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52 The Gospel

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Discover that the Gospel is better than you have probably imagined. It really is so good that it seems too good to be true. Yet God is so amazing that He actually has forgiven and saved everyone. Join us as we look at the Biblical evidence.

52 The Gospel-3
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The Gospel (/Christian life) The Sinner’s Prayer

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.” This prayer has been part of the phenomenal success of the Billy Graham evangelistic outreach all over the world. It reflects the way Graham understood the gospel and what a blessing this man has been in this world. However, success can preclude progress. Henry Ford made millions of model T and then model A cars. They were uniform in every way, even to the colour, black, and this reduced the cost and made it possible for the average person to be able to afford a car. Chevrolet came along and personalized the car with different models and a variety of colours and eventually outsold Ford. This sinner’s prayer, as it appears above, has brought peace and joy to millions of people but this does not preclude us thinking about some of its implications. The personal pronoun appears 10 times in 55 words. The focus is on “me” and what “I” must do. This is self-advice, which is generally good, but in this instance, it is ill advised because we are dealing with a human impossibility. Every sinner needs the Saviour not just a helper for moral improvement. This prayer addresses LORD Jesus as a helper not as Saviour. The prayer focusses on the work of the human agent, which Jesus is going to help us achieve, rather than on the mighty work the LORD Jesus has already accomplished for us. The motivation for this prayer is the benefit for me rather than acknowledging what Jesus the Christ has achieved. Our description of the gospel is determined by what is believable in our experience. Then, this understanding of the gospel will determine the way we pray and live the Christian life. In the “Life of Pi”: The insurance agents will not believe the story he tells so the next day he makes up a story they can believe. This becomes the official incident. Traditionally we have believed we are born lost and need to do something to be saved. The New Testament suggests the opposite as we shall see.

The Gospel

John 1:9 NLT. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. This is the first of many verses which claim that Jesus’ salvation work included everyone in the world. John 1:29 NLT The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! The word “gospel” is from a Greek word which means good news. Here is the good news the New Testament gives us: Jesus has removed the sin of the world. This means every sin, committed by every person, in every place for all of history. No one needs to suffer a penalty for being a sinner.

John 3:17 NLT John 12:32 NLT “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” John 12:47 NLT Romans 5:15 NLT But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. “Many” means “all” in this verse and in verse 19 as can been deduced from its first use where “many” died, meaning all died. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. The opposite of condemnation is innocence. From Adam we received this heavy feeling that we are naked and afraid of God, that we are not what we were meant to be. From Jesus we receive a robe of righteousness, a ring for our finger and sandals for our feet. If that was not enough there is a party to end all parties (Luke 15). 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. For those who have difficulty believing the gospel is this good the phrase “for all who receive it” is taken to mean that one has to do something to merit this status with God. The phrase however, because of the other six instances in this chapter is referring to our planet. 18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. The “right relationship” means we no longer are afraid of God and the judgment. We walk tall because of what he has done for us and how he feels about us. The “new life for everyone” includes at least the fruit of the Spirit, 19 Because one-person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. Righteous means we are right in our thinking and feeling about God and about ourselves as his royal children. world through him. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. Can it be clearer? Jesus does not condemn the disobedient for he is in the salvation business for all people. If he judges it is to judge every person worthy of salvation. We now come to the most definitive and comprehensive description of the gospel as found in the letter to the Romans. Seven times in chapter five the gospel will be stated. Paul is anxious that every person grasp the truth of the gospel. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

We now list without comment more evidence for the glorious good news! Colossians 1:20 NLT and through him God reconciled everything to himself. Romans 11:32 NLT For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone. 1 Corinthians 15:22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 2 Corinthians 5:14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 2 Corinthians 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. Philippians 2:10 NLT that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. 1 Timothy 2:6 NLT He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 1 Timothy 4:10 NLT This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. Titus 2:11 NLT For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. Hebrews 2:9 NLT What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. 1 John 2:2 NLT He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. There are more passages that indicate that all people have been saved in God’s mighty work for them. This sounds too good to be true. In our penurious attitude we find it difficult to think that even God could be this generous and compassionate. Since the Reformation we have reactedin at least two directions in regard to the above passages.

John Calvin

understood the reality of these verses and concluded that these passages must refer to the group that are predestined to be saved. They cannot refer to those who are lost.

James Arminius,

on the other hand, decided these verses are describing a potential, not a reality. All people have the potential to be saved but are not saved until they respond in someway. Calvin will describe the gospel as announcing that God has chosen some to be saved and then, if you are chosen, you will live a faithful life for God.


will describe the gospel as announcing that all are sinners and if a sinner accepts the LORD Jesus as his Saviour and repents and forsakes his evil ways he will be saved if faithful to the end. Salvation thus becomes mostly of God but partially of man. There is a third option. This option allows that in God’s mind we have all been saved and the only way for someone to be lost is to persistently refuse to believe what God has accomplished. Thus, the way to hell is not by ignorance, or indolence, or indifference but by rebellion. This option claims no merit for the human agent but recognizes the wonder of the totality of God’s saving work. There is obedience and virtue, but this is a by-product, a consequence of comprehending the wonder of God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. The believer’s prayerThank you, dear God for saving me. Thank you for writing my name in your book of life and for forgiving all my sins. I rejoice in your great love. I have nothing to fear for the future for you love me as much as you love your Son. You know me by name, and I am precious to you. I worship you.

This gospel does not prescribe behaviour

for it trusts completely to the motivation of love, especially God’s unconditional, all embracing love, which is the basis of his government. When Jesus describes the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew (5-7), he is stating the result of receiving God’s love into the heart. Jesus’ new commandment to love each other as he has loved us (John 13:34) is also the result of having experienced God’s love. The gospel is not about us imitating Christ, BUT receiving Joy, Peace and Life from Jesus Christ. It is comprehending the intimacy that Jesus wants to have with us as he has always had with his Father and the Spirit.

The gospel trusts that the greatest motivational force in the universe is unconditional love.

Every classic love story is premised on this insight. Romeo cannot live without Juliet. The princess kisses a frog for she is sad for a frog’s life. The kiss transforms the frog into the prince. Do you get it? The Son became a “frog” and when we kiss Him, because of the sadness of his life of suffering he is transformed in our eyes to become our princely Saviour. It is the good news (gospel) of God’s love for us that challenges and changes our thinking, our feelings and then our behaviours. It heals us, it saves us, it transforms us for intimacy with God and his Son and the Spirit and each other.

The gospel informs us that this has always been God’s plan from before the world was made.

The dream of the Trinity is that the relationship that has always existed between the three of them will include us too. The freedom to love and affirm and care for each other and watch each other’s back is meant to be our experience too. We are meant to live happily ever after with theFather, the Son and the Spirit. These passages indicate that this was their plan from before time began and would have happened if Adam and Eve had not sinned.Ephesians 1:3-6 NLT All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to beholy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

2 Timothy 1:9-11 NLT For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. Titus 1:1-3 NLT This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. 2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began. 3 And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.

No one who has ever grasped this news can keep it to themselves.

They have to tell somebody. They HAVE to tell somebody. Its too good to be kept a secret. It’s the frightened women at the tomb early on Sunday morning who discover the body is gone who have to tell somebody. They have to tell somebody! Who are you going to tell first? Who will you tell first today? Ian Hartley February 2021

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