The Gospel…Does it really work? Part 2
Let us go to the gospel. First of all the gospel is God’s gospel…it isn’t yours or mine. We must understand that God is the one that originated the gospel and therefore it is important that when we spread the gospel, we do it the right way…God’s way! Gal. 3:8, 22, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Rom. 11:32-36, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” God’s gospel is about what God has done NOT what man needs or thinks he needs! We hear a lot these days that go something like this, “I don’t care what the Bible says, I know what I’ve experienced (what I’ve felt, what I’ve heard, what I’ve seen, what I want…fill in the blank with whatever it is that people have said).” Ironically, people really don’t care what the Bible says but God doesn’t care what people think! Eph. 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Just let this verse humble your heart when you realize that we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works and God foreordained that we should walk in them.
The gospel is about Christ crucified! First of all, though, we need to set the stage. In the beginning, when God created the world, everything was perfect! God looked at everything at the end of creation and the Bible says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. ” (Gen. 1:31). God commanded Adam to take care of everything and that it was all good for his consumption except…the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If he partook of the fruit from off that tree, he would die. Once God created Eve, Satan, disguised as a serpent began tempting her until she gave in. She noticed that the tree was pleasant to the eyes, good to look on, and good for food. She changed God’s Word around and said that if she even touched it they would die! This is NOT what God had said but nonetheless what she understood. She eventually partook of the fruit then gave some of it to Adam. At the point of Adam eating the food both Adam and Eve died spiritually and began dying physically. God came looking for them (as He normally did) and found them hiding after having sewn fig leaves to cover their nakedness.
God asked them what had happened and Adam spoke up. “It’s that woman you gave me, God, she gave the fruit to me.” So started the first blameshifting from Adam. He blamed God for creating Eve and blamed Eve for giving him the fruit. Next, God turned to Eve and asked about her part of it. Here was Eve’s response, “It’s that serpent that you created, God. He tempted me and I ate.” The second blameshifting came from Eve. It was now God’s fault for creating the serpent, and the serpent’s fault for tempting her. The ground was cursed and man would now have to work by the sweat of his brow to make ends meet. The woman was cursed in childbearing and there would be problems between husband and wife. The serpent was cursed to go on it’s belly and eat of the dust of the earth then Satan was cursed and one day his head would be crushed by the woman’s seed. So began mankind and the children did no better. Anyone that came from Adam would have a sin nature and be what is called, “dead in their trespasses and sin.” Man is not a sinner because he sins but man sins because he is a sinner by his very nature.
Eventually, the children of Israel were chosen by God to be the nation where the Messiah would eventually come from. God gave the children of Israel the blood sacrifice, which was the forerunner of the Messiah, a partial picture of what the Messiah would do completely one day! The sacrifice (normally a spotless lamb or a turtledove, for the poor) was killed on the altar and the blood shed signifying that atonement was made for the year. The sin was not taken away but only covered for that year. This went on until the Messiah finally arrived! His name was Jesus and He came to earth to save His people from their sins!
Jesus lived about 33 years and spent only about 3 years in His public ministry. He fulfilled all prophecy and was absolutely perfect. He never sinned and couldn’t sin but was tempted in all points throughout His ministry. He was the perfect Lamb of God! The day came for Him to be sacrificed and all His followers abandoned Him. He paid the price for the sins of all true believers and the wrath of God was completely poured out upon Him! He died, was buried and rose again, the third day, according to the Scriptures.
1 Cor. 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Whatever promises in the Bible that pertained to the Messiah, Jesus fulfilled.
Gen. 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Lk. 24:24-27, “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (See also Gen. 22:18; 26:4; Num. 21:9; Deut. 18:15; Ps. 16:9-10; 22:1-31; Is. 7:14; 9:6; 50:6; 53:1-12; Jn. 1:45.)
2 Cor. 1:20, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
We can’t work for our salvation. No matter how hard we try, our righteousness will not get us to heaven.
Is. 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Rom. 3:10-18)
We can only believe through the faith that the Lord gives us as we cannot work it up on our own. Eph. 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Everything we have comes from God and it behooves us to remember that even the very faith we have is a gift from God.
The Gospel is everything and we must remember these three things:
- The Gospel defines us. Humans are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) but sin entered into the picture and we have no hope (Gen. 3; Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:10-18, 23; Eph. 2:1-3). Whosoever will can be saved from God’s wrath (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3-9) and adopted into God’s family (Mk. 3:31-35; Jn. 1:12; 3:5-8; Eph. 1:5).
- The Gospel motivates us. We have purpose in life through the gospel and it is part of EVERY aspect of our lives (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 2:7; 3:17). It is the foundation of our very lives (1 Cor. 3:5-11).
- It satisfies us and gives us everything we need for life and godliness (Jn. 4:13-14; 7:37-38; 2 Pt. 1:3).
How can we show the world that the gospel is the answer for everything in our lives?
What specifically do YOU need to work on in your life that will show others that the gospel is the answer?