“Moreover, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you… 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.” (1Corinthians 15:1-4)
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that when he came to them he determined to know nothing among them but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He did not use enticing words of man’s wisdom because he did not want their faith to be rooted in the wisdom of man but in the power of God. (1Corinthians 2)
When Paul concluded his letter to the Corinthians he reminded them of the Gospel he had preached in a clear summary. It is simply two facts about Jesus Christ: He died, and He was raised from the dead for our sins. That was what Paul preached, that was what they believed, that was what saved them, and that was the foundation upon which their faith was to stand. Furthermore, if they believed anything else they were lost. (1Corinthians 15)
We preachers often go beyond the Gospel Paul proclaimed. Perhaps we are trying to make it more interesting for ourselves. We may be preaching to each other. Whatever our reasons, we need to return to the clear and simple presentation of the Gospel Paul preached in Corinth and all over the world.
I know of no one in my generation who did that like Billy Graham. He wrote that early in his preaching when a meeting was not right, in prayer the Lord showed him that he was making it too complex. He then returned to an uncomplicated, clear message that never wavered from the Gospel.
Dick Woodward, 27 August 2013
Editor’s Note: My father looked up to Billy Graham with the highest respect & appreciation. He always treasured the time he met him through family friends in Va. Beach & the opportunity to serve as part of a pastoral team during a 1970s crusade in Tidewater. I’m sure there’s much rejoicing in Heaven with many souls, like Papa, there to shake Billy Graham’s spiritual hands. May he R.I.P. & may the legacy of his faith – the clear proclamation of the Gospel – continue to transform lives with the power of Jesus Christ’s love.