of Jesus proves that Jesus is the
In Mark 8:31, before Christ was crucified, He taught His disciples
that “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and
chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after
three days rise again. As Jesus taught his disciples in this way, Christ was
put to death on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day to show that
Jesus is the Christ whom God sent into the world for our salvation.
(2) Because the resurrection of Jesus proves that our faith in
Jesus as Savior is not in vain. Like verse 14, if Christ had not been
raised, our preaching would have been useless, and our faith would have been in
vain. However, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, it has shown that
our faith in Jesus as Savior is not useless.
(3) Because the resurrection of Jesus proves that our lives do
not end with death, but that there is a resurrection. Like verse 13, if
there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ would have been
raised, and like verse 16, if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been
raised either. But God showed us that there is a resurrection by raising Christ
from the dead, who died on the cross for our sins and was buried.
(4) Because the resurrection of Jesus proves that we are
Like verse 17, if Christ had not been raised, we would still be in
our sins and would perish as a result. However,
the resurrection of Jesus shows that our sins were all forgiven through Jesus'
sacrifice on the cross, and that all who believe in Jesus as Savior were
(5) This is because the resurrection of Jesus proves that life
on this earth is not everything, but that there is an eternal heaven. Like
verse 19, if only for this life we have hope in Christ, then we are, of all people, those most to be pitied.
However, the resurrection of Jesus showed that life on this earth is not
everything, and that there is an eternal heaven.
(6) Because the resurrection of Jesus testifies to our
Like verse 20, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the
firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. This shows us that the
resurrection of Christ is a sure guarantee of our future resurrection.
(7) Because the resurrection of Jesus proves how precious our
Like verse 29, if there is no resurrection, our baptism is
useless. But the resurrection of Jesus made us know how precious it is to
receive Jesus as our Savior and to be baptized as we decide to follow Him.
(8) Because the resurrection of Jesus proves that our labor for
the Lord is not in vain. In verses 30, 32, Paul said that ‘If there is no
resurrection, our labor in the Lord will be in vain. However, the resurrection
of Christ showed us that suffering and persecution for the Lord, devoting and
sacrificing for the Lord was never in vain. There is always a reward from God
for the labor of faith for the Lord.
(9) Because the resurrection of Jesus testifies that the risen
Jesus is always with us, loves us, and always protects us until we enter the
kingdom (1 Peter 1:5).
Aren't these amazing things that God accomplished through the
cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation? That is why Paul
exhorted Christians to hold firmly to this gospel that he has preached and not
to receive it in vain.
There is a reason I am preaching you this gospel: that "Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and he was raised on the third day” on Mother's Day and on Homecoming Day. It is because if we hold firmly to this gospel and do not believe in vain, we will all be saved.
When I am serving you all, I have a holy purpose. I have a holy purpose when I live with the faith on this earth. Also, I have a holy purpose when I live with my wife. I have a holy purpose when I am raising my children. It is to serve faithfully all of the people God has given me so that I can stand before our Lord beautifully on the last day of this earth, that is, on the Lord's Day, without losing any of them.
I still have heartbreaking memories that come to mind from time to
time. When I was pastoring in Seoul in my early 30s, I visited a certain
family. After the service, I was introduced by the family to a man battling
cancer. The man seemed quite cold on the outside. And he seemed to be defending
me from even approaching him and saying anything. So, I couldn't tell him this
gospel that day and returned home. Even after 30 years have passed, sometimes,
I still think of this person. Each time I am afraid that God will rebuke me.
And there are times when I felt sorry for this person, and it is painful. “If I
had preached Jesus to this person at that time, this person would have been
saved,” but the failure to do so remain always in my heart. So even now,
whenever I think of this, I am repenting to God, and I am trying to stay awake
in order not to miss this opportunity and this responsibility.
Today, I said that 'Christ died for our sins according to the
Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according
to the Scriptures with love for you all.
pray that we all hold firmly to this gospel that I have
preached with love to you, so that we will all
be saved and live in God's love. And when we meet again next time, I hope that
you and I will grow into more mature people of Jesus Christ.
Now, when I read verses 3-4 in today's text, you say Amen with a
loud voice. And then you read verses 3-4 by faith. Then I will say Amen with a
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4) “Christ died for our sins according to the
scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according
to the scriptures.”
(Closing Prayer) Dear God, thank you for preaching us the
gospel of the cross and resurrection of Jesus again during this time. Let our
parents have this kind of faith, and let our children have this kind of faith
too. Help us all to be saved by holding on to this faith while we live on this
earth. In the name of the risen Christ, we pray. Amen.