August 26, 2018
The gospel as we will revisit over the next month and have already touched on in previous messages, is already beginning to penetrate the hearts and minds of each and every one of you. I hear the many stories and the excitement as you are beginning to catch who God is for you, what Jesus did on that cross and discovering how to walk in your freedom.
We collectively are beginning to realize that this life is fueled by God’s power and not our own strength. God did not simply just save us to get us into Heaven, but by His power He is calling us up and also growing us up into all he Has called us to be.
Acts 20:32 The Passion Translation (TPT)
32 “And so now, I entrust you into God’s hands and the message of his grace,[a] which is all that you need to become strong.[b] All of God’s blessings are imparted through the message of his grace, which he provides as the spiritual inheritance given to all of his holy ones.[c]
Now that’s good news!!!
I used to believe, like many who grew up in church, that the gospel was entry level stuff for those who needed Christ as their savior. That It was only for the non-believer but not the believer J. And after God saves us, He then advances us to something deeper and more necessary.
Pastor and author Tim Keller said it like this –
“the gospel is not simply the ABC’s of Christianity, but it’s the A to Z of Christianity.”
Once God saves us, He doesn’t then move us beyond the gospel into something better, but He moves us more deeply into the gospel.
The gospel doesn’t simply ignite the Christian life, but it’s the fuel that keeps God’s people going and upgrading in who they are.
It not only has the power to SAVE us but also that same power will make us NEW.
2 Corinthians 5:17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
17 Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished.[a] Behold, everything is fresh and new.[b]
It not only has the power to SAVE us and make us NEW but also that same power will KEEP us.
Philippians 1:6 The Passion Translation (TPT)
6 I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work[a] in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you[b] and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling[c] of our Lord Jesus Christ!
The gospel isn’t simply the power of God to save us; it’s the power of God to transform us once we’ve accepted Christ. That is a major paradigm shift that is taking place inside not only our congregation here but the church today. One that I am so so grateful for.
So the essence of the Gospel is this –
By God’s grace everything that Jesus deserved was given to us and everything we deserved was received by Him.
The Radical Exchange!!!
Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven (Is. 53:4–5)
Jesus was wounded that we might be healed (Matt. 8:16–17)
Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness (Is. 53:10; 2 Cor. 5:21)
Jesus tasted death for us that we might share His life (Heb. 2:9)
Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the Fathers blessing (Gal. 3:13–14).
Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance (2 Cor. 8:9 [2 Cor. 9:8; Deut. 28:47–48])
Jesus endured our shame that we might share His glory (Matt. 27:35–36 [Heb. 2:10])
Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance
I am a recipient of EVERYTHING He deserved because what He did was final and satisfactory to the Father. His work was finished. His performance was a PERFECT 10!
We no longer are measured by our behavior and no longer put our confidence in our performance but 100% of our trust and confidence toward our Father is in the PERFECT performance and eternal accomplishment of Christ on that cross 2000 years ago. That is how we tap into the power of God for our lives.
The gospel (the power to live this life) is something RECEIVE by BELIEVING—not something you go out and achieve or earn.
This gift of God’s abundant grace and Jesus’ righteousness is not a reward for something you did or even do. It is a gift for something Christ did on your behalf. RECEIVE!!!
Rom. 5.17 (NKJV) For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
nothing needs to be nor can be added to it what Christ did. Salvation is not a joint effort of God and man, but is entirely a work of God’s grace, appropriated solely by faith.
the “gospel” means “good news.” Did you know the word “evangelist” refers to someone who would come and announce victory on the battlefield.
So victory is won on the battlefield, the war is over and an evangelist goes back to the city and announces victory. So the gospel is not a command to do anything at all. It is an announcement that Christ has already done it, that the victory is won. So if you are a Christian, you are now living under a banner which reads, “It is finished. It’s done. There’s nothing left to accomplish.”
You have been made COMPLETE in Christ.
His work is complete.
His work is done.
Jesus paid it all.
He declared it is finished.
His work of redemption is finished.
The battle with sin is over. The battle of your old man (the past) has already been won.
So it’s really important for us to understand that, because the gospel announces that the determining factor in my relationship with God is Jesus’ work for me, not my work for Him.
It’s His performance for me, not my performance for Him. It’s His obedience to God, not my obedience to Him.
3 What has happened to you Galatians to be acting so foolishly? You must have been under some evil spell![a] Didn’t God open your eyes to see the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion? Wasn’t he revealed to you as the crucified one?[b] 2 So answer me this: Did the Holy Spirit come to you as a reward for keeping all the laws? No, you received him as a gift because you believed in the Messiah.
3 Your new life in the Anointed One began with the Holy Spirit giving you a new birth. Why then would you so foolishly turn from living in the Spirit by trying to finish by your own works?[c]
It’s all about Him, what He has done. It has nothing to do with us at all, nothing. There is nothing whatsoever about the gospel that encourages us to focus on ourselves, nothing.
This is why I preach Relational before Functional.
The Christian life is about embracing your Identity not trying to fix your behavior.
I love to ask people “how is your relationship with God?” The answer amuses me.
the gospel is the good news that our relationship to God has nothing to do with our performance. It has everything to do with Christ’s performance for us.
The gospel tells us that God’s acceptance of us is not gained by our successes or forfeited by our failures because it’s not about us at all. Its about Him.
Let me close it it off with this statement – Jesus restored to PERFECTION the broken relationship between us and the Father…
Rom. 5:1 (Nkjv) therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Rom. 5:2 (nkjv) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of god.
Heb. 12.2 (nkjv) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.