Thursday, November 30, 2006

Remember Jesus Christ, Paul’s Gospel

Remember Jesus Christ, Paul’s Gospel

2 Timothy 2: 7-9. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. (NIV)

There are some that seem bent on reducing Jesus to “doctrines and creeds”. (Again, these have their place, but must be in proper relationship to Jesus.) They claim the Gospel is a set of systematic beliefs… and quote scriptures to proof text their assumption. Yet when one looks at what Paul simply states… in many places, it seems that the Gospel is the proclamation of Jesus the Person!

Paul asks Timothy to reflect… to contemplate…to think upon what Paul is saying. The focus of our faith does not revolve around us… that being me or you, but the focus is on Jesus Christ. This Jesus Who was Messiah, and a descendant of David…the rightful King of Israel. This Messiah/King died and was raised from the dead… notice though in the verse that Paul does not mention Jesus dying? For all die… good and bad alike… all will face the dark lord of death in this world… yet there is something Paul is pointing to… something that had never happened before, or if it did that person, though privileged with more time to live as Lazarus did, still went obediently to the grave in his last days…

Yet, again, this one thing Paul points to… this stumbling block… yes this One Who was crucified… yet Paul speaks even in 1 Cor 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (NIV) for without the Gospel (Good News) we are all still dead… and the Cross has lost its power… for the Power of the Cross is the Resurrection of Jesus. That Jesus Who was crucified died and was raised from the dead! In that we now over come death… in that we have hope… the blessed hope… the hope of the resurrection… for our Hope is the not just the return of Christ Jesus, but Jesus Himself returning! (Titus 2: 11-15)

This glorious Gospel we have… is the Person of Jesus Who is Risen from the dead! He is the first fruit of the New Creation… this New Creation, we who have come to know the Person of Jesus, now has been given to us to be partakers in… for as Jesus rose we to at the resurrection also will rise and live as imperishable, regenerated, renewed of our minds in Christ Jesus and given the inheritance of the New Creation, this New Heaven and the New Earth… for we will be a royal city in which God Himself will dwell… and be the Light and Life of all.. as we will be the New Jerusalem. Jesus will no longer weep over Jer, but instead present us to the Father as His Bride… made perfect in Christ Jesus.

Sadly one, who has chosen to not receive this Gospel, will not receive Jesus… for that is the Gospel… without Jesus there is no Good News… In that one has chosen to dwell in death… in that we must weep for those who are lost and reach out to them as if we were desperate for our own lives.

God is not out to send people to hell... or rather the Lake of Fire… in that one’s free will is given to choose. God will not interfere with a person’s path unless they ask. In that one without a renewed mind in Christ… we are only dependant on our own basic animal side… that side of man who in his heart is a mere brute. The man who in his own heart follows a path as if he knows better than the Creator of all things, that path which only leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Jesus is the only Path… in Him is only Life...for He is Life… He is the only Truth… for He is Truth...This may cut across the grain of many in this age… it has since Christ first said it… it has since Jesus was raised from death to Life… first suffering… in which we to much share in this suffering as those who view Jesus for Who He is as a stumbling block… or a vain myth or fantasy… yet if He is as we who believe say… He is Reality itself!

The Kingdom is at hand… all one has to do is reach out… it is there. It is real… as real as Jesus is…for we once lived in the shadows… and now we live in the Reality that is Christ Jesus…


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Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks! Very well written, and very well focused on the main thing- Christ himself.

Unknown said...

Thanks Mike!

Hope all is well with you and yours!