Monday, June 9, 2008

Living Grace: The Gospel for Christians

I recently spoke at the Women's Winter Festival here in Hobart. A recording of my talk can be found here.

Bible reading: Ephesians 2

“If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others. I mean passionate about thinking about it, dwelling on it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world. Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us. And only the gospel ought to be.” ~ C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life
What is this Gospel or Good News?

Every one of us are more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe, but MORE LOVED AND WELCOMED than we ever dared hope.


The Gospel is for Believers

Do you think the Gospel is for you?

The Gospel is for everyone, every day, ESPECIALLY those who identify themselves with Christ and call themselves Christians!


GOSPEL NARRATIVE READING

If you get ANYTHING out of this talk tonight, I want you to walk away with the tools to battle doubt, despair, and discouragement in your Christian life by being able to Preach the Gospel to yourself, daily. By arming yourself with the five facets of the Gospel message you can APPLY each of them to your life everyday.


1. INCARNATION – God became man
(Ephesians 2:17)
17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:1-3)
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath

(Hebrews 4:15)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

2. SINLESS LIFE
(Romans 5:19)
So by one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

3. CRUCIFIXION
Romans 5:6-10
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10For if, when 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!

4. RESURRECTION
(Ephesians 2:4-5)
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

5. ASCENSION
(Ephesians 2:6-7)
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
(Hebrews 4:16)
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

HOW SHALL WE RESPOND TO THIS GOSPEL?

The more you preach the gospel to yourself the more you will become overwhelmed with the hideousness of your sin and the glorious love and amazing grace of God.

I urge you to respond to this grace in 5 ways:

1. GRATITUDE

Be thankful for this: Ephesians 2:8-10
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

2. CONTENTMENT

3. HUMILITY

4. FORBEARANCE: being patient with one another, walking through life arm and arm, supporting one another on your journey in life.
(Ephesians 2:19-22)
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Peter tells us HOW to forbear with one another
(1 Peter 4:8-11)
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
5. FORGIVENESS


CONCLUSION

The Gospel that saved you is the SAME gospel that keeps you.

Paul asks you to REMEMBER the gospel … preach it to yourself

Verse 12
Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ … without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Paul wrote to Timothy, a young minister
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel.”
The churches in the book of Revelation were warned,
“Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”
The Gospel is for you … remember it … preach it to yourselves daily.

4 comments:

gina said...

Fan. ta. stic. Praise the Lord for grace.

Anonymous said...

Great Christine. Thanks sister. Sooo true! I had a good listen during the kids naps. Great to be able to listen to it online. Love Cath T

Andrea said...

Hi, Christine!

Tell me about your life now. I am so delighted that Lorie Looney's first book has been released--Pull Up a Chair. She did a great job of this Bible study of John that is very simple for a one on one study with a potential believer.

Justin said...

Just been listening while working.

You have a good gentle way of speaking, Christine. May God bless you.

I hope you guys are doing well. I had a random email from a young couple who are marrying *despite* the Pacific Ocean. :)

It made me think of you and Mike, so I popped over to this site.

Thanks for your word here.