THINGS OF FIRST IMPORTANCE! GET IT RIGHT! IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH! The Apostle Paul was concerned about people. He wanted to make sure people understood the importance of first things. Quite often if we miss the basics we end up way off base in our understanding of many things. From personal experience I can tell you that some times that makes life really hard. But some things are of life and death importance as the Apostle Paul shared with the church at Corinth. "Now, brothers and sisters, 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," (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Notice that Paul said, “of first importance” in a person receiving real salvation is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus just as Scripture reveals. Miss the first things and you miss the true gospel and your faith is “vain” or worthless. In this case things “of first importance” are the difference between eternal life and death.
When it comes to salvation there is no room for error. The salvation offered by God is built on this premise: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The Apostle Peter said it this way: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NIV). There are not many ways to God; only one--Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6 NIV). If anyone misses this basic truth they miss heaven no matter how close they come. On this issue the basics are a life and death issue. But God is a gracious God who offers an opportunity for all to receive the things of first importance and participate in the eternal results of learning them and accepting them, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16 NIV).