VIDEO The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul, Preach to all the world,Good news to the Gentiles

The Endless Love of Jesus Ministries
Sept 4, 2016

The word gospel literally means “good news” and occurs 93 times in the Bible, exclusively in the New Testament.

The gospel is, broadly speaking, the whole of Scripture; more narrowly, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.

The key to understanding the gospel is to know why it’s good news. To do that, we must start with the bad news.

The Old Testament Law was given to Israel during the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 5:1). The Law can be thought of as a measuring stick, and sin is anything that falls short of “perfect” according to that standard.

The righteous requirement of the Law is so stringent that no human being could possibly follow it perfectly, in letter or in spirit.

Despite our “goodness” or “badness” relative to each other, we are all in the same spiritual boat—we have sinned, and the punishment for sin is death, i.e. separation from God, the source of life (Romans 3:23).

In order for us to go to heaven, God’s dwelling place and the realm of life and light, sin must be somehow removed or paid for.
The Law established the fact that cleansing from sin can only happen through the bloody sacrifice of an innocent life (Hebrews 9:22).

The gospel involves Jesus’ death on the cross as the sin offering to fulfill the Law’s righteous requirement (Romans 8:3–4; Hebrews 10:5–10).

Under the Law, animal sacrifices were offered year after year as a reminder of sin and a symbol of the coming sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:3–4).

When Christ offered Himself at Calvary, that symbol became a reality for all who would believe (Hebrews 10:11–18).
The work of atonement is finished now, and that’s good news.

The gospel also involves Jesus’ resurrection on the third day. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

The fact that Jesus conquered sin and death (sin’s penalty) is good news, indeed. The fact that He offers to share that victory with us is the greatest news of all (John 14:19).

Jesus appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living.”

Notice, first, that Paul “received” the gospel and then “passed it on”; this is a divine message, not a man-made invention.
Second, the gospel is “of first importance.” Everywhere the apostles went, they preached the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

Third, the message of the gospel is accompanied by proofs: Christ died for our sins (proved by His burial), and He rose again the third day (proved by the eyewitnesses).

Fourth, all this was done “according to the Scriptures”; the theme of the whole Bible is the salvation of mankind through Christ. The Bible is the gospel.

And the gospel is received by faith; salvation is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8–9).

The gospel is the good news that God loves the world enough to give His only Son to die for our sin (John 3:16).

The gospel is good news because our salvation and eternal life and home in heaven are guaranteed through Christ (John 14:1–4).
“He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3–4).

The gospel is good news when we understand that we do not (and cannot) earn our salvation; the work of redemption and justification is complete, having been finished on the cross (John 19:30).

Jesus is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2). The gospel is the good news that we, who were once enemies of God, have been reconciled by the blood of Christ and adopted into the family of God (Romans 5:10; John 1:12).

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).

The gospel is the good news that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

To reject the gospel is to embrace the bad news.

Condemnation before God is the result of a lack of faith in the Son of God, God’s only provision for salvation. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:17–18).

God has given a doomed world good news. Why would anyone reject the gospel?

The One Who Saves

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” John 12:13

He was called “one of the bravest persons alive,” but he wasn’t what others expected. Desmond was a soldier who declined to carry a gun. As a medic, he single-handedly rescued seventy-five injured soldiers in one battle, including some who once called him a coward and ridiculed him for his faith. Running into heavy gunfire, Desmond prayed continually, “Lord, please help me get one more.” He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Scripture tells us that Jesus was greatly misunderstood. On a day foretold by the prophet Zechariah (9:9), Jesus entered Jerusalem and the crowd waved branches, shouting, “Hosanna!” (John 12:13). Quoting Psalm 118:26, they cried: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13). But the very next verse in that psalm refers to bringing a sacrifice “with boughs in hand” (Psalm 118:27). While the crowd in John 12 anticipated an earthly king to save them from Rome, Jesus was much more. He was King of Kings and our sacrifice—God in the flesh, willingly embracing the cross to save us from our sins—a purpose prophesied centuries earlier.

“At first his disciples did not understand all this,” John writes. Only later “did they realize that these things had been written about him” (John 12:16). Illumined by His Word, God’s eternal purposes became clear. Watch Grant Stevenson’s devotional video, “Jesus, the Savior,” to learn more about the One who saves.

By:  James Banks

 

Sunday Reflection: The Blessing of Gentleness

Modern life constantly bombards us with messages that say happiness depends on working hard to get every single thing we desire. It urges and even commands us to aggressively pursue satisfaction, sometimes at any cost (even when it hurts other people). Yet in turning to God’s Word, we find encouragement to live with meekness—or gentleness—toward the Lord, each other, and the world around us. But how?

It often feels like a struggle to express this kind of humility and compassion to the world, especially when there is so much brokenness all around us—and within our own heart. Being angry or despondent is much easier and perhaps also serves to protect ourselves. But think about the way God loves us and never holds back. Consider how you might press onward, following His example and sharing His goodness with everyone you meet this week.

Think about it
• What does it mean to be meek in our day-to-day life? Can you think of opportunities to be calmer, less selfish, or more genuine? To live with the awareness that we truly have nothing but yet are promised everything?

• Meditate on Galatians 5:22-24, contemplating the fruit of the Spirit and how the qualities listed relate to meekness.

Zechariah had a Strange Prophecy

“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:4-5)

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an unbroken donkey colt on that momentous first day of the week, just a week before His resurrection, the multitudes quickly recognized that He was fulfilling an ancient prophecy and thereby specifically claiming to be their long-awaited Messiah. The prophecy was that of Zechariah 9:9, and the people in turn began to fulfill David’s even more ancient prophecy, laying palm branches in His path, and crying out: “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD” (Psalm 118:26).

This is one of the few events in the life of Christ that are recorded in all four gospels, though only Matthew notes it as the fulfillment of prophecy. And what a strange prophecy it was! One would think that the anticipated King would come riding on a great white horse, ready to put down all His enemies (and indeed He shall do exactly that some day—see Revelation 19:11).

But here He comes riding on a colt, the foal of an ass, not high and mighty, but meek and lowly! Ah, but as Zechariah prophesied, He comes “just, and having salvation” (Zechariah 9:9). And the salvation He was bringing was not deliverance from Roman subjugation but eternal deliverance from sin and its awful wages.

These same multitudes that hailed Him soon were following their high priest in clamoring for His crucifixion. Nevertheless He someday will fulfill Zechariah’s later prophecy: “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him” (Zechariah 12:10). Then, finally, indeed, “the LORD shall be king over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9). HMM

On The Top Side of Our Souls

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

—Mark 6:31

 

Every real Christian, however practical, is in some degree a mystic, his mysticism lying on the upper side of his life. He prays, meditates on spiritual things and communes with God and the invisible world. Also, every Christian, however he may be dedicated to the holy art of prayer and worship, must of necessity descend to work and eat and sleep and pay his taxes and get on somehow with the hard world around him. And if he follows on to know the Lord he must serve in every useful way outlined for him in the Scriptures of truth. To be a Christian it is necessary that he serve his generation as well as his God.

The big problem is to keep the two elements of the Christian life in proper balance….

Today the Christian emphasis falls heavily on the “active” life…. The favorite brand of Christianity is that sparked by the man in a hurry, hard hitting, aggressive and ready with the neat quip. We are neglecting the top side of our souls. The light in the tower burns dimly while we hurry about the grounds below, making a great racket and giving the impression of wonderful devotion to our task.   PON045-047

Lord, help me to keep the proper balance. Help me especially to cultivate the top side of my soul. Amen.

 

You Can Have What You Want

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

—John 10:10

 

There are two kinds of lives…:the fallow and the plowed….

The man of fallow life is contented with himself and the fruit he once bore. He does not want to be disturbed. He smiles in tolerant superiority at revivals, fastings, self-searchings….He is steady, “faithful,” always in his accustomed place….But he is fruitless. The curse of such a life is that it is fixed….To be has taken the place of to become….

The plowed life is the life that has, in the act of repentance, thrown down the protecting fences and sent the plow of confession into the soul. The urge of the Spirit, the pressure of circumstances and the distress of fruitless living have combined thoroughly to humble the heart.

Such a life has put away defense, and has forsaken the safety of death for the peril of life. PTP032-033

God gives us what we want. If you want a little of His grace, you may get it. If you want to be halfhearted, you may. But if you want to be wholly His and have all His fullness, His great heart is just longing to find room and vent for His love. CTBC, Vol. 4/297

 

The Revealing Cross

Colossians 1:20

The story of the cross hardly needs repetition. Read it once more in any one of the Gospels. Never were words used with such economy and force. Ponder prayerfully the succession of bitter events.

As we ponder, we must beware of feeling no more than pity, a reaction that Jesus Himself discounted. “Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children” (Luke 23:28). His wounds are not His main appeal to us, for His sorrow was more than physical pain. His great agony was the knowledge of what men were, the realization of how deeply sin was entrenched in human hearts, sin from which He had come to save them.

The cross reveals the power of the love of God that cannot be shattered, because it is indestructible. It reveals the power of the holiness of God by revealing the way our sins—everyday sins that crucified Christ—appear in His sight. It reveals the power of the mercy of God, for by means of the cross He pledges His forgiveness to all who truly repent.

But why was such an extremity of shame necessary to divine revelation and redemption? Simply because God is love, and love knows no limits. Jesus understood what God was like, and His knowledge enabled him to face “even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8 KJV).

The cross was a parable in flesh and blood. The truth which Jesus had sought to convey by His life, teaching and work, He confirmed by His death. Mere words could not describe God, and even if they could, they would have been open to misunderstanding and misinterpretation, for they lack compelling power. If words had been equal to the task, a book could have saved mankind.

The truth about God had to be demonstrated unmistakably. His love had to be put beyond all shadow of doubt. So the cross speaks the unutterable truth. We need always to remember that what the cross reveals is eternally true about God.

The moral victory of Christ’s way of love stands before us as the ideal which must become established in the real. In the presence of His utter self-giving can we not find the courage to follow? Dare we pray to be stripped of all false values and for grace to welcome the cross into the center of our lives?

Harry Dean, Power and Glory