Devotional: Make Jesus the Heart of the Gospel
We've seen why it is important to focus on Jesus... if you want God's best. I want to give you one more reason why it is necessary to focus on Jesus. It is a very simple reason, a very practical reason, but a very important one: because the whole gospel - all the good that God has in mind for us - centers on what Jesus has done for us.
This is stated clearly by Paul in First Corinthians. Notice, there are orders of importance in the things of God, but the things that Paul writes of here are “of first importance.” He makes three simple statements, each of which relates to Jesus:
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. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)
That is the gospel. Those are the facts of first importance. Everything else in the gospel is of secondary importance compared with those three facts, all of which center on Jesus: He died, He was buried, and He rose again the third day. We can never afford to let anything else become more important than those three facts about Jesus. We must be careful never to be enticed away from those basic truths, which are centered on Jesus.
Paul warns Timothy of this in his second epistle to Timothy, written from prison very near the end of his life:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. (2 Timothy 2:8–9)
Take note of those key words: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead.…This is my gospel.” How simple! It is just like what he said in 1 Corinthians 15—the whole gospel message centers on Jesus: His death, His burial, and His victorious resurrection.
Paul also tells Timothy to never get distracted from these central points, but to keep his eyes focused on Jesus. There is a great danger for Christians to become too sophisticated or too spiritual. Many Christians lose out by becoming too spiritual. People sometimes say to me after I preach, “Brother Prince, that was a deep message.” And I find myself wondering, “Did I do something wrong?” In a certain sense, I do not want to go too deep. I never want to go so deep that people lose sight of Jesus and the central facts of the gospel: His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
Let me exhort you with what Paul said to Timothy: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8).
One very important and practical way to remember Jesus is through the taking of Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, “This do, as often as you [do] it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:25 NKJV). It is a very simple, scriptural, practical way to remember Jesus and to keep your eyes focused on Him. Remember, He said, “As often as you [do] it,” not as seldom as you do it. Jesus wants us to keep our eyes continually focused on Him.
Lord Jesus, I always want to keep the three most important truths in mind: You have died, been buried, and raised the third day. I do not want to lose sight of you and focus on other things. I am looking forward to these three truths and want to think about it every day. Amen!
This devotional is taken from
If you want to deepen your understanding of Communion, you might want to read Derek's book on it