Tag Archives: Gospel

Major Themes LIX – One Another


“Bearing One Another’s Burdens”

Romans 15:1-20 NKJV
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We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name.” And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” And again: “Praise the Lord , all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!” And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.” Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which  pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,

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Billy Graham: “Jesus is alive!”


JOHN 14:19 NKJV – “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.    
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Jesus is Alive!

For personal Christianity, the resurrection is all-important. There is a vital interrelation to the existence of Christianity itself, as well as to the individual believer, in the message of the Gospel. The Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, said, “Do you want to believe in the living Christ? We may believe in Him only if we believe in His corporeal resurrection. This is the content of the New Testament. We are always free to reject it, but not to modify it, nor to pretend that the New Testament tells something else. We may accept or refuse the message, but we may not change it.” Christianity as a system of truth collapses if the resurrection is rejected. That Jesus rose from the dead is one of the foundation stones of our faith.

Daily Prayer

Lord, let me live today with the constant thought that You are alive!

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Prayer of the Day – December 24th


ImageBring the coming of your kingdom,

and to this end help every true worker for you, the world over.

May the kingdoms of this world speedily become the kingdoms of our God,

and of his Christ. Help me to speed the coming of that day.

Daily Prayers: A Classic Collection.

Gospel…one of fifty-two words all Christians should know!


34. Gospel

Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed to no purpose.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

DEFINITION: Gospel literally means “good news.” “Gospel” refers in Scripture mainly to the message that through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, God graciously acted to establish His kingdom and now welcomes into His family sinners who repent and receive Christ by faith.

In its original secular setting the gospel (Greek euangelion, good news) referred to a message about a military victory, the birth of a king, or some other momentous event. After the first century AD, “Gospel” came to refer to one of the books written about Jesus’ life. (Only four Gospels were considered inspired, although other writings were called Gospels.) But in the New Testament, “gospel” refers to the Christian good news, not to a book.

Jesus’ ministry after He was baptized was characterized by His proclaiming the gospel (Mt 4:23; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:43). This explicitly included the news about the kingdom. …

After Christ’s resurrection, the message proclaimed always included the good news about Jesus’ death for sinners and His resurrection as living Lord. The Book of Acts is filled with many such examples (5:42; 8:12; 11:20; 20:24). Study of Acts suggests that gospel presentations normally included the following elements:

  1. Jesus’ historical ministry included miracles and teaching about God’s kingdom.
  2. He suffered and was crucified by wicked people, dying on the cross for sinners.
  3. God raised Him from the dead, demonstrating that He is Messiah and God’s Son.
  4. He is the exalted Lord and Savior at God’s right hand.
  5. Sinners everywhere are invited to repent and turn to Jesus for forgiveness of sins.
  6. Everyone who believes will receive God’s Spirit and become part of God’s family.

Paul was particularly concerned to preserve the true gospel and urged the Galatians to resist “a different gospel” (Gl 1:6). For this reason, Christians in the early centuries labored diligently to proclaim the right understanding of God and Christ in succinct forms, such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, which have received universal acceptance from Christians. During the sixteenth century, the nature of gospel salvation was clarified by the famous “five pillars of the Reformation” (salvation as taught in Scripture alone, by Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone).

Those who embrace the gospel inevitably have their lives transformed so that they love and delight in God (2 Co 4:6). To believe the gospel marks the beginning of an eternity of knowing Christ (Php 3:7-10). Versions of the “gospel” that stress God’s gifts and blessings more than receiving and enjoying God Himself are distorted at best and heretical at worst.

REFLECTION: What is the difference between the gospel and a Gospel? Why is it important for gospel presentations to include both proclamation of truth and invitation to respond?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the good news is about You more than about me. I praise You that You are actively seeking to convert sinners into saints who will love and enjoy You forever. Help me remember that the gospel means receiving You more than getting Your blessings. Amen.


52 Words Every Christian Should Know.

Teaching Tolerance II


GOD IS THE JUDGE

TALKING TO GOD
Ask God to help you show love and tolerance to people who don’t have a relationship with Him.

DIVING IN
Write “Jesus loves you” on a sheet of paper. On a second sheet, write “USEOJOSVUESLY,” which is a scrambled version of the sentence. Then tell your family that you have an important message for them. Show the scrambled message to your family. When they express confusion over the message, show them the real message.

GOING DEEPER
People who don’t have a relationship with God are not able to understand the truth of the Gospel. For them, God’s Word is just like a scrambled message. Without this understanding, they will make wrong choices in life, even when they’re trying to do what is right. In 1 Corinthians 5:12, the apostle Paul says, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?” God is the only one qualified to judge nonbelievers, people outside of the church. People who are not living according to God’s Word may frustrate you, but as a believer, you shouldn’t judge them or treat them harshly. Instead, you can offer them biblical tolerance — treating them with respect and patience even though you disagree with their poor choices.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER
– Who can judge nonbelievers?
– How should you treat those who don’t know Jesus?

LUK 23:34 NIV – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Before the Cross III


Matthew 28:18-20 KJVA

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 KJVA

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

John 13:34-35 KJVA

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

1 Peter 2:9-10 KJVA

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:  which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Romans 12:2 KJVA

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Before The Cross: We Are Disciples

By now, we’ve read that we are sinful, but we can be forgiven through what Jesus did for us on the cross, which is great news! So, being that we have forgiveness through Christ, what do we do now? What does God call us to do as Christians?

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
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This is the last thing Jesus told us before He ascended into heaven.

We are disciples who are to go out and make disciples. We are to spread the Gospel to all people, wherever we are at. God may call us to go around the world or to go next door to our neighbor, but regardless, we are representatives of Christ who share the good news.

It isn’t our responsibility to actually change someone (only God can do that), but we are to love others and share the message. Jonathan Dodson says, “Disciple is an identity; everything else is a role.” We have a new identity as soon as we decide to follow Christ and wherever we find ourselves, that is where God has placed us to make much of Him.

As we love others and tell them about Christ, we help train them and show them how to do the same thing with others. We show them how to make disciples that will turn around, and make more disciples. This is how the Church will grow and more people will get the opportunity to hear about what Jesus has done for them. Jesus commanded this to all believers.

So it is as we come before the cross, for those who follow Jesus, that we realize we are disciples. We have a new identity from that point forward. We must be careful not to become prideful in the process.

The cross helps keep us guarded by humbling us…

Sunday School Thoughts for September 15th


Continuing a mini-series on discernible wisdom (we will run this series through September 22)

Grounding Text: Colossians 1.9,28

These verses carry the idea of growing by obeying/walking with Jesus is His way of wisdom.

Colossians 1:9 (NKJV)
9  For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Colossians 1:28 (NKJV)
28  Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Main Text: Romans 8.28

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Focus on God’s sovereignty purposes or way.

Outline:

  • Our grounding text (Colossians 1) & connection with the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Jesus’ “Knowledge, wisdom and understanding” coming to by the Holy Spirit.
  • Because of our desire to please and obey God in all areas of our life we live in wisdom (the point is made with an allusion to Job 28.12-28).
  • This wisdom of God, which is an act of grace, empowers our faith to be firm in who Jesus is!
  • The situation/contextual background of Romans: No condemnation, living in the Spirit, adoption by our abba, help in our sufferings and weakness…
  • Reminder of our definition of discernible wisdom. To discern is to perceive or recognize; wisdom is to be marked by a deep understanding, or showing sound judgment (Webster’s). In Butler’s layman’s terms: being thoughtfully considerate of others.
  • Looking at being “called according to His purpose”: “Called” out of ourselves and into His way.
  • Practical applications of listening (so we can hear His calling and when He opens His way for us).
  • (More on the “way” of God being opened up to us next week…)

SEEING NEEDS AND SHOWING COMPASSION


Matthew 9:36 (NKJV) – But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

TALKING TO GOD
Ask God to help you see others as He sees them and to give you a heart of compassion for those who do not have a relationship with Him.

DIVING IN
Clear a space in your home where you can walk around blindfolded and not hurt yourself. Turn up the volume on a radio so that it drowns out your normal speaking voice. On one side of the family room, blindfold a family member. From across the room, have another family member whisper directions that guide the blindfolded person to him or her. Ask the whisperer to gradually speak up until the blindfolded person can hear the directions and safely make it to the other side of the room.

GOING DEEPER
One of the reasons that Jesus came into the world was to help the blind see. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” People who do not know God are like people who are blind or blindfolded. They cannot find their way to God and to His forgiveness and love. They are “spiritually blind” and need the guidance of God’s truth to lead them in the right direction. To make matters worse, the noises of the world—such as people’s differing opinions about God—often drown out the truth that would guide them. They may listen to and agree with many wrong opinions and follow what seems best or easiest to them.

Clear directions helped your blindfolded family member cross the floor amid the blaring sounds of a radio. In much the same way, Jesus wants to help those who do not have a relationship with God find their way to Him. He is the way through the distracting noises of the world, and He has compassion on them because they are blind and confused. As followers of Christ, we should have the same attitude toward those who are spiritually blind.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER
– How did it feel to try and listen for or give the directions with the distracting noise?
– What “noises” might keep nonbelievers from hearing God’s love for them?
– How might thinking of nonbelievers as being spiritually blind help you show them compassion?

Above article courtesy of YouVersion electronic Bible