GOSPEL-CENTERED

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The Gospel...

The gospel, or otherwise known as the good news about the person and work of Jesus, is the most important message you will hear.  The reason for this is because it tells you everything that God has done so that every person might be reconciled to Him in a right relationship. 

What God says goes!

Regardless of what many might like to think, human beings are not the dominant force in the universe.  Though we try desperately to gain control, there are simply things we will never be able to do.  There are powers far beyond any human control, and yet something or someone one must have the power to control them; a "higher power."  There are many philosophies about what this higher power may be, most of which are based on assumptions made by people as they attempt to explain human existence.  So, what makes the Christian Gospel any different?

The Christian Gospel is not based on wishful thinking or assumptions made through observation but on the fact that what God says goes.  The God of the Bible has put Himself and His trustworthiness on display for all the world to see and experience.  In Genesis 1 we read that God created all that exists, including human beings.  He spoke and it came into existence (for more information, click here).  As Creator, God has the right to determine what to do and how it should be done.  Therefore, whatever God says goes whether we approve of it or not.

What has God said?

The Bible is the record of what God has said to the human race.  It begins with what He said to the first man and woman and serves as the authoritative source for all those who would seek to know and follow Him and His ways.  God's Word, the Bible, demonstrates for us one simple truth throughout;  the need mankind has for a Savior, and how that salvation can be found.

Many do not like the Bible because of all of its commands, but these very commands are given to help us and not to limit us.  When God says something is wrong (i.e. sin and does not meet His standard) and will result in death, that is something to be avoided for our good.  When God says something is good and will lead to life, that is something to be embraced for our good.  The problem is that since the beginning of time, human beings have this formula all twisted around to where evil is good, and good is evil.  Unfortunately, that does not change the reality of what God has said.  Sinning leads to death, and submission to God's commands will lead to life.  God's Word makes it clear what will harm us, and what will bring us life.

This is how God states it in His Word, the Bible:

The outcomes of sin and righteousness; sin = death, righteousness = life.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse--the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known."

Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Where does every human being stand in terms of sin and righteousness?  Do we deserve the blessing of God, or the curse?  God says everyone deserves the curse, and what He says goes.

Isaiah 53:6 "We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Romans 3:10-12 "As it is written, 'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

Romans 3:22-23 "There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

What is the answer to our problem?  How can we be saved? God made the way for us to be saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."

John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

How can I be saved, and be sure that I am saved?  Believe what God has done for you through Jesus, receive it, and make Him Lord of your life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works that any one can boast."

John 1:12-13 "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or husband's will, but born of God."

Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

1 John 5:11-12 "And this is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

John 10:27-28 "Jesus said, 'My sheep hear my voice; I know them , and they follow me.  I give them eternal life; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

What do I do now? 

First, talk to God about all of this like you would talk to a friend (prayer).  In your own words, acknowledge that you have sinned and are sorry for that sin.  Thank Him for the forgiveness he offers through Jesus.  Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you may follow Jesus all the rest of the days of your life.

Find a person you know to be a Christian and tell them about it.  Perhaps find the pastor of a church in your area and let them know what you have done.  We certainly would encourage you to contact our pastor and let them know.

Get a Bible that you can understand and begin reading it daily.  Spend time learning about God and His will for you.  Grow in a relationship with Him by reading the Bible, praying (talking to Him), and just enjoying His company.  There are no right words when praying, just talk to Him like you would a friend.

Find a Bible believing church and join with them in worship, learning from and about Jesus and the Christian life, serving others and being a witness of the Gospel to those who do not know it.  If you are able to attend Atlanta Road Alliance Church, we would love to help you become a part of our family.

Be baptized.  Baptism is one of the first acts of obedience that every follower of Jesus can do to demonstrate their identification with Jesus and their desire to follow Him.   (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:26-39, 19:4-5).

Wait! There is more to the Gospel!

The Gospel is that Jesus did not just come to die for our sins so that we can go to heaven.  Jesus came that we "may have life, and have it to the full!"  The good news of Christian living is that we are not just waiting around for something that will happen some day, but that we get to experience a new life, a fuller life, the Christ life even now.

As part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Atlanta Road Alliance Church proclaims what is known as "The Fourfold Gospel."  This is not four different gospels, but four aspects of the complete Gospel.  We proclaim and desire to experience Jesus Christ as our Savior (which you have just read about above) and also our Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King.  These will be explained more below.

Christ as Savior-  Jesus has saved us from the penalty of sin, but he has also saved us from the power of sin.  Even though a person may be saved and be a Christian, they still have the potential to sin.  The truth of the Gospel is that we do not have to sin because we can rely on Jesus' power over of sin.  1 John 5:18-20 tells us "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God (i.e. Jesus) keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.  We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.  We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true.  And we are in Him who is true--even in His Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life."

Christ as Sanctifier- In Leviticus 11:44, God commands, "I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy."  The word consecrate means to set something apart for a divine purpose.  God asks us to set ourselves apart to be holy like He is holy (separate and pure).  This is impossible in our own efforts, just as being saved is impossible without Christ.  To be sanctified also means to be set apart, but it also means to be purified.  So, God does not just save us so that we can continue as we always have, but to be set apart from the old life to serve His purposes, and to be holy and pure like Jesus.  1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor any homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."  We are set apart and made holy before God when we receive our salvation, but sanctification is also a process through which God cleanses us from the old way of living and helps us to experience the Christ life as our own.

Christ as Healer-  God created us as people with not only a soul, but a body as well.  One of the greatest hopes of Christians is the resurrection of the dead to eternal life in heaven with God.  But the Bible also teaches us that God has made provision, through Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit for the healing of our bodies.  Isaiah 53:4-5 says "Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."  Romans 8:11 tells us "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies as well."  James 5:14-15 reads, "Is any of you sick?  He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."  Our hope for healing does not come from our own ability to heal or believe, but in the Lord's ability to heal.  Some may struggle because it may not seem to us that healing always takes place.  There are a number of reasons that this may be, but we believe that God always desires to give His people the "life" that they need to accomplish His purposes, and to demonstrate to the world the truth of the gospel that He is "the God who gives life to the dead, and calls things that are not as if they were" (Romans 4:17).

Christ our Coming King-  Christ our coming king reminds us that our hope is not to be found in this world.  Jesus Christ is coming again visibly and in person to rule and to reign on the earth and this is our motivation to spread the Gospel to all people.  Matthew 24:14 teaches, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."  In 2 Peter 3:12 we are encourage to "speed" the coming of the "day of God."  We believe that Jesus is coming again, and that we are participants in speeding His return. Our hope is not in watching and waiting, but in working and waiting.  Christ our Coming King is also motivation for holy living.  2 Peter 3:10-11 says, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear  with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives..." 

One final question:

Have you responded to the gospel?  Are you living in accordance with the good news of Jesus?  If not, why not?  It is good news and we would love to help you understand it and experience it.  This is why we exist as a church.  If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Savior, but would just like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.  If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and are looking for a place where you might grow in your understanding of it, and might participate with others in spreading it to others, we encourage you to join with us and to make this your church home.

 

 

 

Atlanta Road Alliance Church
22625 Atlanta Road  |  P.O. Box 756  |  Seaford, Delaware