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Monday, 28 March 2016

"Of First Importance"


Message Summary:  Whatever you're facing today, hold on to this glorious truth that is of first importance, Christ died, Christ was buried, and Christ Jesus was raised to life forevermore!  The risen Christ states in Revelation 1:18, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

"God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact" (Acts 2:32). "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"  (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

We, like many of you, gathered with other believers in church yesterday to corporately declare the glorious truth of our resurrected Savior. This was the 1983rd Resurrection Day based on a little math work subtracting 33AD (the traditional date for the resurrection) from 2016.

Brooksyne led our church choir in a powerful musical titled "In Christ Alone" that expresses the great truths of the atoning death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, including one of our longtime favorites, "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today!" Originally titled, “Hymn for Easter Day” this exuberant Charles Wesley hymn has been sung on Easter for 277 years. What a privilege to join the host of believers through the generations in declaring this Biblical truth not only in Scripture reading but also in our worship musically.

I never weary of hearing the old message that doesn’t expire, is never out of date, and does not need revision.  I pray that I will always be like “those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest."

I also pray that there will always be churches faithfully proclaiming the message of Christ. The commission for the true follower of Christ is stated by Jude.  We are to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" (Jude 1:3).  Far too many churches have abandoned the apostolic faith. They’re caught up in current fads and attempts to appeal to the post-modern "seeker". Some are even embarrassed by the Gospel and redemption truths such as the Cross, the shed Blood and the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Today's verse is the only place in the Bible where the phrase "as of first importance" is found. In these verses the apostle Paul provides a wonderful summation of the Gospel. What he himself had "received" (paralambano), he had "passed on" (paradidomi). This has been the God-ordained manner for the transmission of truth for nearly 2,000 years.

    * Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
    *  He was buried
    *  He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

Earnest believers continue to receive and pass on this sacred message to our present day. Have you received and believed this message? Are you passing it on? At the heart of apostolic preaching is the proclamation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe these three together comprise the truth that is of "first importance." This is of first importance all through the church age and indeed through eternity. This is based on the authority of the Scriptures, "according to the Scriptures."

Whatever you're facing today, hold on to this glorious truth that is of first importance, Christ died, Christ was buried, and Christ Jesus was raised to life forevermore! The risen Christ states in Revelation 1:18, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

Up from the grave He arose;with a mighty triumph o'er His foes;He arose a victor from the dark domain,and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!


Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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