When I see a phrase such as “of first importance” I pay attention. In fact, I’ve decided that it’s an important enough passage to memorize. Not just a couple of the verses — the entire paragraph.
1 Corinthians 15
1 Now I would remind you, brothers,of the gospel I preached to you, which you received,in which you stand,
2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you -unless you believed in vain.
Why the gospel is important — the gospel is the foundation of our faith; “the great exchange” (Jesus’ payment for my sins and crediting His righteousness to my account) is the basis of salvation
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Why the gospel is valid — “according to the Scriptures. . .” this wasn’t just some cute idea that Paul dreamed up one day. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection were prophesied, witnessed and verified.
5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
Why the gospel is believeable — eye witness testimony from numerous sources, all saying the same thing — Jesus is alive! Jesus is God!
8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Why the gospel is sufficient — Saul of Tarsus was a religious fanatic, intent on destroying “The Way.” God’s grace extended to him; Jesus’ payment was sufficient for his sin. There is NO ONE who is beyond God’s power to save. There is nothing I have done, have not done, or will do or will not do that is beyond God’s power to save.
I just know that I will never stop being amazed at God’s grace. The gospel is truly of “first importance”