Sunday, November 26, 2006

At closer look at the Gospel

At closer look at the Gospel

Acts 5: 41 - 42. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. (NIV)

I love the gospel… I love that we have a God Who loves us so much He Became a man to dwell amongst us. That man is Jesus. Some may be a bit confused over the terms as we speak of God becoming a man (the incarnation) and also of God sending His son…

When we say God sent His Son we are talking of something/someone that existed within God before the creation. This is His Word. In Genesis 1, God speaks and things come into existence. God simply says, “Let there be…” and it was. Through those very words all creation came to be! Later in John 1:1 we read that this Word, became flesh.

We think of Jesus as the Son as it best represents the relational aspect of Jesus and the Father… or The Speaker and His Word…

A Father is greater than His son… Though my son is equal as a human, I am greater (at least for a time) than my son as he has much to learn and needs to depend on me for all things. My son must live in total dependence on me (and his wonderful mom) for his very life.

Jesus lived in relationship with the Father that same way, in total dependence on His Father. In that Jesus is our example now in how we should live.

The Gospel is more than mere propositions. It is Living, it is the expression of the Father and Son by the Holy Spirit to all creation of His great love for us. By using the “tools” of propositional truth, Paul reveals the Gospel in a Person… that is Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1: 1-8

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge-- because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

First notice Paul is “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God”… from the git-go, Paul states who is sending him and that it is by this relationship that he is an apostle. With out the relationship as the foundation, the propositions to come mean nothing.

Second, This is sent “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus”. Again, it is because Jesus Christ sanctified this church that is exists… it is only out of the Churches relationship with Jesus that they exist…

Third, Grace and Peace come out of this relationship…

Now why is this important? Because one must take the foundation of a book of the bible as it is set up as to what will come later. That is called context… so we see so far the context here is on our relationship with Jesus.

Corinthians 15: 1-8

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (NIV)

This is very clear we are saved by a story… that story is the Gospel… The story that is told in the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

In this story, Jesus died for our sins to fulfill what was written… the OT was a Gospel also, one based on living in relation to the Law in order to please God… Though some will debate and I am open to the idea that the whole of scripture is based on God's relationship with His Creation... yet at least part of His dealings before Christ was by the Law.

You seen God wants relationship… and always has and always did… That is why He created Adam and Eve in the first place! To walk with them in the Garden and fellowship with them. Yet, this fell apart as Adam and Eve sinned.

Jesus died on the Christ as prophesied in the scripture, then was buried… yet that in itself is not much of a story… the outrages thing that happened next was on the third day, Jesus was raised from the dead…
Then the story begins again! Jesus visits his friends… these are the people He spent 3 years developing relationships with… to disciple and love and guide… He came back to re assure them of His love and that all that was written is not fulfilled in Him… the Person! The Messiah, the King of Kings, The Anointed One… the Lamb that was slain, The Lion of Judah!

And if we do miss the one thing that is being said in this passage is this… though Jesus walked and talked and then came back to reassure those Who in those three years knew Him on a Personal level… and that Jesus wanted them to still continue in that… there is one who was not like that. This one was not a disciple, nor had previously had a relationship with Jesus, yet, it seems that Jesus took a special interest in this one man… He met him on the road to Damascus, and Paul knew Him and cried “Lord!” Jesus took the time to introduce Himself… personally to Paul… and Paul’s life was never the same… as Paul, from then on walked in a relationship with Jesus.

This is great news for all of us, as it is still happening today. Jesus is still introducing Himself on a personal level to people today! He desires to meet you, to have a personal relationship with you, to introduce you to His friends and meet together… to be part of His Body… the church and in that learn to walk in His Love and also learn to share His Love with others…

This passage is about relationship… it loses it power… that power of the resurrected Christ if it is reduced to mere propositions… as I said earlier. That is how we approached God in the OT as we could nto enter into relationship with God. Now the Door to the Kingdom ha been thrown open to all… to enter in… to meet the Person… Jesus Christ.


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