Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by Kurt Smith

Friday, March 04, 2005

There is an axiom I have heard used both in the business world and in the sports world - it is 'keep the main thing the main thing. The meaning behind this statement is that we must keep as our main focus whatever is fundamental to the life and breath of our existence. There are fundamentals to farming, to baseball, and to driving a car that are accepted as universally true. They should never be ignored if you plan to succeed in them. They are the 'main thing.' Well the same holds true in the Christian life: keeping the main thing of Christianity is keeping the gospel as our primary focus. Even after we are saved, the gospel must remain as the centerpiece of all that we are and believe.

Paul reminded the Corinthian church of this truth in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. He said that the gospel was what he 'preched.' This was his main message. He preached on many things but he never left the gospel as being his central message (see also 1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 6:14). And the gospel is what the Corinthians 'received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved' (vv. 1-2).

The gospel had a threefold effect on these believers in Corinth. First, they accepted it as true. Second, it continued to be the foundation of everything they believed. And third, they were being saved by its everlasting power. Should any Christian be surprised that the gospel is the main thing?

It is what defines and preserves who we are as Christians. It reminds us of God's love and mercy through the sending and sacrifice of His Son in our behalf. It keeps us humble and ever-grateful as we see our sins laid on Christ and His righteousness imputed to us. It also gives us our only bedrock of assurance that we are right with God, though we continue to fall short of His glory everyday. If we do not keep the gospel the main thing then we have thrown away our only hope of eternal forgiveness and favor with God.

Beloved, there may be alot of things that we will never understand as Christians - but when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ we had better be clear and firm always. For we have no other hope of salvation but in this: 'that Christ died for our sins according to the Scritpures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). This is at the heart of our worship and celebration as we prepare for Easter Sunday this month. It's all about keeping the main thing the main thing!

Kurt Smith, Pastor
Lakeview Baptist Church
Lenox, Georgia

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