TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
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.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet 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 which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Regarding First Corinthians 15:1-11, John Gill said, “By ‘grace,’ [Paul means] the good will and free favour of God, from whence all the blessings of goodness arise — particularly such as qualify a person for the ministry. What qualifies men for the preaching of the Gospel is not human learning, nor natural grace, but peculiar gifts, which lie in an understanding of the Scriptures, and the doctrines of the Gospel, and in an aptitude to explain and teach them to the edification of others. These gifts are not of nature, nor acquired by art and industry, but are freely bestowed by God for the good of souls and the glory of Christ.”
Today, 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. In this series, 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 development of creeds in the early church, Anthony Costello said, “We can see that the early creeds themselves, and specifically the Nicene Creed, were essentially apologetical. They were designed to clarify truth claims and refute false claims. They were defenses of the core truths found in the Scriptures themselves, without being exhaustive about the truth that is found in Scripture. To know these claims and defend them seems to be a task that still applies to us today as inheritors of an apostolic and historical Christian faith.”
In this series, we have looked at the following factual statements from the Nicene Creed based upon the Word of God:
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.
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.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He was seen alive by Mary Magdalene and the other women,
the disciples, and over five hundred other brethren;
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
Today, we will continue looking at the next section of the new Nicene Creed, which reads as follows:
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
The Holy Spirit is the Person of the Trinity whom Jesus promised would come to indwell the first disciples and all who believe on Him. In John 15:26, Jesus said, “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity through which God manifests Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit. We don’t understand exactly how the Trinity works, but we believe it because that is what the Bible teaches. Dr. Wilbur Smith said, “The man who denies the Trinity will lose his soul. The man who tries to understand the Trinity will lose his mind.” Our finite minds cannot understand the nature of the Trinity or the Holy Spirit, but let us look briefly at what Scripture reveals about the purpose of the Holy Spirit.
Based on Jesus’ words, we know that the Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ and to lead believers into the truth. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside of each person who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and acts as an agent of verification in our hearts and minds. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives lets us know that we are truly saved. Have you ever been listening to someone or reading something, and it seemed as though something inside of you was warning you about that person or telling you that what you were reading was not true? That is the Holy Spirit at work inside of you. In John 16:13, Jesus said, “when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.”
We learn the truths that God wants us to learn because of the work of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Bill Bright said, “The Holy Spirit inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. As you read the Bible, He reveals its truth to you. I read passages of Scripture that I have read many times before, and suddenly, at the moment I need a particular truth, a certain passage comes alive to me. Why? Because the Holy Spirit makes the Word of God relevant and meaningful when I need it. It is a living Book inspired by the Spirit, and only Christians who are filled with the Spirit can understand the true meaning of God’s Word.”
The Holy Spirit also helps us to live pure and God-honoring lives by convicting us of sin. Jesus said, “When he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Have you ever thought about doing something wrong, or began to do something wrong, and a voice seemed to speak to you telling you not to do what you were going to do? Again, that is the Holy Spirit at work. We cannot live holy lives without the help of the Holy Spirit for as the Bible says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.”
When Jesus finished His work on the Earth, He wanted His followers to know that they had the power to live like Him and to continue the work that He had begun. The Holy Spirit was sent to be an inner guide for us as we carry out the Great Commission and live like Christ in this sinful world.
Millie M. Lawhead wrote:
He has come, the Holy Spirit,
To my longing, waiting heart;
He has come, and like a fountain,
Joy and gladness upward start.
Often would He hover over me,
Waiting me to let Him in;
Sweetest words of promise whisper:
I will cleanse you from all sin.
Then I bade Him search the temple,
And reveal to me my need;
Now at last He makes me holy—
He is dwelling there indeed.
Like the dew, O so refreshing,
Yet so gently He has come,
And He fills me with His presence,
Makes my heart His blessed home.
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.