Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 17 (05-07-19)
Bob George answers the question, “What is the gospel?”. Starting from 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Bob explains that Jesus died, was buried and was raised from the dead and appeared to you. This is the gospel that saves you, with nothing added to it. The gospel that saves is the message of what Christ has done to take away the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life. Bob wrote a booklet titled , “Born Free”, that explains the gospel message. There are five main thoughts Bob shares concerning the gospel message.
- Man’s problem : Man is spiritually dead and in need of life
- God’s Solution : God has provided life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Before life could be given, sins had to be forgiven (taken away)
- The Good News of the Gospel – “It is finished”
- In Him you are a new creation.
Our decision is to turn from our unbelief and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our life. Salvation is crossing over from death to life and is by faith alone. The good news of the gospel is “It is finished”. What is our part?
This is what God did.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
God has already reconciled us to himself. Now God pleads with you to be reconciled to him. Reconciliation is an accounting term, balancing the accounts payable and the accounts receivable. God has reconciled you to himself. Now you be reconciled to Him. God has written your sins on his accounts receivable, nailing them on the cross. So you take your sins off your accounts payable. It is done. Your sins have been nailed on the cross. The price has been paid in full.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
How many of you thought you were alienated from God by your evil behavior? Is that true? You were alienated in your mind, not His, because of your evil behavior.
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation
Are you in Christ? He has presented you to God holy in his sight without blemish and free from accusation. Did we deserve any of this? No.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
How many times was Christ sacrificed?
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him
You are made into a new creation.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
You were born of mom and dad but you were created by God. The new life you have today is by the new creation by God. Now you have to be born from above by God. I have recreated you into a brand new creation, you who put your faith in Christ. It is like being transformed from a caterpillar into a butterfly. A cocoon is weaved and what was once a worm emerges as a beautiful butterfly. So too is the Holy Spirit weaved into you, transforming you into a new creation. You may act like a caterpillar but you will never be one again. How many of you have acted like a worm? But it is a butterfly acting like a worm. You will never be a worm again.
Paul in all his letters addressed them as saints.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus
1 Corinthians 1:2
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints
God does not call them sinners saved by grace. You say to yourself, “I am just a worm, a beggar telling others where the food is.” That is not what God calls you. You are a new creation so quit calling yourself what you used to be. You are a child of God. You are not a baptist, a Southern Day Adventist, or a Presbyterian, or whatever you call yourself. You just joined a club. To be a child of God you have to be born again.
There is only one way to be born again, and that is to be born again from above by God. You may act like a worm but you are never going to be one again. That is what draws you to the heart of Jesus. Jesus looking down on you saying, “Are you a butterfly?” “Yes”, you say. God says, “I did not create you to crawl. Then what are you doing acting like a worm?” You reply, “I don’t know. I am just dumb, I guess.” God replies, “Yes, that is true that you are dumb like a lamb. But I made you to fly. Get up and fly. I did not make you to be crawling on the ground.” How long will God be doing that? Longer than you and I have been a Christian. He will be doing that until the day you die. When you die, you are absent from the body and present with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 John 3:2
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Talking about transformation. We will leave this sin-indwelling flesh.
In Him you are complete.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
In Jesus you have been made complete. Can you add to completeness? No. Can you subtract from it? No. You are just complete, exactly as God wants you to be, a child of God.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Notice the passage in Ephesians 1:7 does not say we have forgiveness in accordance to our confession. Nor does it say we have redemption in accordance with our confession. We have redemption and forgiveness in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
How many of you are in Him? How many of you have redemption? How many of you have forgiveness? How many ask God to redeem you ever day? Why? Why do you ask Him to redeem you? Are you in Him or not? If you are in Him, what do you have? Redemption. How many of you ask God to forgive you? Why? If you are in Him, what do you have? In Him you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Do you ask for what you have? Or do you keep insulting God by asking Him to give you what you already have? Would I be walking in faith, as a born again believer, asking God to redeem me? Would I be walking in faith, as a born again believer, asking God to forgive me? You say to God, “Lord, I am a born again believer, please give me eternal life?” How many of you would know that would be an insult to God to ask for that? Why? That is what God already gave you. You do not get forgiveness. You got forgiveness.
In Him you are a forgiven, redeemed person. Do you believe that? In accordance with the riches of what? Your confession? Going to the confession booth? Going back to the day of atonement? Repeating 1 John 1:9? No to all those things. You are a redeemed, forgiven person in accordance with the riches of what saves you, God’s grace. What does that tell you about yourself? You are a forgiven person. If I am a forgiven person, then does that mean I will never sin again? No. What do you do when you sin? What do you say to God when you sin? If you believe what God has said, that in Him you have redemption, the forgiveness of sin, then what is the only reasonable thing you can say when you sin? You thank him for what he has already done for you.
If I am asking Him for something He has already accomplished, then would I be functioning by faith?
And without faith it is impossible to please God
How many people are walking around asking God to forgive them? Many do so thinking they are acting in faith. In their faulty thinking, it is like such a person saying, “I am so full of faith that I cannot stand myself”. Are you really acting in faith? Hardly. If you are functioning by faith, then you must function by faith on what is true. What is true is that God was in Christ reconciling you unto himself not counting your sin against you.
So how do you respond when you sin? You thank God for what He has done. You thank God that through Jesus Christ that he took away the cause of death that even though I can act like a worm and sin, there is no condemnation awaiting me who belongs to Christ Jesus.
Now I must understand why I did what I did. The nasty 9 or the terrible 12, those prevalent sins, is the fruit. The root is unbelief. The reasons for doing the fruit is because of denying the root. You stop trusting Jesus and the truth of his word. The reason I sinned is because I stopped trusting Jesus. The old flesh says it would be a lot more fun doing what you want to do. And you deceive yourself and say, “that’s right and you go do it”. Stupid? Yes, it is stupid. But, what is the root cause of it? Unbelief.