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THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL
Intro: We are inundated with messages from the time we wake in the morning until we go to bed at night.
The television sends out messages about what we should drive, what we should eat, and what we should wear.
Commercials use messages from lizards to get us to buy car insurance; messages from Chihuahuas to get us to buy tacos; and messages from a bear to get us to buy fabric softener.
Government sends out messages to get us to accept their plans and goals for America.
The church sends out messages to try and reach people with the Word of God.
The passage before us is about a very impotent message that has been going out into the world for thousands of years. This passage is about The Message Of The Gospel. The Message Of The Gospel is the most important message the world has ever heard.
It is far more important than anything the Geico Lizard has to say.
It far exceeds anything the government has to say.
If you miss the message of the Taco Bell Chihuahua or the Snuggle Bear your life wont change, but if you miss The Message Of The Gospel, your life will change forever!
The Message Of The Gospel is a message that must be heeded.
If The Message Of The Gospel is rejected, the person who rejects it will spend eternity in Hell.
If The Message Of The Gospel is received, the person who believes the Gospel will experience the forgiveness of sin and will receive eternal life.
Lets take some time to consider The Message Of The Gospel that is revealed hear. This passage points out some very important elements of the Gospel message that we need to hear. Notice these elements with me as we look at The Message Of The Gospel.
I. IT IS A MESSAGE OF LOVE
A. V. 3 The Extent Of This Love - In clear and vivid language, Paul reminds us of what we were before we met the Lord.
Foolish – Ignorant of everything to do with God.
Disobedient – Rebellious toward any authority instituted by God.
Deceived – Continually led deeper and deeper into sin by Satan.
Serving divers lusts and pleasures – A slave to our fleshly appetites and passions.
Living in malice – Given over to a lifestyle of evil.
Envy – Never satisfied with what we have, but always grasping for more.
Hateful – This is the natural fruit of all the above. This kind of life makes us mean-spirited and hard to get along with.
Hating one another – Walking without love for our fellow man.
This is what we were, and what some still are. The Bible reminds us repeatedly that we are a fallen, ruined, spiritually bankrupt people, Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 6:9-10. In our natural condition, we are worthy of nothing but judgment, wrath and condemnation, Eph. 2:3; Psa. 9:7; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. Even in our fallen condition, God still loves us, Jer. 31:3. He could have left us in our sins and allowed us go to Hell, but He loved us in spite of our condition!
B. V. 4 The Evidence Of This Love - Verse 4 says after that. In other words, in spite of our spiritual condition, God chose to display His love for us.
How did God display His love for us? The answer is in verse 6. It says through Jesus Christ. God gave evidence of His love for fallen man by sending His Son into the world to die for us, Ill. Rom. 5:6-8; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10.
If you need evidence that God loves you, look no farther than Calvary! You dont need a feeling, just look to the cross! Look to Jesus and see Him as He dies for you on the cross, 2 Cor. 5:21, and know that you are special to the Lord. He loves you and that is the reason for the awful death of Jesus Christ. The cross says, I love you!
Listen to the message of the cross:
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him, Isa. 53:4–6, 10.
C. V. 5 The Explanation Of This Love - From our perspective, there is no explaining this kind of love.
Why does God love lost sinners like He does?
Why does He save us from our sins?
Why would holy God set His love on sinners like us?
Why would He give His Son in our place?
Why would He save us, cleanse us, and adopt us into His family.
Why would He does something of this nature?
He does not save because we deserve it. He does not save because He sees something good in lost sinners. He does not save because He knows what great servants we will become. The reason God saves sinners is found in the word mercy in verse 5. The phrase that says, but according to his mercy he saved us explains Gods reasons for saving souls.
The word mercy speaks of kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them. Justice gives us what we deserve. If we received justice, we would all spend eternity in Hell. Thank God, He works in our lives according to grace and mercy. In His mercy God does not give us what we deserve. In His grace He gives us what we do not deserve. Gods mercy is an extension of His grace.
Why does God save sinners? He saves sinners because He is a God of grace. He delights in extending His mercy to those who deserve Hell. He doesnt save us because we deserve it. He saves us because He is a God of infinite grace and mercy.
We may not understand it, but God saves us not because we earn it, deserve it, or seek it. God saves us because He wants to. He does it because it brings glory to His name. It isnt us or our works that produce salvation; it is the grace of God! For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast, Eph. 2:8–9.
What is the message of the Gospel? God loves you! Christ died for you! God will save you by His grace!
I. It Is A Message Of Love
II. IT IS A MESSAGE OF LIFE
Love is only a part of the message of the Gospel. The message of the Gospel is also a message of life. I have already told you how Jesus died for your sins, the other side of the Gospel concerns how He rose again from the dead. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures, 1 Cor. 15:3–4.
When a lost sinner believes the Gospel, the life of Christ is shared with them. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly, John 10:10.
Jesus also said, Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25–27
Every person who comes to Jesus for salvation is given eternal life, John 10:28; John 3:16; John 6:47. They are given eternal life that begins at the very moment of their salvation. If you are saved, you have eternal life right now! The verses we are studying today teach us more about the Gospel and its message of life.
A. V. 5 It Tells How We Are Cleansed - The phrase washing of regeneration refers to the cleansing that happens when we are saved. Some people view the washing as speaking of baptism. They think that our sins are washed away when we are baptized. Thats not what the Bible teaches! We are not cleansed by baptism. Baptism is merely an outward symbol of what the Lord did for us inwardly when He saved us by His grace.
What did the Lord do? When God saved us, He washed us in the blood of Jesus. He cleansed our sins away. The word washing refers to a bath. When we come to Christ, we are given a spiritual bath. Our sins was forever washed away, 1 Cor. 6:9-11. As far as God is concerned, the redeemed saints of God are clean, pure and holy, Isa. 1:18.
Rev. 1:5 says, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. The word washed also carries the idea of being released. Jesus is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, John 1:29. When the Lord saves us, He releases us from the power of our sins and puts the away from us forever. When we are saved, we are forgiven, and our sins are gone. Ill. Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Mic. 7:19; 1 John 1:9.
B. V. 4, 5 It Tells How We Are Changed - Verse 4 uses the word but to transition from the description of what we were before we met Jesus into what He makes us by His grace. Then in verse 5, there is the phrase renewing of the Holy Ghost. The word renewing means renovation; to completely change for the better. When God saves us by His grace, the Spirit of God comes to live in our hearts.
When He comes in, He enters a dilapidated, ruined, decrepit building.
He enters a building, a life, that had formerly been condemned to destruction.
He comes in and He remodels the place.
He throws out the trash.
He cleans the place out.
He renovates our lives completely.
Literally, He starts over, rebuilding us from the inside out.
He transforms us from the wretched creatures we are into redeemed saints of God.
He makes us new creatures to the glory of God, 2 Cor. 5:21.
He gives us a new heart, Eze. 36:26. That new heart results in a new life.
C. V. 7 It Tells How We Are Completed - In this new life we have been given, we are completed. Our completion is revealed here in two very important stages.
First, we are complete because we have been justified by His grace. The word justified means that our sins have been forgiven and we have been declared righteous by God the Father. God accepts us He has made us in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not see us as we are; He sees us as Jesus is. We are complete in Him.
Second, we are complete because we have been made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. That simply means we have the hope of a better life after this life is over. The people of God have a home in Heaven to go to when they leave this world. When we leave here, we are going to place that is:
- More beautiful than the mind can conceive, Rev. 21:9-22:5.
- Far better, Phil 1:23.
- Free from the pains, sorrows, sufferings and tears that cloud this life, Rev. 21:4.
- The fulfillment of our Lords precious promise to His people, John 14:1-3.
We have eternal life right now, but our lives do not end when we leave this world in death. The children of God live on in the presence of the Lord in Heaven. That is our hope; it is our deep settled conviction that we will join Him there when we leave here.
The Message Of The Gospel is A Message Of Life! Hallelujah! I praise the Lord that I know what that life is about here, and that I will enjoy His life throughout eternity.
I. It Is A Message Of Love
II. It Is A Message Of Life
III. IT IS A MESSAGE OF LIBERTY
The Gospel is about all about Love. Praise God, He loves us! The Gospel is about Life. Praise God, He gives us eternal life! The Gospel is also about Liberty. I have already touched on these themes, but I want to speak about a couple of things again briefly.
A. We Have Been Rescued - When the Gospel came to us, we are lost and headed to Hell. We had no hope and no one to care about us.
But, God, in His grace, His mercy, and His love, reached into our lives and lifted us out.
He rescued us from a life of sin. He rescued us from a lit of sorrow.
He rescued us from a life of waste. He rescued us from judgment, death, and from an eternity in Hell.
He is our Hero because He delivered us and set us free.
The Gospel sets us free! Praise His name!
B. We Have Been Resurrected - When the Gospel came to us, we were dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. 2:1 The grace of God brought deliverance from our sins. It also brought everlasting life.
The Lord gave us His life.
He made us partakers of eternity.
We have been delivered from spiritual death, Eph. 2:5-6.
We have been given a new life in Jesus Christ.
Everything we were dead to when we were lost, we have been made alive to in Jesus.
There was a time when the Bible was a dead book, the church was a dead place, worship was a dead exercise, God was a dead being, and on and on and on.
Now, all the things we could not comprehend, and could not believe, have become the core of our lives.
We are alive to the Lord, His Word, His house, His people, His truth, and His glory.
The Gospel gives us eternal life! Praise HIs name!
C. We Have Been Regenerated - When the Gospel came to us we were walking in sin and darkness.
We were blind.
We were deceived.
We were doomed.
But, God, in His grace, reached into our hopeless lives and changed us forever, giving us a new life in Jesus.
I praise the Lord that I have a new life in Christ! I have been born again!
I am a new creature.
Everything has changed and its al because the Gospel regenerates all those who believe it!
The Gospel gives us a new life! Praise the Lord!
Conc: The Message Of The Gospel is a message of hope, peace, love, grace, mercy, and blessings.
It is a message of new beginnings. It is a message of salvation.
It is a message of grace. It is a message of glory.
It is a message that we all need today, and forever.
Have you believed the Gospel? If you have, then you know how powerful the message of the Gospel really is. If you have, you should thank Him that He loves you, and that He has changed your life here, and your eternity hereafter.
If you havent, you need to come to Jesus Christ today. He will save you. He will change your life. He will change your eternity. All He asks from you is that you believe the Gospel. If you will, He will save you by His grace. That is His promise to all who will believe! Ill. Rom. 10:9; 10:13, even you, John 6:37.
What do you need to do with The Message Of The Gospel?