Gospel First

Josh Wootton

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:3

I attended the Southern Baptist Convention this week. J.D. Greear (president of the SBC) reminded us all Tuesday of what the Apostle Paul taught so urgently in his letter to the Corinthians — the gospel message is of first importance to the church. This is not the only important message, but it is the most important message. The fact that Jesus died for our sins and was raised in accordance with the Scriptures is the fundamental and foundational truth of the church. Nothing should stand in the way of the proclamation of this incredible news.

The gospel was so important to Paul that he claimed to know nothing else (1 Cor. 2:2). It was not that he knew literally nothing else nor that he refused to teach on other issues. What Paul meant was that all his education and experience paled in comparison to this glorious truth about Christ and the cross. It is the only message of real value Paul had to offer and its value is beyond measure.

The reason J.D. Greear reiterated Paul’s words concerning the gospel is that Southern Baptist Churches today need to be refocused. We must hold tightly to Paul’s war cry — the gospel message is of first importance to the church. Eastern Hills Baptist Church must maintain a passion for gospel truth above all else. Yes, there are important issues that we should champion, abortion, adoption, sobriety, poverty, racial reconciliation, etc., but we must never let any issue eclipse the gospel. It is only through the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection that we have hope in this life and it is only by this gospel of Christ that we will ever be the salt and light the world needs.

As we continue to move forward as a church, let us be ever mindful of that which is of first importance. Let Eastern Hills prayerfully consider all our ways and make sure our lives and our church are saturated with the foundational truth of the gospel of Christ.

Pastor Josh