1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Where is the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today? What is the cost of preaching that message? Where is that message today? This is a two-fold message. First, the call to preach the Gospel. Second, the cost of preaching the Gospel. Since Jesus started His earthly ministry, He has called various people to follow Him, and then told them to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel.
Many have come and undoubtedly many may have failed. But of those that may have started off right, then fell short of their calling, many of them may have returned to Christ and started anew.
From verses 8-13, Paul presses the point that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. No one else can do that, no priest, no shaman, no minister, no one, only Christ. Paul mentions praying without ceasing. But we are not to get upset in How God answers those prayers. God may not answer in our time or in ways that we may expect, but He will answer.
Did or do we pray for something if it be His Will? It could be that the subject of your prayer may not be what God has in line for what He wants accomplished.
Let's look at the subject of the message.
I AM DEBTOR -
In verse 14:
Paul was referring to the civilized and uncivilized world of the time. He was also referring to the educated and uneducated. What was his debt? His debt was to Christ for salvation. We cannot pay for salvation; it is a free gift from God.
To whom was Paul paying the debt to? He paid his debt to the world by proclaiming the salvation of Christ. It doesn't matter to whom we share the Gospel with, their social status, rich or poor, nor the color of their skin. Jesus took the punishment of man's sin upon Himself, so spreading the Gospel of Christ is the least we should do.
I AM READY -
In verse 15:
Paul states he is now ready to preach the Gospel. We don't know if this means financially, physically, mentally, or spiritually. Either way he is now ready. Are we ready to preach the Gospel? Have we heard and answered the call? Have we studied?
When we are ready to work, God will provide for us.
I AM NOT ASHAMED -
In verse 16:
The message went to the Jew first because they had been God's chosen people for centuries. They did not deserve to be chosen but God chose them to show His love, of the coming Messiah that He would provide, and so that they could tell the world. For years the Jews learned by obeying God's laws and living as He instructed. But too often they forgot. However, some Jews recognized Christ as the Son of God, and were obedient to share the Good News.
Here we see that Paul was not ashamed. The message he brought was of the salvation to man that Jesus gave. How can we be ashamed to share the Gospel, and why be ashamed? (2 Timothy 1:8-12). That's why we're told to put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11-18). Paul also gives the charge and deliverance from condemnation, through Christ Jesus.
The Gospel shows us how we can become righteous in the sight of God, by His plan of salvation. How by trusting in Jesus, we are made righteous with God.
We should all trust God in directing our paths. Faith is in the beginning and through the progression of a Christian life. Faith pushes us forward to victory.
THE COST OF PREACHING:
In verse 27, Jesus speaks of bearing the cross. The people understand what it meant to carry a cross. This is what the Romans did to criminals when sending them to be crucified. The convict had to carry his own cross on which he would die. It showed submission to Rome's rule and judgment.
This typifies denying selfish desires and submitting to God's will, just as Jesus had to submit to the Fathers' will. Simply, we should put God first in our lives.
Here, Jesus is giving the parable about building a tower and of a king preparing for war. How do either of these men accomplish this? Each has to count the cost of accomplishing the task. If a contractor does not count the cost of building, he may not be able to complete the job. Will our Christian life be half built?
It will cost us something to be a disciple of Christ. We can lose social status, wealth, fame, time, or career. We may be separated from family, hated by some, or even death.
Are we truly willing to make a sacrifice? Have we considered the expense and the peril that may come?
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