I have been meaning to resurrect my blog. Much has happened over the last few months and now that we are starting to settle into Southern Louisiana, I have decided it is time! We have found in Louisiana: A lot of LSU fans, really good food (Still acquiring a taste for crawfish), warm weather, large stately trees, beautiful sunsets, and a wonderful and gracious church with unlimited potential for kingdom growth. We truly are settling in and this is becoming home! The central theme of this blog is the content of my first sermon and sermon series. When I came in view of a call I taught from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 in a message entitled, The Centrality of the Cross and my first sermon series was The Gospel Awakening. I want to address in this blog our continual need for the gospel. Everything we do is informed by the gospel. The gospel literally means, “good news.” The gospel is good news that is to be heralded. This is important! The gospel is not primarily advice to be given, but news that is to be proclaimed. In ancient Greece they didn’t have email, twitter, or cell phones, so after a military battle a messenger would be sent to the city informing the people of the result. The messenger was simply to announce the result. If victory occurred, he would run back to the people and herald the good news of victory. This is a perfect illustration of the Christian’s responsibility. We are to announce our conquering King has defeated sin, death, and Satan. The gospel then is news to be announced not advice to be given!
One of the best definitions of gospel I have heard is by David Platt: “The gospel is this: The just and loving Creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, God in the flesh, to bear his wrath against sin on the cross and to show his power over sin in the resurrection, so that all who trust in Him will be reconciled to God forever.” When we speak of the gospel we are referring to God’s historical and completed work through Jesus. The gospelhas to do with what God has accomplished for us and not our accomplishments, performance, obedience (or lack thereof), or activity. The Christian’s goal as they share Christ is to point lost people to the finished work of Jesus. When people gaze on Christ, they are confronted with their sinfulness and Jesus’ sufficiency. We must constantly talk about Jesus’ saving work: His righteous life, atoning death, sin and death defeating resurrection, glorious ascension, and bodily second coming. John Hendryx says the following, “In short, the gospel is the life-altering news that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, lived a sinless life under the law, died for sinners and rose again to reconcile them to himself, eternally victorious over every enemy that stood between God and man. Now, because of his redemptive work, there is nothing that separates those who believe from their Creator and all the benefits that he promises in him.”
Monday morning Application:
Today, abide in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Read John 15:9. His righteousness gifted to you is the complete measure for your right standing with God. Christian, abide in his love!