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The Gospel

There is no working definition of the Gospel that all Christians agree upon, however, their are elements to it that are vital to the biblical message. Paul refers to the Gospel in 1Corinthians 15:1-4:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...ESV

 

The basic narrative of the Gospel is that God the Son took on flesh and dwelt among the 1st Century Palestinian Jews (John 1:1, 14). He lived a perfect life and died a sinless death and rose again on the third day. Those who believe in Him can have salvation and become new creations. 

 

The way the Gospel is defined around here at RBBC is as follows:

 

Sinful people can rightly know and enjoy God by believing in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. 

 

The Person of Jesus is the God-Man, fully God and fully Man who was born of a virgin and lived a perfect life on the earth.

 

The Work of Jesus is His suffering on the Cross which satisfied the wrath of God and earned the salvation of all who would believe in Him.

 

Gospel In Contrast To Religion (taken from a recent sermon, adapted from Timothy Keller’s book The Reason For God)

 

Religion says: Obey and God will love you! 

Do good and be blessed and do bad and be cursed, just obey God and do lots of spiritual things and good things will happen, God will bless your life. And so we try to earn Gods approval and Gods favor and His acceptance and if we stumble it depresses us and we fear and worry and think God is never satisfied with us. And so we try harder to impress God. Religion sees church attendance as doing God a favor. 

 

Gospel says: Because God loves you now you can obey!

Because of Gods love for us, His mercy, His grace, His passion for us who are sinful, unholy, people, now we can obey Him and now we want to obey Him. His commands are invitations! You mean I get to love my wife?! I get to work hard for your glory?! I get to have no other gods before me?! That is the Gospel.

 

Religion says: The world is about good and bad people!

That’s all. You have good, moral, kind people and you have bad, mean, unkind people. The good person is always you and the bad person is always them. If you are white, middle class, republican, Ford, Baptist, conservative, open gifts on Christmas day, PC user you are good. Everyone else is bad, liberals, blacks, Methodists, Chevy drivers, non-Saints fan, open gifts on Christmas Eve, they are bad. Religion always looks at outward features and labels and names and groups.

 

Gospel says: There are saved sinners and lost sinners!


We are all bad, sinners, whose hearts love evil, some are saved and some are lost. That is the only distinction. Paul said he was the worst of sinners. The only difference in us and lost people is one word, GRACE!

 

Religion is all about your birth family!

Its about your last name, your aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother. Its about making that name great and making a legacy. Its about what your kids do, their grades, reputation, what school, what college, what job, what church, what accomplishments. Religion is about family heritage. Making a good name and faking it if need be.

 

The Gospel is about your new birth!

Its not about who you are, its about whose you are. Its about if you know God, if you love Jesus, if you believe Scripture. Its about your kids knowing Jesus. That is your boast parents. Not just scholarships, and accomplishments and talents and achievements, but knowing Jesus and marrying someone who loves Jesus and being godly husbands and wives and moms and dads who hate sin, who love righteousness, who advance the kingdom! 

 

Religion is about spiritual accomplishments!

Its about what church you go to, how much you give, what class you teach, what role you play, what things you do. 

 

The Gospel is about what Jesus did!

Its His birth, His life, His death, His Resurrection, His ascension, His Word, His Will, His Cross, His kingdom, His Church, His glory, His fame! Now things must be done, money must be given, roles must be played. But our boast and our joy and our hope is in Him! Are you with me on this?

 

Religions is about getting from God!

Its about you getting God to bless your plans and for God to be about your happiness, your life, your money, you are the center. And when things fail, its your fault, you sinned, you fell short, you did not obey.

 

The Gospel is about getting God!

Even if you fail, even if you blow it, even if life falls apart and marriage crumbles and pain comes and suffering sets in, you still get God. We have to convince ourselves that God is the greatest gift of all. Do you want Gods presence or Gods presents? What he gives or Him? You will never enjoy His gifts until you enjoy Him. You cant love your wife and kids and job and hobbies and food and house, until you delight in, boast in, glory in, walk with Him. 

 

Religion results in pride and despair!

Pride for what you have done and achieved and accomplished. And despair when you fail and when you stumble. 

 

Gospel results in life, joy, peace, hope, security.

I have come that they might have life and have it to the full...John 10:10