Stand on the Gospel
When we picture soldiers on the frontlines of battle, we often imagine firearms, artillery, and other tactical equipment. But there’s a piece of gear we often overlook, without which a soldier would be utterly ineffective: his boots. Without appropriate footwear, no soldier, and therefore no army, can hope to defend a position.
The apostle Paul calls believers to stand firm in our gospel shoes, so to speak—to be at the ready with appropriate footwear. When in his first letter to the Corinthian church he writes his great chapter on the resurrection, he begins, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand”
(1 Corinthians 15:1, emphasis added). The gospel provides us with firm footing. Even when everything else around us is shaking, we always have a place to stand. Even when temptation is fierce, we never need to retreat.
What was it that empowered Martin Luther to stand against the tide, nail his theses to the church door at Wittenberg, and then proclaim before an emperor, “Here I stand; I can do no other”? Gospel shoes. What was it that enabled the English Protestants Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley to face with courage the horror of being burnt at the stake for their faith? Gospel shoes. What is it that sees our brothers and sisters in so many places around the world joyfully proclaim their faith in Christ even as they are threatened with death? Gospel shoes.
When you go to your workplace, to your school, to your unbelieving family and friends, or into your local community, what will give you the power to stand for Jesus? Only the gospel shoes that Christ provides. If you try to stand on your own strength, you will inevitably stumble and fall. But when you enter each new day with your feet rooted in the hope, peace, forgiveness, and assurance of the gospel, then you will find yourself able to stand firm, even through the fiercest opposition from the world and temptation from the devil. So before you go and get on with your day, rehearse the gospel to yourself. Enjoy its truths. Praise your Savior. Or, to put it a different way: put your shoes on.
The Resurrection of Christ
1Now I would remind you, brothers,1 of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
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