1 Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.
In the name of + Jesus.
Yesterday, we heard again of the amazing conversion of St. Paul. We heard the Saul of Tarsus being made a new creation by the risen Lord, and becoming the apostle to the Gentiles. We heard how Paul received what he says above is of first importance: the faith that trust that Christ died for our sins.
And having received this gift of faith by grace, Paul knows that this gift is not something to store in a lock-box, but is something to be shared. Indeed, it is something to be delivered. Those who receive the gift deliver the gift. Sinners are called by the Gospel, believe in Christ, and become His witnesses.
Of course, St. Paul was never blessed to have children—although he did consider the believers in the congregations he started to be like sons and daughters of his. But for those of us who are blessed to be parents, we do well to remember this passage above. It is even the sort of passage that could become a sort of theme verse for a household, be painted on a mantle, that sort of thing.
You see, faith is not an instinct. Our children don’t just pop out of the womb and believe in Jesus. They have to be given faith by the Holy Spirit, who works through the means of the Gospel. The faith in Christ we have been blessed to receive must be delivered. Literally, it must be handed over.
It’s actually the same Greek work (paradi,dwmi) that is used to describe Jesus being handed over when he was arrested. And I think that’s a pretty helpful way for us to think about it. Of course, when we hand over Jesus to our children, it is no act of betrayal like Judas’s handing over of Jesus, but it is a handing over of Jesus nonetheless.
So, whether you’re a parent or not, let us pray that the LORD would use us to hand over that which is of first importance to those people who are of first importance in our lives. Let us deliver Jesus. Let us hand Him over to our children, and an entire new generation of believers. And let us joy in knowing that in handing over Jesus, we’re giving them the greatest gift possible.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Visit, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep all harm and danger far from them. Grant that we may dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, sharing eternally in Your blessings; through Jesus Christ, our Lord (LSB, p. 315; #239).