What We Preach: The Grace of the Gospel This Week: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Date: March 20, 2016 | March 27, 2016 Series: Easter Experience 2016
This Week’s Resources:
This Week’s Lighthouse Lesson Overview of this Lesson
This week we pause from our Study of James to look at the resurrection through the eyes of the Apostle Paul. Many commentators label 1 Corinthians 15 as one of, if not the most important chapter in the Bible. That is saying a lot! The focus of our lesson this week is 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, in which Paul provides the clearest, simplest explanation of the gospel in Scripture. He outlines three components:
- Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures
- he was buried
- he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
That’s it. That’s the gospel. Yet, even today many have difficulty explaining the gospel. They try to incorporate the four spiritual laws and a bridge diagram, but this is the gospel Paul preached.
Our focus this week is to help our people fully understand and articulate this gospel. We will look at the power of the gospel that gives salvation, and the process of the gospel that produces fruit within us, and the promise of the gospel that will ultimate restore our body, soul, and mind to the sinless position in which God created mankind.
Memory Verse for This Week
1 Corinthians 15:10–“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
Core Practice: Witness
Witness (Matthew 28:18-20): I live to tell the story of Jesus and to make disciples of Him even to the ends of the earth, knowing he is with me always.
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- Can you share a family tradition that has been passed down through the generations in your family? How do you work to pass this tradition on to your own children?
- What do you want your great grandchildren to know about you and remember about you? How will you pass this on to a generation you may or may not get to know personally?
This Week’s Take Home Truth
“The grace of the gospel is the person of Christ, and because he has come, all can be changed.”
Read the Text (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)
We have come to a chapter that can be classified as one of the most important and crucial chapters of the Bible. If you would select ten of the greatest chapters of the Bible — which men have done from the beginning of the Christian era — you will find that 1 Corinthians 15 will be on your list and has been on practically all the lists ever made. It is that important. It is so important that it actually answers the first heresy of the church, which was the denial of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ [McGee]. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.
The Resurrection of Christ
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word 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 in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions.
- What is the gospel and what are the critical elements of the gospel?
- Of the three critical elements of the gospel Paul identifies, which is most difficult for us to fully believe and embrace?
- How do people deny the resurrection of Jesus today?
- Paul states that we are “being saved” (v. 2). What does he mean when he points to salvation as a continuous, progressive process?
- What does Paul mean when he says “unless you believed in vain” (v. 2)?
- What does Paul teach us about grace in verses 8-10?
These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.
- In 1 Cor. 15:10, Paul states, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” In what ways is this true of you? What has God’s grace accomplished in you? What is it even now accomplishing?
- Are there any areas in which you are resisting or not trusting God’s grace to act in you? If so, ask God to help you trust Him and to act through you as He has chosen to do (1 Cor. 12:7, 18). Then, act in faith that He will answer this prayer.
- Is there someone in your circle of acquaintances whom God has placed on your heart and who needs the gospel? Begin praying today that God will use you to share the good news of Jesus Christ with this person.