3 “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,”
3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
Paul received the gospel of the death and resurrection of Christ from other apostles. This was of first importance and foundational to everything else in the Christian life. The resurrected Christ appeared to him directly at his salvation on the Damascus road, and he later received direct revelation from the Lord (Ga 1:11).
that Christ died for our sins
There are three aspects to the gospel: (1) the death of Christ, (2) His burial that confirms His death, and (3) His resurrection that shows His victory over death. The purpose of the life of Christ was to die “for our sins.” This liberated people from their sins.
The word “for” means in the place of, because of. This is substitution. Jesus took my place that I might have His place. He took my hell that I might have His heaven. A substitute is a person who takes the place of another. We should have died for our sins but Jesus died in our place. That is His substitutionary death. It is the heart of the gospel. Jesus’ life does not save us. His teaching does not save us. He saves us by His death on the cross. There is no other way to get rid of our sins.
according to the Scriptures,
“According to Scriptures” ratifies that the purpose of Christ’s death was to die for sins. The Old Testament predicted it, and it came to pass precisely as Scripture anticipated it would.
Jesus took my hell that I might have His heaven.
That Jesus died is nothing new. Julius Caesar died. George Washington died. The special thing about Jesus’ death is that He died for our sins and rose from the dead to give eternal life. This is not religious twaddle. The essential aspect of the gospel is that Jesus died for sin. He personally had no sin, so He did not die for Himself. No one ever loved us that much. His death satisfied the just claims of God for eternity. There is no event in history as momentous as Calvary. Life begins at the cross.
Please read this list of Christ’s substitution for our sins. If we drill it into our heads, it will help us see the centrality of Christ’s death for our sins.
Mt 26: 28For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Jn 10: 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. …17“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Ac 2: 23Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
Ro 4: 5But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 25who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Ro 5: 6For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly….8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. …10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Ro 8: 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, …32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
2 Co 5: 14For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. …21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Ga 3: 13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
Ep 5: 1Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. …25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
1 Ti 2: 5For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
1 Th 5: 9For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Ti 2: 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
He 2: 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
He 9: 26He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
He 10: 10By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
1 Pe 2: 24who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
1 Pe 3: 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
1 Jn 2: 1My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Oh, what sacrifice on our behalf!