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The Seal of the Gospel


MacArthur on the centrality of the resurrection to the gospel, as seen in 1 Corinthians 15:

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[T]he gospel is grounded in historic events; and above all, the resurrection is the seal and the linchpin of gospel truth. Elsewhere Paul says that Christ “was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). Again, the resurrection was God’s seal of approval on the propitiation Christ offered. Without the resurrection, there would be no gospel.

Every element in Paul’s outline [“of gospel facts in 1 Corinthians 15”] is equally significant. It is an ingenious summary of the critical historical events in the gospel story. But as we have said from the start, Paul himself would be the first to emphasize that there are many other indispensable gospel truths—chiefly doctrines—such as sin, justification, vicarious atonement, grace, faith, security, and others. Paul explains those doctrines and stresses their importance throughout his epistles, as we will observe. But here his design is to give the most simple, pithy account of gospel history possible—one that comprehends and implicitly affirms all the vital doctrines as well. Each point he lists is indeed a matter of primary importance: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures . . . He was buried . . . He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and . . . He was seen.”

That is the whole gospel. The rest is explanation.

—John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 21–22.



Posted 2018·06·22 by David Kjos
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Posted in: John MacArthur · The Gospel according to Paul

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