I was browsing through first Corinthians and a thought struck me that set the old mind running as though I were still twenty and everything in the Bible was totally new to me. In my dotage I have become what the Great Blonde calls a “contextual nut.” I admit that I have trouble discerning whether this is a compliment or some other sly way she has of convincing me of the nut part.
I am known as many things, one being a gospel preacher. Often even this term is given in the form of a put down. I consider it the recognition of the high calling of God. I love the scriptures and in times of deep trouble I find comfort and true courage to face whatever trails come, and by God’s grace continue in the fray. One of the great truths of scripture is that many verses, thoughts and ideas have multiple applications, although each has a primary application. Today’s verse is in the mix of being used most of the time in a secondary way, that while comforting beyond words, if left alone in that application, misses an even greater comfort.
Briefly, the definition of the Gospel is stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 as the good news of the death, burial, resurrection and continuing work of Christ via the Holy Spirit in extending grace to lost sinners. The good news about Christ is our way and the Bible’s method of declaring the evangel.
We often, I use “we” in order to let you that me or your preacher are not heretics when I use a nuclear statement from the Bible as teaching us about the coming glory of heaven. Though this verse has comforted millions and still is a great hook on which to hang our vision of the future heavenly abundance, it is really a paean of praise about the unfathomable glory of gospel truth.
Here is the verse that so many of us revere:
1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
The context is primarily about the gospel so it is not a leap to say with the hope of moving people to a lot more study of the evangel, in order to have revealed to us the glory of the current existence and the beauty of the coming resurrection and life without the limitations of a fallen physical body.
The gospel is “full” of the love, the mind, the attributes of our Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, as we study, contemplate the implications in the gospel that the Holy Spirit teaches about the current power of the gospel that is changing our feelings, our mind and our actions concerning God, other Christians and the lost. John’s gospel clearly shows Him the as parakletos “one called alongside to help,” the ultimate mentor. It’s interesting that He, the Holy Spirit, uses the Word as a primary teaching tool. So must we rely on the Word if we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Time used in studying the gospel is a very wise use of our time. In order to grasp the wonder of so great salvation we must come to understand that without the good news of Christ, none of the wonders we often take for granted would be available to us, for there is no other way of salvation. Even in that wondrous land beyond the river, we will have a constant reminder that we are there due to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ as seen in Revelation 5:6, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”
Keep in mind the number “7” is the number of completion, thus we know that Christ is with us, in us and for us as He teaches about Himself, about our self and about the world around us. We learn these moving truths as we delve into the gospel and share it with the world about us, via word and deed, with the compassion of Christ.
Paul summed it up when he wrote in Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Spend a little time contemplating this verse.
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