Friday, February 8, 2013

The pristine gospel; the first sermon to the gentiles

Acts 10:38-44 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.  (39)  And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,  (40)  but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,  (41)  not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  (42)  And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.  (43) To him all the prophets’ bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."  (44)  While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word
If there is any question about the contents of the gospel this should settle it once for all. The Holy Spirit was poured out on all who heard and believed. It was predicated on believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and believing that everyone who believes receives forgiveness through his name. This is the gospel according to Jesus via Peter. the entire incident is described in one hundred and seventy-seven words. This goes to show that it does not take all that much to preach the gospel. Isaiah asks the question “who has believed our report?” Here is a classic example of the Gentiles believing.

Believing the message brings the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit does all the rest. However, the important thing is to continue in believing the message. This is why it is so important to continue to preach the gospel every time the Saints gather together. The gospel is the instrument that continues to stir the presence of the Holy Spirit. The law does not stir the presence of the Holy Spirit. It takes the focus off the Spirit and places it on the flesh. This is why Paul explained to the Colossians that just as they received Christ… that is how they should continue to walk in him, i.e., by clinging to the gospel (Col 2:6.)

So let me ask again… why are preachers preaching everything but the gospel when it is the instrument that stirs the Spirit? It must be the leaven of the Pharisees that causes such a departure from protocol. The saints must be completely resting in the gospel. This is the only way that they can ever really be able to receive instruction about a walk that is pleasing to Christ. If they question their salvation, justification or acceptance before God, they will be transported into fear and will lose the stirring of the Holy Spirit.

When they lose the stirring of the Holy Spirit they will lose peace with God and will ultimately fall into despair.

There are so many passages that demonstrate that believing (trusting in, clinging to, and relying on) the gospel is the sole responsibility of the saint. All obedience flows from this faith. Real obedience will only flow from a place of total trust and rest.

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