In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes the character of the Christian in terms which are repulsive to the unbelieving world. Those who in Christ are “blessed” are the poor in spirit, the mourner, the persecuted, the meek, the merciful – hardly virtues in our world. And so you see, you cannot follow after the Christ as a proud peacock, strutting about in delusions of self-importance, desiring God and others to take notice of you. Rather you know your place as a creature of your Creator, and a sinful one at that. This is the posture of faith, a “believing humility” which knows who the merciful God is, and who we are as the objects of His mercy.
Today's Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-10
"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."
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you…” Paul had founded the churches in Corinth a few years earlier. It was certainly a labor of love, as he spent a year and six months there preaching and teaching (Acts 18:11). And yet, for all his teaching, exhortation, and catechesis, he reminds them once again of the substance of the gospel (reminiscent of the Apostles Creed), “Christ died for our sins…he was buried…raised…appeared to many.” We Christians never get beyond the Gospel, the reality of our justification for the sake of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We need those reminders. If your pastor tells you of that reality once again this Sunday, he does just what Jesus would have him do.