As of First Importance

Paul’s statement from 1 Corinthians 15 amazes me every time.

> 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (emphasis mine)
> Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
> For I delivered to you **as of first importance** what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

> Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 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**. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Many many things stick out about these eleven verses and I could rave about a lot of them. What hit me this morning was this: After fourteen chapters of intense instruction to the Corinthians about deep and mysterious things… he comes back and reminds them AS OF FIRST IMPORTANCE of the foundation. **What they need to know most is** not all the mysteries about tongues, spiritual gifts, etc, but of **the HISTORICAL FACT OF THE GOSPEL**.

The personal *realization* of this *historical* fact drives Paul to WORK HARDER than anyone. But he does so in full view that he himself is not the source of the real work, nor does he need to somehow muster up the power or the will to do this work. Rather, it is the GRACE OF GOD THAT IS WITH HIM that is doing the work.

This reality is amazingly emboldening, confidence instilling, and peace giving.

(The following was originally posted at





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