TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Regarding First Corinthians 15:1-8, A.B. Simpson said: “The Gospel tells rebellious men that God is reconciled, that justice is satisfied, that sin has been atoned for, that the judgment of the guilty may be revoked, the condemnation of the sinner canceled, the curse of the Law blotted out, the gates of hell closed, the portals of heaven opened wide, the power of sin subdued, the guilty conscience healed, the broken heart comforted, and the sorrow and misery of the Fall undone.”
Jon Bloom said, “[In the Garden of Gethsemane,] the angel of death was coming to claim the Firstborn Son. The worst plague of God’s judgment was about to fall. But this Firstborn Son, being all and in all, was also the Passover Lamb who would be slain to take away the sins of the world. The eternally obedient Firstborn Son, the spotless Lamb of God, would take on himself all the sin of the sons and daughters of disobedience, his blood would cover them, they would receive his righteousness, and they would forever be shielded from the death angel’s blow.”
On this Good Friday of Holy Week, we are continuing our series drawn from the Word of God, the Holy Bible, and a historical text based on the Word of God, the Holy Bible, that was passed down from the early church all the way to us today — the Nicene Creed. Not only are we talking about the power of Easter and Resurrection Sunday, but we are talking about the importance of the historical Christian faith that was passed down to us from the early church, how that we as Christians who are falling away from it ought to return to it, and how that the world ought to hear it so they can believe on Christ.
Regarding the importance of creeds in the church, Dr. John MacArthur said, “Virtually all the historic creeds of the church serve a purpose that is diametrically opposed to benign broad-mindedness. The creeds were written to confront error. They present truth dogmatically, in specific and well-delineated terms. All of them are polemic, controversial, argumentative.”
In this series, we have looked at the first two sections of the Nicene Creed, which read:
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Today, we are looking at the next section of the Nicene Creed, which reads as follows:
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On this Good Friday, these words remind us of the first Good Friday, which, to those who lived through it, would have seemed like a very dark day indeed. Certainly not a day to celebrate or call “good.” Unfortunately, as Eric Gungor wrote a few years ago, “Good Friday isn’t always noticed by modern Christ-followers. In fact, it is the least attended service on the Christian calendar. (Some churches don’t even have a Good Friday service.) Contrariwise, Easter has the highest attendance. It appears we love to think about the hope of the Resurrection without attending to the messiness of the Cross. But the truth is, there would have been no Easter without a Golgotha.” So, on this day, we turn our minds to the dark and gloom of the day of the Crucifixion. Because if Jesus had not died, if He had not been crucified, His coming into the world would have been in vain.
From the words of the Nicene Creed, we see three important facts about the coming of Jesus Christ, the focus of Holy Week.
FIRST, WE SEE THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST. “Through him all things were made.” John chapter 1 tells us that “all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” The Son was with the Father in the creation of the world. Hence, the Son has the same authority and lordship over the world that the Father does. However, Jesus’ lordship extends beyond the general to the specific, beyond the cumulative to the individual, beyond the universal to the personal. We see this in John 20:28, when the disciple, Thomas, meets the risen Saviour and declares, “My Lord and my God!”
We often refer to Jesus Christ as the “suffering servant,” especially in light of Good Friday. We often speak of how He was whipped, beaten, spit on, jeered at, and mocked. But that only heightens the stark contrast of Him being the Lord of all. It was His creation that rejected Him, abandoned Him, betrayed Him, and killed Him. In John 13:13, Jesus Christ told His disciples, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” In Acts 2:36, Peter is preaching before a crowd in Jerusalem just after Pentecost, and he says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Jesus’ lordship is not dependent on our acceptance of it. Even while He hung naked, bloodied and grotesque, between the earth and the sky, He was the Lord of Heaven and Earth. R.C. Sproul Jr., said, “We make the foolish mistake of thinking that when enough souls decide to make Jesus the Lord of their lives, that He will become the Lord of all things. The reality is that Jesus is already Lord over all things. His kingdom, strictly speaking, does not expand, for even now it knows no borders. He does not, therefore, engage in some sort of power sharing arrangement with other pretenders to His throne, whether they be false deities, or those who falsely worship them. His lordship is not something we accomplish. It is something we recognize and submit to. It is not something we negotiate; it is something we proclaim.”
Jesus did not set aside His lordship when He came to earth. Rather, He chose to make “himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Jesus did not abdicate His throne; He merely set aside His glory for a little while so that He could identify with and save lost humanity. While He was on Earth, He was still God almighty. He was still the Lord of the universe, and He demonstrated that lordship by healing the sick, casting out demons, calming stormy seas, raising the dead, multiplying food for thousands, and opening the eyes of the blind. And, most importantly on this Good Friday, He demonstrated His lordship over the powers of sin, death, and darkness, by “triumphing over them by the cross.”
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.