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Life's Navigation Points

Life's Navigation Points

Words of Faith 7-28-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Corinthians 15

   Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. [2] By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

   [3] For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. [6] After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. [7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, [8] and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

 

       It may seem strange that Paul should suddenly shift from matters that were very practical-- who should speak in a church gathering and in what order-- to matters extremely theological. But that is exactly what he did.

     Chapter 15 is about Resurrection. He opened this chapter with a concise statement of the Gospel he had preached to the Corinthians-- Christ died for our sins, he was buried and he was raised on the third day. That is it, plain and simple.

       We must remember that Paul began this wonderful, yet difficult, letter talking about the Cross. "We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles" (1:23) "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (2:2).

       That was point one for navigation. But one point is not enough.

       Paul concluded the letter with a magnificent statement of the Gospel and the essential truth of the Resurrection. "For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" (15:16-17). It is as if he was giving his readers two points of reference for the navigation of life. Point two.

       The Resurrection is sort of the "North Star" of theological and life navigation for a Christian. It is fundamental to the Gospel message. It is the centerpiece of Christian theology. From these two points of reference everything in life can be navigated.

       The CROSS reveals how much God loves me, shows the depth of my sin, reveals the willingness of God to save me, and puts my suffering in perspective.

       The RESURRECTION reveals my future, shows me the power of God over any circumstance, tells me where I am going, and gives me hope.

       Both of these truths are critical especially in an age of unbelief. The Barna Research group reports that while 85% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and rose from the dead and is spiritually alive today, 39% of Americans do not believe Jesus had a physical resurrection. 35% of born-again Christians do not believe in the resurrection.

       The postmodern reality is that church often resembles the culture of unbelief more than it does the Kingdom of God. Major seminaries today fail to teach the basic truth of the Gospel. No wonder many segments of the church are lost at sea having abandoned the navigation points.

       Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers in four ways.

       1 - We need to be reminded of the truth. "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand." The word for remind means to know by experience; to make known from experience; certify, declare, or give to understanding. I want you to be reminded by experiencing the reality of resurrection.

       2 - We need to take possession of the truth. "By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain." There is no other Gospel by which men are saved. Therefore hold firmly to it-- hold down fast, keep in memory, possess, retain, and seize it. We are not saved because we hold on; but we hold on because we are saved.

       3 - We need to pass on this truth. "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures". These truths are of first importance. Christ died. Christ was buried. Christ was raised from the dead.

       4 - We need to believe the truth with confidence. He appeared to Peter. He appeared to "the Twelve". He appeared to more than 500 and many were still alive. He appeared to James the half brother of Jesus. He appeared to "all the Apostles". He appeared to Paul.

         Do you have the Navigation points for life clearly in view? The Cross and the Resurrection? Are you clinging to the grace of the Cross and hoping in the victory of the Resurrection? Are you putting yourself into the places that will remind you of this truth? Are you taking personal possession of these truths? Are you passing on these truths? Are you standing with confidence upon the truth of the Gospel?

 

         Father God, help me to keep my eyes upon Your grace poured out at the Cross of Jesus and the victory of His Resurrection. Keep me on course. Keep me from getting distracted, delayed or pulled off course. In Jesus' Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2007, 2017

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)      

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.