Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message. - 1 Corinthians 15:1
Should the players on a sports team begin to experience difficulties with each other off the field, the chances of their performing well on the field will be jeopardized. The same thing applies to a business, a family, or a church. Good leaders know this and, therefore, spend considerable time and effort seeking to maximize good relations and minimize personal frictions. Good leaders do this by constantly reminding the group about their objectives and helping them to focus on what is of prime importance. Good leaders teach their people that “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”22
Paul, as we have seen, was dealing with a particularly fractious group of people in the church of Corinth. They were divided on a number of issues. All of these issues, in Paul’s view, were less significant than the “main thing.” So, having dealt with some of the issues that were dividing them, and having reminded them that they were called to love each other, Paul turned his attention to sharpening their focus once more on the main thing. He wrote, “Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message” (1 Cor. 15:1). The main thing was not who was the best leader, or who exercised which gift, or which ministry was most important. The main thing was that God had done something in human history to change their lives for time and eternity, and that he had alerted the people of Corinth to what he had done through the preaching of the Good News. Without the Good News there would be no church, no gifts, no ministry, no apostles, no salvation, and no forgiveness. In fact, without the Good News, there would be no Corinthian church at all to get worked up over these less-than-main things!
What precisely is this Good News? “That Christ died for our sins, . . . he was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day” (15:3-4)—that is the Good News. Many men have died bravely, some even voluntarily and vicariously. But no one has ever died with the intention of raising himself from the dead. No one, that is, except Jesus (see John 10:17-18), which demonstrates that his death was unique. It was so unique that it alone could be the basis for the forgiveness of sins.
The main thing is that Christ died to bring forgiveness and rose from the dead, conquering sin, death, the devil, and hell. As long as Paul was alive he would never cease to remind people.
When the risen Christ is central, you know what is peripheral. Never confuse the two.
For Further Study: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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