5 Jan 2012

Have I believed in vain?

Submitted by theshovel
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend to friendSend to friendPDF versionPDF version

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NASB

Does this question chip away your confidence? Are you haunted by the possibility that your faith might become worthless and you might therefore lose the salvation you received through Jesus Christ? If so, I'd like to provoke your most holy mind to recognize how the working of religious deception has twisted the gospel to make you look to yourself rather than to Christ. I suspect even those who may not question their salvation have most likely been tricked into imagining that the focus of vain faith rests upon their own doctrinally correct faith. Oh yeah, I realize that may sound quite contradictory in the face of language that seems to say exactly that, but like I said, what we think we see in these verses has been so perverted by the natural, religious mind that we can't see what's plainly in front of our eyes.

What gospel did Paul preach to them in the first place by which they were saved? That Christ died for our sins, was buried and then was raised from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus was witnessed by many. And this is what he wanted them to hold fast what he preached to them. Was it so that by keeping our faith alive that we might remain saved? Tell me, do you hear the mind of man's self-justification pushing you to see yourself rather than Christ in that line of questioning? Let me state the glaring truth that you will no doubt recognize immediately. There is one, and only one reality that Paul pursued in his whole line of questioning, and it is this: If Christ rose from the dead, as Paul's gospel claimed, then your faith is not vain nor is it worthless.

If this sounds to you as if I'm forcing Paul's words to say something he did not mean then I suggest you read those words for yourself. No, not just the two verses above, but the ones that follow. What you will see, unless your eyes have been blinded by the deceiver, is that Paul was confronting the false teaching that had been circulating among them that Jesus Christ had not really come back from the dead. Do you see why Paul wanted them to recall the gospel that HE had preached to them, the one they received, the one in which they stood, the one by which they were saved?

Paul told them that Christ not only died but that he also rose again from the grave. If it was not true, and Jesus Christ had not risen, then any faith in a dead Christ would be worthless, it would be vain, and there could be no salvation in it. But if Christ has been raised ... well, you know the rest, don't you? :)

Shovel Audio

This Shovel Audio, Tongues of Fire, comes from a request from a wonderful lady about praying in tongues. She now wonders how something that is supposed to bring rest and refreshment has instead produced weariness and some kind of bondage. This is the first of two audios. Expect another one, the Miraculous Significance of Tongues to follow next week.

Related Content: 
Spoonful: 

Comments

Wow, thanks. I have not seen this in that light before.

Thanks for this. Adam

“If Christ rose from the dead, as Paul’s gospel claimed, then your faith is not vain nor is it worthless.” so very encouraging! i love how the good news of Christ gives wings to the confidence we have in Him!!  :) i agree with Adam - truly - thanks for this! :)

Wonderful truth!! So glad I “found” this blog from another pure grace believer! I know my heart yearns and hungers and thirst for more grace truth, rather than the steady diet of law preaching coming down the pike. God Bless you my brother in Christ, though I’ve never met you (yet!)
theshovel's picture

Hello my dear friend,
Thank you for your enthusiastic greeting. I also look forward to meeting you and connecting more. :)
Jim

Jim said: “Paul told them that Christ not only died but that he also rose again from the grave. If it was not true, and Jesus Christ had not risen, then any faith in a DEAD CHRIST would be worthless, it would be vain, and there could be no salvation in it. But if Christ has been raised … well, you know the rest, don’t you? :)” Now I am not sure if those that were proclaiming and teaching a Christ that was according to fleshly knowledge, actually believed in a dead Christ or not but, if they did and that was what they were preaching, well then this has a very similar flavor as what was being perpetuated both in Hebrews and the letter of Acts. For the natural mind does not and can not believe in a God that would raise the dead and provide all spiritual blessings that are only interpreted by the gift of faith for it is left outside it’s gates of reality. To have been taken captive by a vein philosophy stemming from man and led into dwelling upon another Gospel IS to be led into another’s ‘faith’ in Christ according to the flesh. In other words, those that see Christ as nothing more than a historical figure, a martyr, a promised king, a piece of history that fit the descriptions in the law but was only according to man, STILL do not BELIEVE in Him who was sent.
theshovel's picture

Excellent distinction, my brother! Yes, there are many who have believed in another Jesus, not truly the one and only who was sent to deliver us. :)

Jim

Add new comment

Random Shovelquote: What kind of gospel... (view all shovelquotes)

Let me get very blunt. What kind of gospel leaves you in the unknown regarding the very premise of the actual good news of Christ, which is full confidence in one’s relationship to God through Christ? What kind of gospel causes you to think it’s all about what you do or don’t do, when the good news declares that it’s not about you at all but all about Christ and what he has done and is now doing? source