This is an adapted form of the sermon I preached this morning. The text I preached on was 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.
Think of a gift you received that was really important to you. The last four weeks here in church, we’ve been talking about some gifts that are important. We’ve been talking about the gifts that God has given us, and how we can use them well and share them.
- We talked about time, how God has given all of us time, and how we can share it wisely.
- We talked about spiritual gifts, which means things like the skills we have, the talents, and how we can share them wisely.
- We talked about worship and prayer, and how we can do that better.
- And we talked about money, how God has given all of us money, and how we can share that wisely.
God has given you all these things, and they’re important. But they are not the most important thing of all. If you forget about all these other gifts, remember this one. The most important gift of all. More important than any of the commandments or any of the rules God’s given us. More important than time, more important than money, more important than everything. Here’s that gift:
Jesus Christ died.
And Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.
That’s the most important gift of all! And here’s why:
Because he did it for you.
Jesus Christ died for you. And that means that you are forgiven. Every single thing you have done wrong. Every single thing you will ever do wrong. God forgives you. God loves you so much, that he was willing to die for you.
And Jesus Christ was raised from the dead for you. And that means that you will be raised from the dead too. It means that God will give you a new life after you die, and it also means that God is giving you everything you need for a full and amazing life right now. It means that God loves you so much, so very, very much, and God will get you through everything!
Now sometimes we make church so complicated. Sometimes we talk about rules and commandments. We talk about what God is doing in a particular situation. Sometimes we argue about what God’s word means. These are good things. But more important is this:
Jesus Christ died for you.
Jesus Christ was raised for you.
But don’t take my word for it. In today’s second lesson, the Apostle Paul wrote this:
I passed this on to you as most important: Christ fulfilled the scriptures. He died for our sins, he was buried, and he rose on the third day. That’s it! That’s what’s most important! You’ve heard this message; this is what we preach and this is what you have believed. Christ died and was raised. For you. That’s what the church is all about!
A few months ago, two of our youth interviewed some people in our congregation, and asked them a few questions about their view of the church. We’re going to watch a brief video they made of those interviews now.
Our church is awesome. It is! It really is! Do you know why it is? It’s not because we share our time so well. It’s not because we share our money so well. It’s not because we worship the right way or use our spiritual gifts so well. Those things are good, and they certainly don’t hurt! But our church is awesome for two reasons:
Because Jesus Christ died for us. And because Jesus Christ was raised for us. And it’s because of that, because of that forgiveness and life, that we can share all our gifts. It’s because of that that we can do all the amazing things we do here. That’s what it’s all about.
And that’s what the church is. The church is a group of people who remind each other of that. Who say to each other, “Jesus Christ died for you. And Jesus Christ was raised from the dead for you.” That’s it. We say this to each other, and we say this to other people as well. That is our good news. That is our purpose. That is who we are. That is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given, and the greatest gift we have to share.