I don’t have any real comments on today’s study, which I think is more a continuation of what Selwyn wrote yesterday.
He is building on the point he previously made – that God does everything through Jesus. Selwyn concludes with the statement that of all the essential elements of Christian service – grace comes first. He writes: “Without grace, all our efforts are doomed to failure. God stands ready to give you abundant grace. Empty your hands (of useless things) to receive it.”
[Note: The word ‘gumption‘ (regarding the Title of today’s study), is not one that we come across a lot these days, it means 1. Boldness of enterprise; initiative or aggressiveness. 2. Guts; spunk. 3. Common sense. The usage in the title, is in the sense, of having guts or courage. ]
The verses for today, follow, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (NIV): “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
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. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.”
Two reflections on the above verses: one, Paul’s hard and effective work – was the effect of God’s grace. Two, there is only one true gospel; and, by this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word … . Notice again, my dear friends – there is an implied condition – you are saved IF you hold firmly to God’s Word.