THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 3-22-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF GOD: WHERE DO WE FIND THE GOSPEL?”
Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord’s Day. What a privilege it is to have you with us today, as we together give this time to God. I know that we will all be encouraged and uplifted by our time together this morning. So, let’s give our best to God so that He may be pleased with our offering. Furthermore, let’s do all things according to His will - so that our worship will be received by Him in a good and perfect way. Now, let’s approach His throne in prayer!
Isn’t it hard to keep from sinning in this life? Especially when we have so many temptations and snares on all sides which can cause us to turn away from or forget God. The good news is, God is there and will help us to endure these trials. In fact, as His faithful followers He will also provide for us a way of escape, so that we may flee these temptations before sinning. So this morning, let’s sing a song that teaches us this very important Biblical lesson. The name of the song, “Farther Along!”
(SONG # 1)
How often do we find ourselves in the “getting back at others” business? I know this is tough and it is something we are all faced with, but the reality is we often are not good at turning the other cheek or in doing good to those who do back against us.
However, as Christians we have got to learn to leave the final judging and vengeance to the Lord. In fact, the Bible has always made this clear to the followers of God. In Isaiah 35:4-5, this great prophet records, “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” You see the judging and vengeance is to be left up to God who knows all things and who has all power.
On the other hand he mentions some blessings we have when we let God do the condemning. The verse said “He will save us.” You see, when we obey God He will not only be there for us and help us but He will reward us in the end. God came to do good and to help those who need help. This is further evidenced in verse 5 which we read, where he said, “the blind shall see and the deaf shall hear!” God truly is a lover of mankind and wants to help those who will hear and obey His Will.
Finally, look at what the Hebrew writer said in chapter 10, verse 30 of that book. There God is recorded as saying, “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The LORD will judge His people.’” Again this New Testament writer confirms for us the fact that God will handle those who disobey Him and do evil towards others on this earth. Now let me ask you, “Do you think that people are more afraid of what you can do or what God can do to them?” Well, that is exactly why the writer goes on to say in verse 31 of the same passage. There we read, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” So let’s leave the ultimate correction and discipline in this life and the next to God, the One who truly can make the best decisions and execute the best punishments and rewards. Are you letting God handle the vengeance surrounding your life?
After our next song together, we will have a guest speaker to lead us in the lesson thoughts of the day. This morning we are happy to have brother Brent Green with us. Brother Brent is the minister for the Carthage Church of Christ in Carthage, Missouri.
As far as our discussion of the day, we will be considering the next lesson in our series entitled, “The Gospel Of God.” Our specific lesson of the day will deal with the question, “Where Do We Find The Gospel?” So, please stay with us for this important study from God’s Word and brother Green will lead our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now it’s time to join in our second song of the morning, the name of the hymn, “Footprints Of Jesus.”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
Where do we find the gospel? A great question to ask and a great question to answer from the Word of God. Jesus there in Mark 16 verse 15 said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Well, what is that gospel? Where do we find it? Also Paul there in Romans chapter 1 and verse 16 said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Well where do we find that gospel, that gospel which Jesus said to “Go preach to the world?” That gospel which Paul said was “the power of salvation?”
You see if we consider the things in this world that are very valuable, the things that people might search after, when they go to search after riches, they might take a treasure map as we see on the movies sometimes they go search for gold. They might try to find diamonds. They might go mining to try to find things that are of great value. Now why do they try to find those things? Why are they searching for the valuables? Maybe they want to be rich. Maybe they want the power that comes with those things. Maybe they want whatever it is that they don’t have. Maybe the thrill of discovery. So they are searching for those things of great value.
Well what is of greater value than that which God can provide, that which Jesus Christ has to offer in giving salvation to the world, the gospel that He has provided us with, the story of His life, the New Testament as we have it, the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What a valuable resource it is! This gospel leads to salvation and salvation as we know it from the scripture is that home in Heaven. What greater thing can we search for? What greater treasure? What thing of greater value could we try to find in this life? So I ask the question: Where is the gospel found? If you wanted to find it, if you wanted to have salvation, that home in Heaven, wouldn’t you want to ask that question? Where do we find the gospel?
Well maybe to answer that question first off we have to consider where the gospel is not found. The gospel of Jesus Christ as we would find it from the scriptures, that is the Bible, the gospel as we have mentioned there from those verses already is not found in the words of men. The gospel is not found in books and in creeds and in catechisms put together by men who have lived on this earth and who have since passed away. It is not found in the denominational doctrines, that is the writings, the commentaries, the things that men might pen from their own minds. Truly the gospel as we would see it brought forth to us is the Word of God. It is not found from the words of men. It is not found from the Koran. It is not found in the Mishnah, in the Talmud. It’s not found in the (inaudible- reference to some religious creed). It’s not found in any writing other than what God has given to us, that is the gospel of Christ, His Holy Word. For a long time, and for ages long ago and even today, people try to search and find something separate and apart from the gospel that God has already given.
If you have your Bibles and I hope you do this morning, turn with me to the book of Galatians, Galatians chapter 1. We see within this epistle that Paul, a Christian and an apostle of God writes to Christians, writes to his brothers and sisters in Christ encouraging them of the gospel which they were to hold on to. But even some in the first century were trying to turn away to another gospel. There in Galatians chapter 1 verse 11, Paul says, “But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.” Well Paul himself clarifies that the gospel that he was preaching was a gospel that had come from God. It wasn’t a gospel according to man, but that gospel that had been given to him as he was an inspired writer and apostle of Jesus Christ Himself.
Even in that same chapter, if we back up just a few verses to verse 6, Paul says, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel.” There were some in this day who were turning away to a different gospel, a gospel that wasn’t given from God, not the gospel of Christ, but a gospel according to the words of various men. Even there in verse 8 as we continue the same chapter, verse 8 says the following, “But even if we or an angel from Heaven preached any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you then let him be accursed.” He gives a warning there that if there would be those that would come and preach something else that were not the words of God, then don’t listen. Let that person be accursed because they weren’t teaching the gospel that God had give them.
Verse 9 repeats the same exhortation. “As we have said before, so now I say again, If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received let him be accursed.”
Some and many for ages have turned aside for words of men, have turned away from the gospel that God has given and turned aside to something other than what Christ gave and what Christ taught and what the apostles taught who followed after Him. So the words of God. Where do we find the gospel? Jeremiah 10 verse 23 tells us that, “The way of man is not in himself and it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” There is something within us that we cannot provide ourselves. We cannot bring salvation upon ourselves. We cannot bring that saving home in Heaven that we might reach at someday. God can give us what we cannot have within our own means. It is not within man to direct his own steps. Man needs to seek that higher power. And what is that? The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word which God has given to mankind that he might follow it, that he might live according to those standards and obey that Holy Scripture.
There in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16 as we continue to answer this question: Where is the gospel found? If it’s not found in the words of men, then where is it found? Well it is found in the Word of God. There in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16, it says, “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Where did the scriptures come from? What book do we have before us that is like no other book? The Holy Bible, the Word of God! It is given by the inspiration of God, that God-breathed message. Where do we find the gospel? Well we can’t find it in a message that was written by men, but truly in a message that was given to us by God Himself through those inspired writers and is profitable for all those areas that the man of God might be complete.
We see also there in 2 Peter chapter 1 in verse 3, “God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” We’re not lacking in what we need spiritually. We are not lacking in what we need in this world. God has given to us His Holy Word. That’s where we find the gospel.
Ephesians chapter 4 talks about the one Lord, the one faith, the one baptism, the oneness there, the unity there that Paul expresses to the brethren there in Ephesus. One faith! Where does that one faith come from? Well for all using these different books, these different materials, the different words of men, then how could there be one faith? There is one faith because there is one gospel. Where do we find the gospel? Where do we find the Holy Scriptures? Well we find that gospel within God’s Word. We find this gospel contained within that saving message which gives us salvation if we are obedient to it.
There in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13, Paul says of those brethren there who heard the word of Truth, the gospel of salvation. That’s where we find this saving message, in God’s Word, in the gospel that He has given to us.
The gospel is also found in the Truth itself. Colossians chapter 1, again I hope that you have your Bibles and you’ll be able to turn with me as we consider these verses, but in Colossians chapter 1 we find the Truth that is contained within the message, that is the gospel of God. Colossians chapter 1 verse 5, “Because of the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven of which you heard before in the Word of Truth of (what?) the gospel.” The Word of Truth that had come to these brethren . The Word of Truth that we now have before us written down on these holy pages. The Word of God is found in the Truth given to us in the gospel.
The gospel is also found in the Great Commission. That verse we have already mentioned from Mark chapter 16 verse 15 when Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” What would the apostles and then the disciples who followed after them… What were those who were believers in Jesus Christ and obeyed the Word that He brought to them…? What were they told to do? Go preach the gospel. The gospel is found there in the Great Commission of those who would carry that saving message forth about Jesus Christ. So we find the gospel there as well.
The gospel is also found in the lives of those who are living godly. There again we find a verse in 1 Corinthians of those who would live for God, those who would live righteously and uprightly before their Maker and Creator. 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 4 says, “Do we have no right to eat and to drink?” Then also down in verse 14, “Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.” You know Paul was coming to these brethren and he was preaching and teaching and he was out working for God and he was willing to live for the gospel. Well he was one who wasn’t concerned about where he was going to find his next meal, not concerned about what he was going to eat or what he was going to drink because he put his trust in God. Well where did he put that trust? Where did he find that message that he could put his trust in, that message that he had received from God, that gospel that he was willing to live by?
So we should also see the gospel in those Christians, those people who would accept the Word of God as they have read it and as they have been taught it and as they have been living those godly lives. You see our lives should be those great examples, those shining images of what others can imitate because they see our speech and they see our actions as we are preaching the gospel as we are teaching the gospel and as we are living the gospel. So the gospel should be found within individual Christians, but also the gospel should be found and it is found within the kingdom of God itself.
There in Matthew chapter 24 as Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God and as He spoke about the gospel or where it is found and its capabilities and the possibilities that it has unto mankind to bring him to the Lord. There in Matthew chapter 24 and verse 14, here Jesus says the following, “And this gospel (the gospel of what?) of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations and then the end will come.” Jesus says the gospel is the gospel of the kingdom, the church that He came to establish, the church that is founded upon Himself, that solid rock, that foundation which He laid. This gospel should be found in that kingdom, and so this gospel which is not found in the words of men but is truly found in the Word of God, that is the gospel which we should look to, the gospel, that valuable rich treasure which we can find salvation in. It truly comes and is found in the Word of God.
This gospel is also found in the good news of Jesus Christ. Romans chapter 10, as those who would go out and preach the gospel, those who would bring this great, valuable piece of information to the lost souls of this world. There in Romans chapter 10 verse 15, it says, “How shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” The gospel truly is the good news, the good news of Jesus Christ. What greater news is there to be had than the news that Jesus Christ came to this earth, that He lived for you, that HE died on the cross, and that He rose on the third day? The good news, the message, the gospel is about Jesus Christ. It’s about the life that He lived.
That’s what Mark says in Mark chapter 1:1 as he records the gospel account according to, as he saw things and again being an inspired writer as he recorded the things that were given to him to record. Mark chapter 1 and verse 1 says, “This is the beginning of the gospel of Christ.”
As we read through those books, just as we read through Matthew and Luke and John, we see the story, that historical account of the life of Jesus Christ. We see His birth. What greater news is there to learn than that? This child was born. The Savior was born. Many rejoiced. The wise men and those others that came to see this birth of this child, the good news that Jesus Christ the Savior Emmanuel had come.
Also the good news is found in the death of Christ. We often don’t think that when someone passes away, when someone dies that this would be good news. But when someone takes your place, when your life is in the balance, your soul is in jeopardy, but when someone steps in and offers themselves, offers their blood for your sins, that is great news! That’s what Peter talks about in 1 Peter chapter 3 as he would give an account for these Christians to remember the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood that Christ had shed for their sins. He says there in 1 Peter chapter 3 beginning in verse 18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” This just man in whom was no sin, who was perfect, who showed us a great example, the gospel being about Him, and He died for our sins. That’s a glad tiding of good things. That’s the good news. The gospel is found in the good news of Jesus Christ, not only His birth, not only His life, but His death, His burial and resurrection, all the things that we see within the scripture. The good news is that Jesus Christ died for our sins. That’s what Paul preached there in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 23. He preached Christ in Him crucified because without the death of Christ, there would be no salvation. It is because of His blood, because of His redemptive power, because of what He did for us that we can have that home in Heaven someday.
The gospel as we find it in the Word of God, this good news about Jesus Christ is brought to us and brings us peace. The Roman writer there in Romans chapter 10, already talked about that, but Ephesians as well speaks of the peace that we can have because of the blood of Jesus Christ. You see when we were friends of this world, we made enmity with God. We had separated ourselves from God. We had drawn a line down the middle and we were now enemies against the Father. But Jesus Christ, His blood reconciled us. It brought us back together when we were obedient and when we were immersed for the remission of sins, we were brought back into the light of God. That’s what the good news brings, that glad tiding of good things, that good news that Jesus Christ died for your sins.
Where is the gospel found? Where will we want to find these valuable riches? Search no other place but than where God has given them to us, in His Word.
So turning back again to consider what Paul says to the Romans there in Romans chapter 1. This gospel, this great, rich saving message that can bring salvation to the souls of those who will be obedient to it. Paul says here in verse 16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” This gospel that has a saving message, it is the power unto salvation. You can’t find salvation in diamonds and gold. You can’t find salvation in the words of men. There is nothing in this earth that can bring salvation, but the gospel of Jesus Christ can. The gospel that is now open to everyone who would believe.
So search, find that rich treasure within the Word of God. Seek that gospel which is the good news about Jesus Christ. Here these words. Listen to what God has to say. Believe in Jesus Christ, His Son, that He came and lived and died for your sins. If you’ve not made the change yet from serving the world to serving God, make that change! Confess that you believe these words that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and be immersed in water for the remission of your sins that you might have the salvation that is offered here in the scriptures. The good news is in the Word.
(SONG # 3 - “Give Me The Bible!”)
Thanks for putting God first and choosing to be with us this morning. I hope you have benefited from our time together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God.
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How blessed we are to have God’s Perfect Word which teaches us all things pertaining to His Gospel. May we ever love it, respect it, and obey it, as it is the road map to life from God Almighty Himself!