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The third pillar of our church is that:
• We Believe in Sharing the
of Jesus with
Boldness doesn’t mean grabbing a bullhorn, a sandwich sign and finding the nearest street corner. Being bold doesn’t mean being obnoxious and confrontational, but it does mean taking advantage of God given opportunity to tell others about who he is and what he has done.
We want to be a church that boldly shares the Gospel. I don’t believe that you need to build a relationship over 20 years with someone before you can share the gospel with them, all we need to do is find people ripe to the gospel and boldly proclaim the hope that they are so desperately seeking.
But what is the Gospel? According to 2 Corinthians 2:14, “Christ is spreading through us the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” If we are responsible for sharing the Gospel, we need to know the essentials of the Gospel that need to be shared.
Below is a list of essentials that I believe is necessary for a proper understanding of the Gospel. There are certainly other aspects of the Gospel that could be mentioned and emphasized, but these are elements that I believe are absolutely necessary.
This structure is not original to me and has been influenced by a book that I would encourage you to read: What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. Pick up and read this book to get a more in depth understanding of the different facets of the Gospel presented here.
– “God is the ruler of the universe who created us in his image for his Glory!”
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
“…bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
People will never know they aren’t accomplishing their purpose in life if they don’t know what their purpose is. We must be bold in telling people that we exist to point back to God. We exist to reflect his image and bring glory to his name.
People must view God as the king and ruler of the universe who has created all things, so that they will reflect his glory and be in his service. Understanding God as King helps us to better understand the rebellion we have committed against him.
– “We have rebelled against God and our sin has separated us from him.”
“but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Rebellion is treason against the king! When we understand sin as treason against the king, it’s impossible to think of sin as “negative thinking” or “isolated mistakes” that are just a part of life. Treason is willful, intentional and a direct rejection of the authority of the king. We have rebelled against our King and the consequences are eternal.
– “God’s justice demands a payment or punishment for our sins.”
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…”
“He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Rebellion is a rejection of his authority and is punishable by death. This is exactly the position we find ourselves in when we are born into this world. The consequences of sin cannot be overcome or conquered on our own.
Without the payment of sin, there would be no evidence of God’s justice. Somebody has to pay the penalty for our rebellion or God is not being just, which goes against his very nature.
People cry out that a just God would never send people to hell, but it is God’s justice that demands people be sent to hell in payment for their treason. If a judge were to give freedom to every person on death row without requiring a payment for their crime, we would cry out injustice at the top of our lungs. Why do we hold God to a different standard?
We have been condemned to death and are sitting on death row unless something changes. BUT something has changed. God has offered redemption for those that have committed treason!
– “God’s love has provided forgiveness of sins and payment of debt through Jesus’ death on the cross.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinne, Christ died for us.”
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
We don’t deserve redemption. We don’t deserve the grace that God has shown us in providing a solution to our dilemma. We are totally rebellious, spitting in the face of God, rebellious and deserving of God’s wrath, and yet God still love us so much that he provides his son to take our place and pay the penalty for a rebellion that he never committed.
Imagine standing on a platform in a public square, waiting to be hanged for your rebellion. The king and the rest of the kingdom look on as the noose is tightened around your neck, but then the king leans over to his son who has never said a word against his father, who has been entirely faithful and he speaks to him.
Then the king’s son, with tears in his eyes, gets up and walks down to the platform where you are standing, removes the noose around your neck and places it around his own and dies in your place. What would be your response to the king?
– “We must repent and turn from our sin and have faith in Christ alone for our forgiveness and salvation.”
“Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God…”
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”
God is looking for a response from every person. A response that acknowledges him as king, that acknowledges our rebellion, and acknowledges what he has done. How have you responded to God?
The Gospel is often presented as a fire insurance policy, or golden ticket that will keep you out of hell or get you into heaven. This will typically generate an insincere response similar to a person who had just been spared the hangman’s noose, and out of the excitement of knowing that he is free, pays lip service to the king and makes promises that he never intends to keep.
It isn’t the thought of freedom that should generate a response, but the knowledge of our guilt in the eyes of God. It is only the acknowledgment of guilt that produces a response to redemption and gives us reconciliation with the King!
Reconciliation is the purpose! Redemption is the means!
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
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