Sermon Notes for "Christ Alone" from 1 Corinthians 15:1-8


Introduction: We are continuing a 5 week study on the 5 Solas. Sola is Latin for alone, the solas were considered the foundational principles of Protestantism which was begun by Martin Luther in 1517 (Sola! Pg 3)

Review: Scripture Alone-One Story, God-Breathed, Useful

Grace Alone from God for us, a gift available to all people for all of life and motivation.



Who is Christ? Write down what Christ accomplished for us. 

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

What Christ Did vs. 1-8

·         Vs. 1-Brothers and Sisters, Church, let me remind you of the gospel. 

o   What are we to remind? Gospel-good news which Paul preached, the Corinthians received and took their stand and by which they were saved

o   Therefore a sentence such as this, every member of which hinges on the gospel, ought to sound exceedingly sweet to the Corinthians.[2] And to us.

·         Vs. 2-Saved

o   Our salvation is “from outside ourselves.” I find salvation not in my life story, but only in the story of Jesus Christ.[3]

o   Paul’s recounting of the gospel message reflects the fact that it is first and foremost a message about Jesus Christ and what he has done for us, rather than being a message primarily about us[4]

o   Anytime we add a qualifier to the gospel (social, prosperity), we minimize or distract from the gospel which is what God in Christ through the Holy Spirit has done and is doing. As J.D. Greear has said, “We must not confuse the effects of the gospel with the gospel itself.”

o   the heart of the gospel we will find in detail in verses 3-4.

o   In the case of a real believer such an assumption is an impossible idea. True faith always brings salvation and a thousand blessed effects connected with this salvation.[5]

·         Vs. 3-First Importance

o   Calvin says “fundamental doctrine of the gospel[6]

o   1 Corinthians 2:2 & Philippians 1:18

·         Vs. 3-Christ died for our sins

o   Jesus is our prophet, priest, and king. He was the better prophet (Isaiah, Jeremiah), priest (Levi, Melchizidek) and king (Solomon, David). Vanhoozer writes, “Solus Christus means that we need no further prophets to deliver new revelation, no more priests to make propitiation and mediate salvation and no other king to rule the church.” (150)

o   And this is not just a historical fact, but notice it is made personal (for our sins). The fact is Jesus did die.  However, it is made personal to you and me by Jesus dying for our past, present, and future sins. This good news is for you!

·         Vs. 3-4-According to the Scriptures

o   Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone

o   How do we know the gospel? The Bible. How do we know who God is? Scripture. How do we discover how we might be saved? Scripture Alone. In the Scriptures, we find prophecies in the Old Testament pointing to Jesus death and resurrection. Scripture alone is not only our authority but it also reveals to us who God is and what He has done including proving God can be trusted and that what Scripture said would happen in the future did happen in the life of Jesus.

·         Vs. 4-Buried and Raised

o   Paul uses four key verbs to summarize the gospel: Christ died, was buried, was raised, and was seen (or appeared).

o   Paul is establishing the crucial importance of the resurrection for the heart of the Christian faith, the very gospel of our salvation.[7] Paul knows that death and resurrection of Jesus are central to the Christian faith.

o   The addition “on the third day” is positive in regard to the historic reality of the resurrection.[8]

·         Vs. 5-8-Appeared to many

o   Paul presents those witnesses that are most important to the Corinthians and to the church in general for attesting the historical reality of Christ’s bodily resurrection.[9]

What We Do

·         Faith Alone

o   The crowd has witnessed several miracles of Jesus (walking on water, feeding 5000, healings) and in response to what He did, we read these words from John 6:28-29 “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” We will spend a whole message on “Faith Alone” next Sunday. 

·         Our message—Jesus-1 Timothy 1:15

o   The saying is trustworthy-it is reliable, it is true.

o   Incarnation-Came into the world

§  Jesus is the God-man; fully God, fully man. It was necessary for Jesus to be God and man.  Both were necessary for our salvation. He needed to be God because a perfect sacrifice was needed.  He needed to be man because a human had to take the place of the first Adam and live as human as a representative for us.

·         We preach Jesus.  This is what the world needs to hear.  Our message is about Jesus.  Every other message is secondary—politics, culture, behavior

§  In what ways, have I become distracted from gospel message “Christ died for sinners”?

·         Salvation by Christ alone-Acts 4:12, John 14:6

o   Christ Alone saves us, redeems us, reconciles us

o   Isn’t this exclusive?  I would agree with the exclusivity Christ declares if Jesus had said I’m the only way, now you get to work to make your salvation possible.  But Christ says “I’m the only way and I am going to do all the work necessary for your salvation and then offer salvation to you as gift.

o   And the best way to celebrate Christ Alone this morning is to share the Good News As You Go through communion. During communion, we remember what Christ has done demonstrated through the elements we receive. The bread and the cup remind us of the body and blood of Jesus for us.

Good News As You Go-Communion



[2] Lenski, R. C. H. (1963). The interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second epistle to the Corinthians (p. 626). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
[3] Ciampa, R. E., & Rosner, B. S. (2010). The First Letter to the Corinthians (p. 745). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
[4] Ciampa, R. E., & Rosner, B. S. (2010). The First Letter to the Corinthians (pp. 744–745). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
[5] Lenski, R. C. H. (1963). The interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second epistle to the Corinthians (p. 629). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
[6] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, p. 9). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
[7] Ciampa, R. E., & Rosner, B. S. (2010). The First Letter to the Corinthians (p. 748). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
[8] Lenski, R. C. H. (1963). The interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second epistle to the Corinthians (p. 632). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
[9] Lenski, R. C. H. (1963). The interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second epistle to the Corinthians (p. 633). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.

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