That’s how many written words from the Apostle Paul are contained in the New Testament. And those are only the letters we still have! He probably wrote many more letters over the decades of his ministry. And yet, out of tens of thousands of words, spanning multiple decades of ministry, in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul narrowed it down to a few dozen words that were “of first importance.”
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”
— 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV) —
Out of the thousands of words he wrote, he said that about 1/10,000th of them were “of first importance.” Why are those words so important? As Paul goes on to explain in the rest of 1 Corinthians 15, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Without those words and the truth behind them, the entire Christian life is pointless.
If Jesus died and stayed dead, then Christianity is no different than any other religious belief on the planet. Jesus would be just another religious zealot that led a revolution and died at the hands of his enemies. Game over.
However, since Jesus died in our place and conquered the grave by resurrecting on the third day as was prophesied, our hope is alive and our faith is secure!
Theology, church government, end times beliefs… Those are all important, but not if you miss what is “of first importance.” Make sure to get that right. Everything else stems from there!
K E V I N • M I L L E R
Feel free to to pass this on to someone who could use some encouragement!
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