The Fourfold Foundation of the Gospel

The Fourfold Foundation of the GospelText: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he reminded them of the fundamental truths of the gospel. These were the points upon which everything else was built. He mentioned four facts that were “of first importance” in God’s saving message. Let us consider the facts that comprise the foundation of the gospel and see how they apply to us as well.

Four Facts of the Gospel

  • Christ died – He laid down His life for us (John 10:18); obedient, even to the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:8); died for our sins, demonstrating the love of the Father (Romans 5:8) and the Son (John 15:13)
  • He was buried – in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-66), showing His death was not just a hoax; fortunately, the story does not end there
  • He was raised – He willingly laid down His life (John 10:18), but had the power to take it up again; He was the first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20), the first to arise never to die again (Romans 6:9); this gives us hope
  • He appeared – we often talk about the first three facts, but Paul mentioned a fourth; Jesus appeared to hundreds of people, giving proof of the resurrection; eyewitness testimony establishes truth (1 John 1:1-3)

Incorporating These in Our Lives

  • Our death – we must be crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20); become dead to sin (Romans 6:6, 11-12); we must be willing to sacrifice our life (Romans 12:1; Luke 9:23) and continually put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13)
  • Our burial – we are buried with Christ in baptism (Romans 6:3-4); burial in water (Acts 8:36, 38); this burial has a spiritual significance in that it prompts God to do something (Colossians 2:11-12)
  • Our resurrection – after our burial in baptism, we are raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4); our lives are to be different; put off the old man and put on the new man (Colossians 3:9-10)
  • Our appearance – Jesus appeared to others to prove that He had been raised from the dead; we must prove through our lives that we have put off sin and now follow Christ (Matthew 5:16; Romans 12:2)


  • In order to be saved, one must obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8)
  • Have you done that? – becoming dead to sin, buried with Christ in baptism, raised to walk in newness of life
  • Are you doing that? – continually putting to death the old man; appearing as lights in the world

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