Sunday, October 18, 2015
I am not ashamed of the gospel, but exactly what is it? Part 4
Paul's famous words from Romans chapter one are widely known and quite often quoted. However, this begs the question that if we are truly not ashamed of the gospel why is it so neglected on Sundays from the pulpits across the country? Why is it that so seldom one hears the gospel message? Is it the assumption that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is well known by all, and the saved saints in our churches need to hear more law so they can become better kingdom dwellers? Why is it that Paul claimed to know nothing among the Corinthian believers save Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Why was the proclamation of the resurrection so important to them back in the first century, and so apparently unimportant to us here in twenty-first century? Does it seem the least bit odd that 20 centuries later one hears so little about the resurrection and resurrection life? I dare say that in most churches the resurrection is relegated to a couple of weeks out of the year. I have to laugh that some churches today are so against what they call tradition that they don't even speak of the resurrection on the day it is celebrated.
You want to know what I think? I think that they are not exactly sure what the gospel is. I think that they believe that the gospel is merely a step in salvation that makes it necessary to explain all the rules and regulations that will allow the saint to grow stronger as a Christ follower, and that the focus needs to be on improvement in the accepted regulations. Forget about the fact that Jesus paid it all. Forget about the fact that it is already done, not only so, but already done from before the world was created. Forget that because of the death, burial and resurrection that those who believe the gospel message are adjudicated the righteousness of God, possessing the righteousness of God, and all the blessings of Abraham. I know, the gospel is really hard to believe. It can't be that simple can it? Certainly I must do something to show how worthy I am of blessings and salvation, that only makes sense right?
Stop right there!!! Read this carefully!!! (I'm shouting).... YOU WILL NEVER BE WORTHY OF SALVATION OR THE BLESSINGS! Awh now, let me repeat myself.... You will NEVER be worthy of the blessings and salvation! That is the gospel. That is the good news. God was in Christ Jesus; reconciling the world to Himself; not counting sin against us because of Jesus Christ, and He made Jesus who did not even understand the concept of sin, become sin for us that in Him we might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in Him. That's the gospel! That is all there is.
This brings peace with God and causes real, true, love for God. This is the gospel. Our real, true love for God will then begin to help us transform into beings of love, that is precisely what the scripture means by the phrase "faith working through love." It is Jesus faith in the Father that demonstrated the love of God by the cross. Apprehending Jesus faith by the measure of faith given to us by the Holy Ghost upon hearing the gospel message is what transforms us into disciples of Jesus.
If you don't hear this clear concise explanation of the gospel every time you meet then something is amiss. If you are hearing how you can be better, have more faith, be more obedient, be more like King David or the Prophet Daniel, then you are NOT hearing the word of God which is the gospel. Your faith comes from hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ Romans 10:17. Study that chapter in a few versions of the bible and do not stop until you know for sure that the word of God for new covenant saints is the gospel of Christ.
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