The following is BASICALLY a coles-notes version of the sermon. I took rather meticulous notes because I actually thought this was …important? Relevant? Interesting? It’s basically the building blocks of what we believe. It’s “the Gospel” in specifics, not generalities.
Our Pastor asked a few of the “College & Careers” aged folks to talk with him about what we need from the church – it boiled down to a deeper spiritual teachings, spiritual disciplines, prayer, and other things which we believe is appropriate to ask from the church.
I think at the end of the day, Sunday morning services oughta be the deep stuff, and for those whose heads it flies over, there are small groups/Bible studies/personal relationships to talk about things. But at the same time, in an attempt to be deep, don’t lecture, even if you have a PhD (my grandma never liked the style of one former-professor, now-pastor, because of how it seemed like Sunday morning became a classroom, and I suspect, passion-less).
Here’s what I got, and this is not what I would’ve said (I don’t know what I would say) if I was asked what I believe.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Old man with strong German? Dutch? accent that quoted: Jesus Christ came to save sinners of which I am the worst. (except accurately quoted)
What is the gospel message?
The gospel becomes the centre of who we are, then those truths will be reflected by our actions. All Christian behavior should flow from the Gospel.
The gospel is more than just our moment of conversion.
“The Folly of Gospel Confusion”
the layman and the “theologian” have a wide variety of definitions of the gospel
Pastor is concerned that many definitions leave out or decentralize the cross
What’s the gospel according to the Bible? (quoted a passage – but what was the reference?)
The Gospel means the Good News.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to explain the gospel in 90 seconds? We need to be equipped for when people ask us what we believe.
Who made us and to whom are we accountable
1. God is the righteous creator – perceived in creation. We’re not alone or autonomous.
God created the heavens and the earth.
Gods sovereignty over our lives comes from his role as creator – Father.
• God is good and merciful and just. We must be saved from our sin because it’s a big deal.
Awesome analogy: when training police in recognizing counterfeit bills, they show them the real thing and get them familiar with the real thing. We will recognize false gospels if we become familiar with the true gospel.
2. We are sinners.
This is the bad news. We all sin. We are at odds with God. He is just and good and merciful and loving. And we’ve rebelled against his rightful place of lordship over us.
We often try to downplay justice or hell. So we aren’t really convinced of the severity of the situation.
We can’t right this situation. Pay for our sins by ourselves.
3. Christ: the Saviour
To bring sinners back to God by paying the price and dying for them.
Heres the heart of the gospel:
God himself steps down from heaven and died and rose again.
The cross is symbolic of all that Christ did on the cross.
He was crucified for our iniquities.
So how do we get in on this sacrifice?
4. Response: Faith and Repentance
• a rock solid belief in a righteous standing with God because what Christ has done
• there is nothing else – no other way up, no other provision made by God and no way man could ever make to God on his own
1. We need to receive Christ’s gift by faith
2. God has never abandoned us – the same God who saved you brings daily his sustaining grace.
Imagine what he has for you in light of what he’s done for you in the cross?
3. We must fight for the gospel. Not let it get watered down. Risk everything, die for that. Not be hostile but take the truth with us unashamedly.
4. Compassion for sinners. Cultivate the compassion. Don’t be afraid to feel it.
When was the last time you it down on your knees and wept for some unsaved person? We have the good news. Let’s live it out.
Prayer: thank you God, for giving us sustained grace. For the cross help us take this good news to everyone we know. Amen.