Sunday, October 4, 2015

I am not ashamed of the gospel, but what exactly is it? Part 3

Rom 1:15-17 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

This begins the third installment of this series about the gospel. I believe that it is necessary for two reasons; 1) it is difficult to identify what the content of the gospel is when asking people to define it, even church leaders are somewhat unsure; 2) It is not shared as regularly as the first century apostles insisted, especially Paul. For example, Paul claimed that he had determined to know nothing amongst the Corinthians except Jesus Christ and Him crucified, (1 Cor 2:2.) In that statement, one can see how important the gospel was to Paul. It is also important, to note that according to Paul, the full message of the gospel was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15;1-4.) I will develop this more in further posts, but for now, it will suffice it to say that the gospel in Paul's mind was very simple.

Let's look at the clause, for therein the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. Last time I wrote about the righteousness of God, being two fold, first being a quality of God for providing the gospel, and second it was a state of righteousness that was provided to humanity because of faith in Jesus' faith. Jesus' mission to earth was to have faith. Let me repeat this for effect... *Jesus main mission to earth was to have perfect faith.* How can I be sure you ask? Well it is really quite simple. The first Adam did not believe God and brought about death. The *Last Adam,* (Jesus Christ,) believed God. That was his important obedience. It was the obedience of faith. That is what Jesus did for humanity as the incarnation. He believed against all odds, and it is obvious that he was tempted far beyond anything most people experience, and still believed that God was his Father.... I want this to really sink in.... He was born to Mary, Joseph claimed him as a son, think about that. He grew up with everyone thinking that he was born as normally as the next person. Still at the age of 30 he believed against all odds that he was the Son of God.

It does not stop there however, look at another example... In Luke's gospel we are provided a scene where Jesus has alienated many people with his claims. This was to the extent that his mother, his brothers and sisters were outside trying to take him home to rest. They thought he had lost his mind, think about it... this was his entire family. Still, he believed. He went so far as to say that the ones who believed in Him were is real mother, brothers and sisters. He still believed against all odds that He was the unique Son of God. I want to repeat for effect that Jesus faith was perfect, and yet He still was tempted to doubt. In the garden prior to his arrest, He had seen a glimpse of what He was to face and yet He had to hold on to the faith knowledge that He was the unique Son of God. Think about Jesus faith for a minute. It was indeed perfect faith. I say it was the only thing that would right the wrong of Adam's lack of faith... again I hate to sound like a broken record but, pick this up... if you got it right away, forgive me my folly. Jesus perfect obedience was His perfect faith. I want to repeat this one more time to make sure that I have gotten this point across; *Jesus perfect obedience was His perfect faith.* This is how by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and how obedience entered by one man and by that came life eternal.... Now, our faith, apprehends Jesus perfect faith by believing this gospel message. This is what is meant from faith to faith, it was from Jesus perfect faith to our faith... more to come.

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