It`s the Gospel that Works not us
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And that is not the way the word gospel is used in the New Testament. Recently I studied all the places in the Greek Bible where forms of the word gospel were used, and I was overwhelmed at how often it is used to denote not a way of life-not what we do-but a verbal proclamation of what Jesus has done and how an individual gets right with God. Texts like Luke and Luke show the implication of the gospel that the broken-hearted, unrecognized, and oppressed now have a central place in the economy of the Christian community, while the powerful and successful are humbled.
What is the Gospel of Grace?
Generosity to the poor will flow from those who are holding fast to the gospel as their profession 2 Cor. The earth will be renewed and even the trees will be singing for joy. And if the trees will be able to dance and sing under the cosmos-renewing power of his Kingship-what will we be able to do? When we realize that Jesus is going to someday destroy hunger, disease, poverty, injustice, and death itself, it makes Christianity what C.
This full version of the gospel reminds us that God created both the material and the spiritual, and is going to redeem both the material and the spiritual. The things that are now wrong with the material world he wants put right. Some avoid the importance of working for justice and peace by pointing to 2 Peter , which seems to say that this material world is going to be completely burned up at the final resurrection.
You would expect me at this point now to explain how we can perfectly integrate the various aspects of the gospel in our preaching. I find it instructive that the New Testament writers themselves seldom, if ever, pack all of the aspects of the gospel equally in any one gospel address. He always leads with some points rather than others in an effort to connect with the baseline cultural narratives of his listeners. Some parts simply engage her more than others, and, to begin with, a communicator should go with those. Eventually, of course, you have to get to all the aspects of the full gospel in any process of evangelism and discipleship.
There are people from other religions Judaism, Islam , people with strong Catholic backgrounds, as well as those raised in conservative Protestant churches. That law can be explained in such a way that they realize they fall short of it. In that context, Christ and his salvation can be presented as the only hope of pardon for guilt. However, Manhattan is also filled with postmodern listeners who consider all moral statements to be culturally relative and socially constructed.
Of course, postmodern people must at some point be challenged about their mushy views of truth, but there is a way to make a credible and convicting gospel presentation to them even before you get into such apologetic issues. That is, I use the biblical definition of sin as idolatry. Instead of telling them they are sinning because they are sleeping with their girlfriends or boyfriends, I tell them that they are sinning because they are looking to their romances to give their lives meaning, to justify and save them, to give them what they should be looking for from God.
This idolatry leads to anxiety, obsessiveness, envy, and resentment. I have found that when you describe their lives in terms of idolatry, postmodern people do not give much resistance. Then Christ and his salvation can be presented not at this point so much as their only hope for forgiveness, but as their only hope for freedom.
I find that many of my younger listeners are struggling to make choices in a world of endless consumer options and are confused about their own identities in a culture of self-creation and self-promotion. These are the people who are engaged well by the more individually-focused presentation of the gospel as free grace not works.
Use This Gospel Lyrics
However, I have found many highly secular people over the age of 40 are not reached very well with any emphasis on personal problems. Many of them think they are doing very well, thank you.
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They are much more concerned about the problems of the world-war, racism, poverty, and injustice. Instead of going into, say, one of the epistles and speaking of the gospel in terms of God, sin, Christ, and faith, I point out the story-arc of the Bible and speak of the gospel in terms of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. We once had the world we all wanted-a world of peace and justice, without death, disease, or conflict. But by turning from God we lost that world. Jesus Christ, however, came into the world, died as a victim of injustice and as our substitute, bearing the penalty of our evil and sin on himself.
This will enable him to some day judge the world and destroy all death and evil without destroying us. I use them all and let each group overhear me preaching to the others.
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No one form of the gospel gives all the various aspects of the full gospel the same emphasis. If, then, you only preach one form, you are in great danger of giving your people an unbalanced diet of gospel-truth. What is the alternative? If you are preaching expositionally, different passages will convey different forms of the one gospel.
Preach different texts and your people will hear all the points. No, it stretches them. When one group-say, the postmodern-hears a penetrating presentation of sin as idolatry, it opens them up to the concept of sin as grieving and offending God. Sin as a personal affront to a perfect, holy God begins to make more sense, and when they hear this presented in another gospel form, it has credibility. When more traditional people with a developed understanding of moral guilt learn about the substitutionary atonement and forensic justification, they are comforted.
But these classic doctrines have profound implications for race relations and love for the poor, since they destroy all pride and self-justification. He wants to make us his slaves.
Use This Gospel
He uses many disguises to enslave us. When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. No swimming allowed here. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells.
We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown. Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.
The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make see Galatians ; Revelation Heavenly Father has told us how to escape the captivity of Satan. What are some examples of actions that limit our choices? What are some examples of actions that give us more freedom? Moses freedom of choice. Abraham —25 earth life a test. Alma ; Moroni —6 works judged. Moroni —17 choosing good and evil.