THE GOSPEL THAT PAUL PREACHED
by Russell S. Miller
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
"By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;
"And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (ICor.15:1-4).
Do you recall that during our Lord's earthly ministry, and the announcements of His approaching crucifixion (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33,34), that His disciples didn't comprehend a thing He had said to them about His impending death (Mark 8:32; 9:32; 10:35)?
"And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken" (Luke 18:34).
But it is suggested by some that the words of Christ in Luke 24:25-27 show that our Lord there revealed what He actually accomplished at Calvary. If the Lord had revealed to his disciples that "Christ Died For Our Sins" as He later revealed to the Apostle Paul, this would surely have been the good news that Peter and John would have preached on Pentecost. Instead we find Paul using the personal pronoun "I" in I Corinthians 15:1-4 regarding "the gospel" which he had "received" of the Lord Jesus, and "declared" and "preached" and "delivered," to the Corinthians, and to us.
In early Acts the Apostle Peter had only known, and preached, the resurrection of Christ to sit upon the throne of David's prophesied kingdom. He did not know what the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ had accomplished, nor did Peter preach Paul's gospel at Pentecost. He rather called upon Israel to "repent" of their wickedness in the crucifixion of Christ and submit to water baptism "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:22-31, 38; 3:22,23). Clearly, at Pentecost, the disciples of our Lord did not know what the cross of Calvary meant; else they would have preached it from the housetops!
On the contrary, God raised up the Apostle Paul for the specific purpose of proclaiming Paul's gospel for the obedience of all peoples today (Rom.16:25,26). And all this, beloved, though first revealed to Paul, is consistent with Paul's words in Romans and Corinthians and Colossians that Christ's death, burial and resurrection was "according to the Scriptures" (ICor.15:3,4).