THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 6-29-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!"
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord' Day morning. We thank God that you have chosen to be with us today, as we commit this time to our wondrous Creator. What a great privilege we have today to join in this opportunity to praise our God and glorify our Savior. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
Today we want to begin with a hymn that reminds us that God is always there to guide the faithful. Certainly God is a perfect guide in all areas of life. So, this morning won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together our first hymn of the morning? The name of the song "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah!"
(SONG # 1)
One of the saddest things in life is to look around us and to find so many who reject God. We don't always see this rejection in the form of words, but none-the-less we see it in the way people live. The Bible tells us that just saying Lord, Lord isn't enough. Just because I know who God is does not mean that I am justified in His sight.
How many times a day or week do you see someone saying words or doing things that really prove they are not interested in the things of God? Or how many times do you find someone who claims to love God do the very same thing? Again, the proof is in our actions. We are known as righteous or wicked according to the things that we do or say on a daily basis.
I often wonder if those who reject Christ, in word and deed, really understand what they are doing. The Psalmist David said, "For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish," Psalms 1:6. Again in chapter 53 and verse 1, David added, "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good." You see the fact is when one rejects God by their actions or words, then they are lost, alone and without the only thing that can offer them a wondrous and peaceable eternal life.
On the other hand, consider the primary statement made in the first verse we read a moment ago, where David said, "For the LORD knows the way of the righteous." God truly knows and sees the faith of the righteous before Him. And the blessed part of it, is that the righteous will not perish. Isn't it the old beloved verse found in John 3:16, that says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Notice the same terminology is used here, by saying, "the believers will not perish," but have "everlasting life." In this verse we see that Jesus himself taught the great promise of eternal life for those who are faithful. But again, even Christ, a few verses down, reminds us that, "those who do not believe are condemned," verse 18. And furthermore, in verse 19, we are told why they perish, because their "deeds are evil."
As those who love God and His will, let's make sure that we are living as righteous people in this world of wickedness. However, let's also remember the great responsibility and duty we have to help those who are not in the light, to find the light, and follow the will of the Savior.
Today we will be concluding our series on, "The Gospel Of Christ." Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled the same, "The Gospel of Christ." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together our guest speaker of the day will return to guide us in this lesson from God's Word.
As far as our guest speaker, we are happy to have brother Kevin Patterson with us again. Brother Kevin is the minister for the HWY 13 Church of Christ in Bolivar, Missouri. We thank him for joining us this morning. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the day, the name of the song, "Standing On The Promises of God."
(SONG # 2)
By Kevin Patterson
Good morning and thank you for staying with us!
Sometimes we preachers use a variety of Biblical words in our lessons and assume that everyone hearing them understands them. Words like: redemption, conversion and salvation are often tossed here and there in sermons realizing that there are some perhaps who are present that may not understand what they mean. The word "gospel" is one of those words. It is preached with conviction and quoted from scripture and yet, this very simple and powerful word sometimes is not understood by the hearers. This morning, we are going to close a series of study with the lesson "The Gospel of Christ," and we're going to begin by defining that central word in our study, the word "gospel."
New Ungers Bible Dictionary defines "gospel" as "being a word from Anglo-Saxon origin, a word that comes from the Anglo-Saxon word 'godspell' or 'good story.'" It is a word that in the earlier Greek language signified a present given to one who brought good tidings or a sacrifice offered in thanksgivings for such good tidings having come.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines the word "gospel" in this way. "It originally denoted a reward for good tidings. Later the idea of reward was dropped and the word stood for the good news itself."
In the New Testament, it denotes the good tidings of the kingdom of God and of the salvation through Christ to be received through faith on the basis of His death, His burial, His resurrection and His ascension.
In simplest terms, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of Jesus Christ. But what is this good news of Jesus Christ? Well, this morning we are going to take a look at a number of different things that Jesus Christ means to the world and a number of reasons why He is good news for us today.
First of all, the good news of Jesus Christ, the gospel of Jesus Christ is that He is God. You might recall back in Exodus chapter 3 verses 13-14 when Moses was having a conversation with God and he wanted to know, "Well, how will I tell the people who it was who was talking to me? What name will I give them for you?" And you will remember that God said, "You tell the people that the I Am sent you." He said, "I Am that I Am."
We might note that in the New Testament in John chapter 8 and verse 58 Jesus the man referred to Himself in this same way when He said, "Before Abraham was, I Am."
Well John the gospel writer wrote in the very first chapter in the very first verse of John, he wrote, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Now the Word that is used in John 1 and verse 1 is the Word for Jesus. John often referred to Jesus the Christ as being the Word. So he says that "Jesus was in the beginning and He was with God and He was God."
Well, that leads us to the next point. The good news is that Jesus Christ who was and is God left heaven, came to the earth, put on flesh and lived as a man.
In John chapter 1 and verse 14 we continue to read that, "The Word became flesh and dwelled among us and we beheld His glory. The glory is of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth."
The apostle Paul wrote the church at Philippi in Philippians chapter 2 verses 5-7 and he encouraged those Christians to have an attitude that was similar to that of Jesus Christ. He said, "Let this mind be in you which is also in Jesus Christ who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men."
But why did Jesus do this? Why did God leave heaven and put on flesh and live as a man? Why would He do such a thing? Well, Paul's letter to the church at Rome describes a lot of the reasons as to why He did this.
First and foremost, we read in Romans 3 and verse 23 that, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
A few chapters later in chapter 6 and verse 23, Paul would say that since we have all sinned we are going to have to pay the price of sin. He describes in that verse that "the wages of sin, or the payoff of sin, or the price of sin is death." In other words, there is an eternal separation from God when sin separates us.
Well, we read in Matthew chapter 8 verses 11-14 that the very reason that Jesus came to the earth was because He knew we were separated from God. He knew that we were lost. We were like sheep who had wandered off and needed to be brought back. He came to seek and to save us.
Matthew 18 beginning in verse 11, "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly I say unto you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
So it makes a lot of sense when we quote that old familiar passage of scripture in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Jesus came because God loved us so much that even though we had sinned, even though we found ourselves to be in the condition of being lost, God had a plan for us, and Jesus was the way to bring that plan into reality.
You know there is more good news though. There is also the good news that Jesus Christ left for us a perfect example that we might know how to live. In Hebrews chapter 4:15 even though Jesus Christ put on flesh and lived as one of us, He did something that we don't do. He never sinned. Hebrews 4:15 reads, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin." This is why Jesus said in John 13 and verse 15, "For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you."
There is also more good news in that Jesus Christ taught us what we need to know to be saved. He not only showed us that perfect example but He taught us with words. He taught us with descriptions. He taught us with details how we might be saved. That is by relying on Him, looking to Him, looking to Him for strength and encouragement but also for looking to Him for guidance and for instruction.
Jesus said in John chapter 4 and verse 14, "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." Jesus' words are like a water. When we drink, we will never have to thirst again.
It is a spiritual water that leads to everlasting life. He also describes Himself as the bread of life, a spiritual food that we will never be hungry from if we partake. John 6:35, Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
Jesus would later say in chapter 6 and verse 63 of John; "It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life." This is why Jesus would say to His apostles in John 8 and verses 31-32, "If you abide in My words, you are My disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."
Set you free from what? Set you free from the very thing that the apostle Paul wrote those Christians at Rome when he said in Romans 8 and verse 2, "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and of death."
Jesus' words are and were important if we want to be saved in the end. But there's more good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ died so that we might live.
Remember Philippians chapter 2? One of the verses we didn't read is verse 8 where we read that "being found in appearance as a man, He (talking about Jesus Christ) humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross."
Why is this important? Because it was His death. It was His sacrifice in our stead. It was the price that He paid for us, a price that we could not pay for ourselves that purchased our freedom. It purchased our pardon.
Paul would write in Romans 5 verses 6-9, "For when we were still without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die? But God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, much more than having now been justified by His blood we shall be saved from a wrath through Him."
You know when I think about some verses of scripture in the Bible that give me comfort, the ones that talk about the wrath of God are not the ones that I am referring to. When I think about God's wrath and when I think about what I might have to suffer because of my sin, that's a very scary contemplation. But thanks be to Jesus Christ who gave Himself up for me so that I would not have to face the wrath of God and I could look forward to a hope of an eternal heaven.
The good news is that Jesus Christ did not stay dead. He rose from the dead so that we might live. Romans 14 and verse 9 reads, "For to this end, Christ died and rose and lived again that He might be Lord of both the living and the dead."
The good news of Jesus Christ is summed up by His death, burial and resurrection. In fact, this is what the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 1-4 actually refers to the gospel as being. Good news of Jesus Christ is summed up with the fact that He not only died, was not only buried, but He rose again. We read, "Moreover brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preach to you which also you received and in which you stand by which also you are saved if you hold fast that Word which I preach to you unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
Now the good news, the key to the gospel of Jesus Christ is that in the same way that He lived, He died, was buried and rose again. We, too, who live in sin can die to that sin, be buried in the waters of baptism and rise to walk in newness of life. Romans chapter 6 verses 3-4 reads, "Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
The Great Commission teaches us that this good news of Jesus Christ is something we should share with the rest of the world, that we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all of creation. The good news of Jesus Christ, the good news that teaches us that He overcame the grave and gives us life is the very good news that we want to take hold of in our lives so that we can live for Him and we want to take that gospel to the rest of the world so that others who are lost in sin might live for Him.
(SONG # 3 - "An Empty Mansion!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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How blessed we are to have been given a perfect Gospel to follow from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we always do what it says and follow it according to His Will!