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)
Why did Paul label the Gospel as of first importance? What relevance does that have for 21st century believers? Once a person is regenerated, born-again, saved, redeemed what relevance does the Gospel have in everyday life?
In a culture in which entitlement is more the norm than the exception, it is a valuable reminder that we did not get what we deserve (hell), and we did get what we don’t deserve (heaven). To keep life in proper perspective, we need daily reminders of what Christ accomplished on the cross on our behalf:
I deserve death, but You gave me life. John 5:24
I deserve hell, but You gave me heaven. John 14:1-3
I deserve bondage, but You gave me freedom. Galatians 5:1
I deserve anxiety, but You gave me peace. Philippians 4:6-7
I deserve judgment, but You gave me justification. Romans 3:24
I deserve punishment, but You punished Another in my place. 1 John 2:2
I deserve separation, but You gave me unity. John 17:23
I deserve isolation, but You gave me fellowship. 1 Corinthians 1:9
I deserve the law, but You gave me grace. Romans 6:14
I deserve darkness, but You gave me light. Ephesians 5:8
I deserve despair, but You gave me hope. Romans 12:12
I deserve to be an orphan, but You adopted me. John 14:18, Romans 8:15
I deserve to wander, but You guide me. Psalm 31:3
I deserve to be lost, but You direct my path. Proverbs 3:5-6
I deserve condemnation, but You redeemed me. Romans 8:1, Titus 2:13-14
I deserve blindness, but You gave me sight. Luke 7:22
I deserve poverty, but You gave me riches. 2 Corinthians 6:10
I deserve sadness, but You gave me joy. Romans 14:17
I deserve fear, but You gave me perfect love. 1 John 4:18
I deserve filthy rags, but You gave me robes of righteousness. Revelation 7:14
I deserve hunger, but You gave me the Bread of Life. John 6:35
I deserve to be overlooked, but You chose me. Ephesians 1:4
I deserve to labor and to be heavy laden, but You gave me rest. Matthew 11:28
I deserve to be alone, but You gave me family. Matthew 12:50
And the list goes on and on. Daily we need to be reminded that because of the Gospel, we did not get what we deserve.
After serving 16 years full-time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane Hunt and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part-time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Victory Call originally appeared in Real Victory for Real Life, Volume 2. To purchase your copy, call 1-800-453-7942.