Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Very Same Gospel Message

Romans 16:25-27 - Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

Soooo, in Sunday school we finished up the Book of Romans. I've written lately about how it's our obligation, our privilege even, to share the truth of God's Word.

What makes me think I'm qualified, you might ask. Is that a bit arrogant? If we are believers in Christ, we ARE qualified.  We are, in fact, told to do so. If I have received something so great and it's not just for me, I need to share so others may receive it.

Before I received Christ, became born again in the Spirit, and was determined to be a follower of Christ, I did not have the revelation spoken of in Romans 16. It was a mystery and a secret to me. In fact, so much so, I had no clue there was such a thing as a gospel! Oh, I knew there were people who tried to lead others to Christ. I rejected. It was not for me. But as I have testified previously, all it took was one day!

Now I can join the ranks of those whose claim is I have been established according to someone's gospel and heard the words of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the mystery that had been kept secret has been revealed and has been made manifest. The same message that has been preached for thousands of years to thousands-plus people all across the world was preached to and received by me.

And all the glory goes not to anyone who might have prayed for me without my knowing or the person who urged me to go to church or the pastor who spoke just the right words, but God alone because all the others planted seeds of wisdom (that I rejected) and watered, but only God accomplishes the final act. His Spirit spoke to mine and caused a positive response.

I was right up there with the others who, as our guest preacher this Sunday, Nathan Middleton, said wouldn't go to church because I would see my sinful nature...and I sure didn't want to confront it. We don't recognize our sinfulness but the very fact that we reject the gospel message hints that we are.

We noticed in Sunday school how the Apostle Paul called the gospel message his. We discussed how it was not that he made up what he preached. But when we are in Christ that same gospel message that Jesus preached becomes ours. We share the very same gospel message. We share Christ. I in Him, He in me. I share His message, the same message He allowed to be revealed to me nearly 15 years ago. The same message He will reveal to anyone who will listen.

Imagine...the very message of Jesus Christ, that He preached 2,000 years ago, the secret from the beginning of time, is still available to our ears, hearts and minds today. He calls daily. He reveals daily who He is. He wishes none to perish. The same message of 2,000 years ago: Come to Me. Seek Me. Believe and trust only in Me. I am the only Way, Truth and Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me. I will wash away your sins if you turn from your evil ways and repent. Come into relationship with Me. When you do the kingdom of heaven is yours, you are joint heirs to the throne, part of the royal priesthood. You will be washed by the blood and made clean as snow or wool. But you must come humbly, letting go of your idea of how to be good...which is unattainable. His timely today as when He first spoke them. His disciples and more shared His words. These same words are shared today by many who have "been there, done that" and now see those revelations. I can't imagine someone not wanting those revelations.

As Nathan Middleton also said: man can't save himself from sin; we need Jesus. He shared the message of the woman who had been bent over for 18 years. She met Jesus in this very position. It's really how we should all come to Him. Bent over, in an attitude of humility, knowing our need of a Savior. And look what He did for her: ...He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:13) Anyone who has come to Christ can truly glorify Him. Only then can we stand straight, after we have been made whole through Him. Some may cower in their knowledge of their sin. But when that sin is removed, heads can be held high.

We who are in Christ are free today to share the message (at least for now) in all the world. The message will be preached throughout the world and then the end shall come...Jesus will return. (Matthew 24:14)  He will take those who took hold of the Word and they will be made imperishable. Life in Christ.

2Corinthians 4:3-5 - But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

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