Key Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

What is it Paul wants the brothers to remember? Because there are things that are worth remembering, calling back to our conscious awareness.

Equally, there are things that we must forget or lay down. Philippians 3:13-14 …one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. A wrong, a hurt, a word, the way something is done, the way something is said. Too many people have left churches fallen out of fellowship because they were unable to put behind them an offence that they had taken with someone. This happens when we make people and things more important than Jesus.

God rewards those who love Him, not those who love doctrines, systems, religion (many settle for these lesser things) but the reward goes to those who settle for nothing less than loving and knowing Him.

And what is that reward of those who love Him? The gift of knowing the heart of Jesus. 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Holy Spirit works in us and we become more and more like Jesus. Can you think of a better or greater gift than to be like Jesus? Jesus was without guilt – God wants to banish ours. Jesus had no bad habits – God wants to deal with ours. Jesus had no fear of death – God wants us to be fearless. Jesus had kindness for the sick, mercy for the rebellious, courage for the challenges of life and power to overcome and God wants us to be the same.

This only becomes possible apostle Paul says, when having heard the gospel (euangelion) from which we get the word evangelism. We then stand or anchor ourselves in it because it is this euangelion, that is saving us 2 because it is the supernatural word of life to the hearer.

Paul goes on to emphasise that our salvation is not a moment in time but is an ongoing work of sanctification because we are ‘being saved.’ Then in v3-5 Paul gives us a masterclass in presenting the gospel succinctly, what does he tell us?

First importance the thing that I received from Jesus, not what I got from James, not what I got from my parents, not what I inherited but what I got from Jesus. That which is of first importance is not what we get from others but what is revealed to us personally by Holy Spirit.

Christ died for our sins in accordance with scripture, was buried and then was raised from the dead on the third day…in accordance with scripture. In other words just as God had foretold through the prophets, just as God had ordained and planned Jesus fulfilled. Our salvation is not happenstance but comes out of the intentional love of God, directed toward us His flawed creation.

We are not an accident of birth not in the natural and certainly not in the spiritual. John 1:12 reminds us But to all who did receive Him (Jesus), who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God,

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.1 Corinthians 15:10

Grace at its simplest is God giving us what we didn’t and don’t deserve. Titus 3:4-7 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The Grace of God can accomplish twice as much in half the time. Our sins may be many but His grace is more, His grace is sufficient and more than enough to cover my transgressions, your sins many times over.

There are two contemporary fictions that people believe around God’s grace. (1.) That God has stopped judging sin (2.) That we can find peace by learning how to feel good about

But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace toward me was not in vain.

In what areas of our life do we need to know the grace of God? Speech, Thought, Behaviour, Action?

How are we going to allow this grace to transform us to be more like Jesus? Because that’s what grace does make us more like Jesus