“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve” (I-Corinthians 15:3-5).
Salvation comes through a cross and a crucified Christ. Some things are ”of first importance!” They lie at the heart of the matter of faith and are central to the issue of salvation. For us as Christians, we should not have to doubt what the things of first importance’ are. The Gospel of our salvation is built on a simple foundation: Jesus Christ, Jesus died, Jesus was buried, Jesus rose from the grave, and Jesus appeared to his disciples who were never the same after witnessing their resurrected Savior. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ we must not let anyone distract us from these core truths or crowd out their simplicity with other matters they may claim to be of first importance. Our salvation is rooted in our faith and our participation in this simple, yet powerful Gospel of Jesus Our Christ, the chief cornerstone.
In Isaiah 28:16 God describes Jesus as the stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, and a sure foundation. Let’s look a little deeper into the character and attributes of this stone. “Behold I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a ‘Tried’ stone,” the Hebrew origin and definition of “Tried” is bachan. Bachan means trial, tried, to investigate, examine, prove, tempted.
God personally conducts the examination and finds the stone has no faults or sin. Jesus, the precious stone is proven to stand the test of time, and although he shall be tempted—yet unmoved in who He is and from His purpose. God describes the forthcoming Jesus not as any old stone but a stone that has been tried, found perfect and pure, investigated with never a flinch of guilt discovered within.
In the profession of stone-masonry once a stone is tested or tried it is then cleared for use in a building project. Having knowledge of this we must take every opportunity to thank God for giving us Jesus. Yes Jesus, a tried and proven Lord and Savior, who we can build our lives upon without worries, because our foundation has been tried, investigated, examined, proven, and tempted yet found faultless. This is a foundation belief of first importance which all Christians are to embrace if we are to be stones used in the building of the Church Body of Jesus Christ.
“Behold I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone” the Hebrew origin and definition of “Precious” is Yaqar. Yaqar means brightness, clear, costly, excellent, honorable woman, reputation, valuable, to make rare, be prized. Jesus is described as the light of the world and as the church (re: woman/bride) displaying an impeccable and rare character of integrity, excellence, and value. This is another foundation belief of first importance which all Christians are to embrace if we are to let our light shine in the lives of men and women walking in darkness.
Furthermore, a cornerstone is a starting point or the spot that a builder starts building and is used to block or define a territory. Our precious cornerstone is the masterpiece and the design of God—the Builder—who presents Jesus “a sure foundation” as our starting point to build our purpose and lives upon. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). The Gospel of Jesus clearly outlines that it is at the feet of Jesus where life begins and our God-given purposes are fulfilled.
Every promise of God is a matter of first importance. The Atonement of Jesus for our sins laid the foundation which expands from the cornerstone forming the pillars of our Christian beliefs in: (1) God’s justice and holiness, which will not suffer Him to deceive; (2) His grace or goodness, which will not suffer Him to forget; (3) His truth, which will not suffer Him to change, and (4) His word which makes Him able to accomplish all that He promise. “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is none other. I have sworn by myself; the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear….and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed” (Isaiah 45:22-24).
The Apostle Paul says: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Do not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Allow Jesus to be your chief cornerstone by accepting Him into your heart and seeking Him first in every area and issue of your life permitting God to build His wonderful masterpiece in you. Your salvation is more than important it lies at the heart of the matter of first importance and is central to the issue at hand. What and who will you build your life on?
May the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Missional Confusion & The Amway Gospel…an assessment of a movement (jamaljivanjee.com)
- Of First Importance (missionallendale.wordpress.com)