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What is the true gospel?

September 4, 2012

I’ve had the privilege to recently see a woman saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is a nice lady, a church going woman for many years.  Nobody would even begin to question her salvation.  She has a lot of knowledge about God, and she certainly talked about Him (I think she even has a bumper sticker) but she didn’t really know Him.

What caused her to be saved was the gospel.  It seems scandalous to me that for the first time she heard the gospel after 30 years of going to church.  So I wanted to explore what is really meant by the gospel.   Do all churches teach the gospel of the scriptures?    I know it saved me and I saw it save this woman but what is it?  What made the difference?

Ask your average church attendee to explain the gospel and you will be met with many responses.  Some will say the first four books of the New Testament, some will say it’s the good news, you might hear that you can have a personal relationship with Jesus; those answers are correct to some extent.

Take it a step further and ask them to define the gospel and explain it; you will get a different response.  Some might say, I’m not sure, or they might fumble for the right answer and some will say I guess I don’t know.

This is a big question to ask yourself; can you properly explain the gospel?  Can you do it in 1 minute or less if that is all the time you have?  Someone’s life might depend on it.  This is better than CPR.  The odds you will use CPR are pretty slim but the odds you’ll meet someone today that will die in their sins and trespasses is probably 100%.  I’m not against CPR but how about Godly Pulmonary Resuscitation.

I want to challenge us today to understand the basics of the gospel so when we spread the good news we are spreading the good seed.  Not a false gospel or an easy gospel, let’s offer them the God of the bible; the God that will rock the foundation of their world.

God is Holy – God is Holy or set apart from sin. (Joshua 24:19, 1 Samuel 2:2, Revelation 4:8)  God cannot tolerate sin (Psalm 4:5); therefore He cannot tolerate sinful man. (Genesis 6:5-7)

Man is sinful – Man is born in sin and without saving knowledge of his sin he cannot be saved.  (Psalm 58:3, Romans 3:10-18, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Ephesians 2:1-3)  This will separate him eternally from God.  (Matthew 25:41)

Man will be judged – Man will stand before God and give an account of his life.  (Romans 14:12, Hebrews 4:13, 1 Peter 4:5)

Man cannot please God – Without Christ’s righteousness placed upon us, the fancy term is imputed, we cannot please God. (Hebrews 11:6, Isaiah 64:5-6)

Christ paid the price – Jesus Christ lived a perfect life to pay for the sin of those who would believe in Him and place their complete trust in Him.  (1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Ephesians 2:4-9)

Repent and turn from your sin – The true gospel message always includes the call to repent.  (Matthew 3:8, Matthew 4:17, Acts 17:30)  Repentance is a complete turning away from the sin you once loved.  (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Hate your sin the way God hates your sin.  (Isaiah 53:5-12, Psalm 5:5-6).

God does the doing – God opens the eyes of sinful man to see his sin and changes his heart.  (Ezekiel 36:25-27, John 6:44)  It’s an act of divine grace.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Obedient life – Once sinful man now has a desire to please God.  (1 John 1:5-6, John 8:31-32)  A true believer will joyfully follow God’s commands in the bible.  (John 14:23)  They will submit to the biblical authority in their lives.  (Hebrews 13:17, Acts 20:28)

I would like for you to review Psalm 51 today and ask yourself if you have truly understood how your sin looks to God.  Does Psalm 51 still make you cry?  Did it ever make you cry?  When I saw God change a woman’s heart, I saw her understand her wretchedness.  She knew Christ bore the wrath reserved for her.   Did Christ do that for you?  We don’t really talk much about wretchedness anymore; it just doesn’t sell very well.

The gospel needs to be presented in its entirety; anything else discredits God.  Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Kevin

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