01 July 2012

Get back to the gospel ...

We can come up with any number of excuses to stay out of church however there’s something more to just attending church, something more than putting pockets in the seats. Hosea 6: “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Sometimes in our lives we give the devil too much credit when he shouldn’t be getting any credit at all because he ain’t got no power.  All that power was gone at the cross and now we have the power through Christ to rule over him and subdue him in Jesus Name.  He doesn’t control our thoughts, our actions, our words, our deeds he ain’t doing nothing except running his mouth and PT. So let’s look at what the issue is … perhaps the trouble that we’re in is because of a decision we made long ago; see it takes a while for a seed to germinate and produce … some take a few days however there is a plant in various places in native to the temperate and subtropical regions of  the world. the barberries are often used in Middle Eastern and European rice pilaf recipes. This plant varies between 3 – 12 months for germination and production.  Your seed doesn’t produce immediately so that which you planted a while ago it may be harvesting time and you don’t like it but that’s what you planted.

Adam and Eve didn’t take responsibility for their actions.  The serpent could have been in the garden running his mouth but he didn’t control the hands and mouths that touched that fruit.  It’s through the power of Christ that we can do all things through Him because He strengthens us.  So what is this more?  Well the more isn’t religion … because religion is based on performance … religion would say I obey; that is why I am accepted by God.  But wait there’s more … turn to:

1 Peter 1:10-12 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 

We can agree that the angels are majestic beings eternally living in God's presence, yet something has happened on earth that has blown the mind of even the angels and they are long "to look into these things" but what is this thing? It is the gospel.

Blaise Pascall summed it up quite nicely ... He said Without this divine knowledge, how could we help feeling either exalted or dejected?  The Christian religion alone has been able to cure these twin vices, not by using the one to expel the other according to worldly wisdom, but by expelling both through the simplicity of the Gospel.  For it teaches the righteous that they still bear the source of all corruption, which exposes them throughout their lives to error, misery, death and sin; and yet it cries out to the most ungodly that they are capable of the grace of the Redeemer.  Thus, making those whom it justifies to tremble, yet consoling those who it condemns, it so nicely tempers fears with hope through this dual capacity ... Grace and sin!  It causes infinitely more dejection than mere reason but without despair, and infinitely more exaltation than natural pride but without puffing us up.

The gospel isn’t meant to puff us up, it’s meant to give us life and it more abundantly … just as we allow ourselves to be influenced to do things that are contrary to His Word it’s time we allow the gospel to influence us.

We’ve lost our sense of urgency … Getting back to the gospel … what does that exactly mean … if I were to ask you what the gospel was would you be able to put words to it?  What is the gospel?

It is one thing to understand the gospel, however it’s when we experience the gospel in the manner that we are fundamentally changed and the source of who we are and our security is found in the gospel.  We’ve got to experience the gospel again … if you’ve found any lag in your life, get back to the gospel, experience the gospel again … there’s something about the Name of Jesus that is sweeter than the honey from a honey comb.  You don’t know it’s sweet until you get a taste; O’ taste and see that the Lord is good.  

So what is the gospel … it is the announcement that God has reconciled us to Himself by sending His Son Jesus to die as a substitute for our sins, and that all who repent and believe have eternal life in Him. It isn’t a free ticket into heaven but it should be the driving force behind every single moment of your life.

The gospel is the one thing that truly accepts us as we are … we don’t have to dress a certain way, look a certain way, act a certain way … we are accepted as we are and because through Christ we are accepted by God; that is the reason I obey.  Get back to the gospel.