THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 7-10-11
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?”
The inspired David once said, “Commit your way to the Lord,” Psalm 37:5! Have you committed your way to God this day? Have you placed all of your trust and confidence in Him?
Thanks for joining us this Lord’s day for the study of God’s Living Word. How blessed we are today to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord’s day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!
So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now let’s begin praising our God through song. Won’t you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together a hymn that reminds us of the need to look to God for all things! The name of the song, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross!”
(SONG # 1)
Just how much do you give to God? The Bible talks a lot about the need of a faithful child of God to give back to their Creator. We must not forget that as Christians there are many ways which we must give to God: we give of our time, we use our talents for God, we focus our efforts on him, and we give of our money. You see, giving is much more than digging into our pocket book. However, I think that as followers of God we feel like if we give of our means, then other types of giving are excused!
A verse in Psalm 29, helps us with another aspect of this discussion of the morning. In verses 1 and 2 we read, “Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” Consider the many ways which are mentioned here of giving to God spiritually. We can give with glory and strength, we can magnify His name, and we can worship Him in beauty and holiness! How blessed we are to be able to give to God and not only from the physical perspective in life, but also from the spiritual!
Let’s end by considering a few verses in the New Testament. First in Ephesians 5:19-20, we read, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here we have added to our worship a giving of thanks in song and prayer! In Hebrews 13:15, we further are encouraged to, “…continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
So just how are you giving to your wondrous God? Are you giving to Him of the best of your labors and efforts? Choose today to give God more, for only then can you be found truly acceptable in His sight!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. This morning we will begin a new series entitled, “The Gospel of Christ.” Our specific lesson of the morning is, “What Is the Gospel?” So please stay with us and after our next song together I will be leading this discussion from God’s Word! Now let’s join in our second hymn of the day, its name, “There’s A Fountain Free.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
In Romans chapter 1 we read of Paul desiring to be a debtor to all men. But if you’ll notice there in verse 14 he says, “I am a debtor both to the Greeks and the Barbarians as well as the wise and the unwise.” Isn’t it interesting that a man like Paul, raised as a Jew and certainly founded in Jewish things, but now as a Christian, a worker of Jesus Christ, how that now he still feels indebted to those of this world. But what was his desire? What was his indebtedness to the world? What did he realize that he had to accomplish? If you’ll look there in verse 15 with me he goes on to say, “So as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.” What is Paul’s desire? How is he indebted to man? Because he, because of the obedience to Christ now has the opportunity of salvation and feels a need as a minister of the gospel to share that with the entire world. Therefore in verse 16 we read, “The gospel of Christ,” is what? “The power of God unto salvation.” Paul says, “I am not ashamed of such. I’m not ashamed of that gospel, that precious gospel of Jesus Christ.” And so this morning we begin a new series of study that deals with the gospel of Christ. In fact that is our title as well as our theme that we might not only understand what the gospel is today but that we might understand concerning the gospel how it affects us, who it affects, and over the many weeks how it is really something that without it we would have no hope.
So where do we first begin to see the idea or the concept of the gospel of Christ? If we were to look up this word really in the original language, the concept of the gospel simply means “Good News.” When we hear of what the gospel says there is no better news than the fact that Jesus Christ came to this earth for your sake and my sake that He lived, that He died, and was buried, and He rose again from the grave, overcoming death that you and I might have the chance of salvation. Certainly that is the power of the gospel, being the very Word of God itself, confirming these truths and facts that give us hope of everlasting life.
All that being said, we really begin to see the concept or the idea of the Gospel even much earlier on. The gospel of the Good News of Jesus and His coming and His life and His death to come, all of these things were being spoken even before they took place. In fact you can back up with me all the way to the book of Matthew and it is interesting there as Jesus was now beginning His ministry on the earth, notice what it said in chapter 4. There the Bible says, “And Jesus went about all of Galilee teaching in their synagogues.” Whose synagogues? The synagogues of the Jews, because we know that Jesus first went to the Jews. Then it goes on to say, as He was in the synagogues, that “He was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease amongst the people.” You see, Jesus here was preaching again the Gospel, the Good News, and specifically here, He says about the “Kingdom of God.”
Later we talk about the “Good News of Christ.” But guess what we learn about the kingdom. The kingdom is the body of Christ. And so when He was preaching the coming of the kingdom or the concept as we read that, “The kingdom is at hand,” or the reality as we even learn several chapters over in Matthew 16 when Jesus said, “I will build My church,” we begin to find clearly this idea given to us that the Gospel, the Good News of the kingdom is about this church that He would establish. In fact if you’ll look with me in Matthew 16 and we find there that same verse that tells us, “I will build My church,” in verse 18, notice what He goes on to clarify in verse 19. “And I will give you, Peter, the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.” I will build My church and then I’m going to give you the keys to it, the kingdom.
Well some people today try to say, “Well this church and kingdom, these bodies, these things are all different.” Is that what the Bible says? I find it interesting there in the book of Ephesians chapter 1 as well as again in Ephesians chapter 5 that the body is the church. In Colossians chapter 1 and verse 13 we see that we are “translated out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son, the Son of His love.” Then verse 18 says that kingdom is none other than (guess what) the church or the body. And then we find there in the book of 1 Corinthians 15:23 that “Someday Jesus will deliver the Kingdom or the church back to the Father.” The Kingdom, the church, the body- these are representative of what those who are on this earth in obedience to God are put in. We are translated out of the world into what? The family of God.
And how do we describe the family, the kingdom that Jesus said, “I will build,” the church that Jesus said, “I will build,” and the body which was built, the kingdom which was built, the church which was built all at the same time because they refer to the same things there in Acts chapter 2? In fact guess what it says in Acts chapter 2 verse 47. It says, “Those that were being saved that day were being added by the Lord (guess what) to the church.” And so when Jesus came preaching the kingdom, the coming of the kingdom, and “I will build My church,” and then all nations will be where? Put into the church of the kingdom. That message was Good News! Good News not only to the Jews because of the salvation now being based on a greater sacrifice and promise, the blood of Jesus Christ, something much more powerful than animals of old, but now we go to the next step and we see that the kingdom, the church was sealed, purchased and bought for the very blood of Jesus Christ. There we are finding such truths in Acts chapter 20 and verse 28. And so Jesus said, “I will preach the Gospel, the Good News of my kingdom to come.” And when Jesus finally had died, was buried and rose again, thus the blood sealing the New Covenant (Hebrews chapter 8 and 9) then the church was established. Those who repented and were baptized on that day on Pentecost and thereafter were added to the church and those added to the church were now a part of the kingdom of God on the earth, the kingdom that certainly was a recipient of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel, the Good News of Christ.
And what was that Good News? That Jesus was born, that He did come saying, “I will build My kingdom or church,” that He did accomplish that task, that now He would return to the right hand of the Father (Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1-4) and now He reigns in Heaven (Ephesians chapter 1 verses 21-22). He reigns in Heaven over (guess what) His body, the church of which you and I are a part of and thus encompasses the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And later in the future very soon we will talk specifically about the heart of that gospel. But what I would like to do now if you will return to Romans chapter 1 and verse 16 and see again the fact that we attribute to the concept of the Gospel of Christ. Now understanding the Gospel of Christ, the Good News of Christ or the Good News of Jesus being that He came, lived, died, was buried and He rose again establishing the church through His blood in the New Covenant, we now look at the fact that Paul says, “I am not ashamed of that. I am not ashamed that I was a Jew but now I am a Christian. I’m not ashamed that amongst me in Rome are pagans, but yet I am a Christian and I will stand up boldly (verses 14 and 15) as a debtor and preach Christ, the Gospel among you whether it be throughout the world or even in Rome.” And why? Because he says there in the same verse (verse 16) that, “The Gospel of Christ is the power unto salvation.” It is that very thing that gives us the ability to be what? To be saved! And therefore we find that Paul had every desire, every motivation and every willingness to preach the gospel of Christ, the very same way, brethren, that you and I should today.
But not only was he willing to preach the Gospel of Christ, but I believe that he was willing to live the life of Christ. In fact, we can even find here in the same text after he tells us that he was preaching that Gospel, he says, “In that Gospel is revealed righteousness from faith to faith.” He understood the fact that a belief in Christ required an action or a following of what God said. The Gospel is something that we must obey not only in our understanding and knowledge but in our actions to do what it says.
One verse that will help us with the concept of our conduct and the conduct of the Gospel is found over in another of Paul’s writings, and as we look there in relationship to Romans chapter 10 we find here the need to develop that faith in chapter 10 and verse 17 because “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by (guess what) the Word of God.” What do you think the Gospel is? It’s the Truth. It’s the Word of God. It’s the Good News of God. It’s what is God? Who is God? What is He all about? And what is His Will? Therefore you and I desire to have this conduct, a life, a way of life not only knowing who God is but loving God enough to do what? To obey Him. Loving God enough to keep His very commandments.
If you will turn with me now a few chapters over in Romans to Romans chapter 15. As Paul preached the Gospel and as he lived the Gospel, as he practiced the things that he preached, I find it interesting there in chapter 15 and verse 19 that he says he preached “all of the gospel.” He didn’t just pick and choose some things. He said, “I have fully preached the Gospel.”
I also find it significant as we go over to the letters which he wrote as well to the Galatian church that he make some similar statements about how that he says in chapter 2 and verses 4 and 5 that he did not yield even for one hour but yet to preach the Gospel of Christ. Then he asked them the question over in the same text of chapter 4 and verse 16, he says, “Have I become your enemy because I tell you the Truth, because I tell you the Good News, and I tell you that you can’t be saved as a Jew, you can’t be saved as a pagan, but you have to become a follower of Jesus Christ and obey the Gospel of Christ?” You see Paul was bold! Paul was willing to do what was essential pertaining to the Gospel. And why? He knew there were those who desired to pervert it.
If you think for a moment with me there in that same text (Galatians chapter 1 and verse 7) he actually states there the clear truth that there were those who were teaching contrary and in fact he says, “Even perverting the Gospel of Christ,” and specifically in the context there he was talking about those of the circumcision. He was saying that there were some Jews who liked the idea of Jesus as the Messiah and they wanted to follow Jesus, but they also wanted to hold on to the Old Law. They wanted to pervert the Gospel of (guess what) Jesus Christ. What does that teach us? It teaches us that we not only need to look into the Word of God to know the Gospel of Christ, but we need to look into God’s Word that we might know it unto obedience. Then we know the Gospel unto obedience guess what we have the opportunity to do. Not only obey it ourselves unto salvation, but teach it to others. Is that not what is encompassed in the great commission? Go therefore and do what? Preach the Gospel of Christ unto who? The world! Every nation, every creature and help them to obey. How? Baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
And so the question that I bring before you this day is an understanding of the Gospel and its need to be proclaimed by each and every one of us. The question I might ask: Are you ashamed of the Gospel? Certainly I hope not for the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation for who? All of mankind. And if you and I will live by faith and righteousness according to the Gospel and if our conduct is worthy of the Gospel as we will even study later in our series then you will know you are saved. If others see that hopefully they will also know God, also obey that they might be saved as well. So why not live today and every day as if your life depends on eternity knowing that obedience to God will find you faithful in the end?
(SONG # 3 - “For the Beauty of the Earth!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting to us and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!
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Thanks be to God for His precious gospel, which has the power to save man. Have you responded to the Gospel of Christ? If not why not give yourself fully to God today!