Thursday, June 14, 2012

Here is my latest article on: What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?
 What Is The Gospel Of Jesus Christ?
By: Pastor Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

THE GOSPEL
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message of good news that God has provided a way to deliver man from God’s eternal judgment that he rightly deserves because of his sin.

GOD
God is infinitely holy, righteous, just, and good. He is the sovereign King of heaven and earth who made everything and thus owns everything. Everything exists because of Him and for Him. He is infinitely pure and eternally holy. He cannot look upon sin — any sin — with favor. He cannot overlook a sin. Sin is lawlessness and is, therefore, a violation of God’s holy, just, and righteous Law.

MAN
Man is created in the image of God and bears the imprint of God in his being. At the same time, man has become completely corrupted by sin thoroughly. Since Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden, all his posterity — that is, every single human being who has ever been biologically born from his parents — has completely, utterly, eternally, and miserably infected the entire human population with a sin nature. This sin nature permeates man’s being in his thoughts, in his heart and mind, in his deeds, and in his very nature and character. Man is wholly corrupt and radically depraved. He does not love God, nor does he fear God. Man, in and of himself, hates God and hates all that God is.

THE PROBLEM
If God is fair, just, righteous, and good, He must punish sinners — every one. For God to remain just and retain His perfect and good standard of righteousness, he must — as the Judge — fairly, rightly recompense every lawless deed that man has ever committed. Thus, all human beings because they are sinners are fully deserving of the wrath of God. If God were to justify a wicked man or overlook his offense, it would be such an unfair, abominable deed that He would forfeit His very nature of being a just, holy, good, and fair Judge. So then, God cannot forgive man. God cannot accept man. God cannot justify a wicked man. God must eternally condemn man — all men.

JESUS
Yet there is one way of salvation that God established and brought about because man, in his own state, can do nothing to earn his salvation before God. God sent His Son, the God-Man Jesus Christ, to this world so that He may live a perfect life in full obedience to God His Father, the Law of God, and the righteous decrees of God. Then, God ordained that He would slaughter His own Son Jesus Christ in a cruel form of punishment (crucifixion) and there pour out the full weight of His eternal fury and vengeance upon His Son that sinners rightly deserve forever in hell. God, in his mercy and grace, sent Christ to be the propitiatory sacrifice which would turn away His anger and wrathful vengeance from the sinner. The death of Christ, then, was a substitutionary act.

RESPONSE
Being wholly unable to respond in and of himself and totally at enmity with God Himself, man cannot respond in faith. Man is dead in his sin and cannot choose God, love God, please God, or do anything whatsoever to merit acceptance before God. God then calls the sinner to repent of his sin. To repent involves the necessary act of recognizing one’s sinfulness and eternal plight and choosing to turn from that sin in a new direction. At the same time, repentance also includes faith in Jesus Christ. One must believe in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the wrath of God that He bore in the place of believing sinners. This repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for the sinner to be saved.

VERIFICATION
The Bible nowhere hints at confirming a person’s salvation experience because of a decision, a particular act or deed, or even a “sinner’s prayer.” Rather, the Bible everywhere speaks of a person’s works or deeds that essentially validate whether a person has been reborn. Like the wind, one cannot see the wind itself but one can see the effects of the wind. And so it is with the newly regenerated soul, one cannot see the sovereign working of God the Spirit in salvation but one will be able to see the visible fruit that the new changed heart will certainly produce. Thus, rather than one’s mind being set on the flesh it will be set on the things of God and the sinner will strive to present himself as a slave to God and offer all of his instruments as slaves of righteousness to God. The fruit of his life will be characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. There will be a turning from and a hating of sin and a turning to Christ in joyful delight and a genuine passion for holiness and Godly behavior. As Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.”

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