Tag Archives: Gospel

What is The Gospel?

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My friends and I recently attended a concert at the Music Museum and this word got my attention as we were going down the stairs.

Then I thought to myself,  a lot of people go through life, just passing by this word and not really getting the heart of it.

If you try to ask random people,  some would say its a genre of music. For others who grew up with a religious background its just the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and for some, they’d say its the good things you do for God or a way to earn your ticket to heaven.

But what is it really? What would a biblical worldview of the gospel look like?

 GOOD NEWS! GOOD ADVICE 

More than a doctrine, a teaching or a set of Scriptures, the gospel is primarily an event centered on the person and the life work of Jesus Christ. It is His Story that is actually the heart of the Christian faith. Dr. Rice Broocks gives us a clear and complete summary of what it is:

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Therefore, the gospel is not about what we do for God, but what He has done for us through Jesus. And what He has done for us elicits a response on our part if we would believe it or not. Indeed, it is the power for us to be made right and accepted before God who is holy and righteous. And it is through this gospel we who are enemies of God could become His very children.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” -John 1:12

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NOT JUST THE A-B-C’s BUT THE A to Z 

Timothy Keller, a pastor and Bible teacher makes this point clear: “The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom.”

The point is as believers we never actually graduate from the gospel. It’s not just for the lost who needs to become new creations in Christ, but it also for Christians who continuously needs transforming. It is for you and I who continuously needs to be more like Jesus in our character and attitude, in thoughts and in our actions.

The gospel is the basis of our personal relationship with God. It must be at the core of our faith walk and life journey with God. It tells us how sinful and morally ugly we are in ourselves, yet loved and accepted in Christ more than we ever dared hope!

 

Do you have friends who need to know about this good news? Time to take this good news to them.

Are you struggling with character issues in your personal life and relationships? Time to get back to the gospel.

 

Here’s a prayer you could pray daily to saturate yourself with the goodness of the gospel, reminding yourself of the essence and the heart of God for us in Christ.

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Powerful “His Story” Messengers!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

 

 

The good news about Jesus (who He is and what He has accomplished on earth) is the power of God! It rescues us from the power of sin and transforms us who believes and receives it.

It is the only true story that is life-changing, a climactic event that ever happend in all of human history that causes people to live for a cause that it is bigger than themselves. This cause is to make Jesus be known that He might be treasured, loved and honored for life above anything or anyone else!

Individuals who have received this truth are continually being changed and transformed by it! And it would take the same grace and favor from God through the Holy Spirit to cause them to be powerful His Story messengers!

“Father God, Oh that You would give us the grace to practically demonstrate and verbally proclaim with clarity, the Story of Jesus with power from the Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name!”

(Photo Source: “Manga Metamorphosis”, A Manga version of the Book of Acts by Tyndale & NEXT publishers)

The Book of “Acts” in One Sitting

A lot can be drawn out from reading this book but instead of intentionally listing them exhaustively, I would in this entry try to at least jot down those things that have really struck me as I reread this “book of action”.

Here are Top 5 Concepts that Struck Me:

1. Faith in Christ is such a big deal that it involves not only a mere confession or intellectual assent but a lifestyle and lifetime of repentance, obedience, and humble living in the grace that God gives! The early church were also encouraged that tough times and persecution will be a part of this faith walk with God.

2. Sexual Immorality is such an issue that it has to be stressed again and again in churches that God’s people esp. among the Gentile believers should rid themselves of this. I remember that in nearly every letter written by Paul this has always been raised up. Today, our generation is very much sex saturated and the only way to avoid immoralities related to it is to acknowledge God as the “Ultimate Good” of life and that He should be honored by us with all the other “good” created things in this life.

3.Prayer and Intercession has always been in every scene and every decision making of God’s people and the leaders of the church. Whether corporately or individually hearing and getting instructions from God through prayer, worship, intercession and even fasting is frequently and regularly practiced by the early church. Every work done is done in the Spirit and power of God not in the striving of the human flesh.

4.Healthy Relationships -There may be sharp personal disagreements like what happened with Paul and Mark, but the love, the devotion, the commitment that the early church had with each other was truly remarkable! They did not only rejoiced and shared with each other the solid truths about Jesus, they shared and give themselves, their very lives in service and in love for each other. The early church planters did not only did their jobs and left they went back to visit them and see how they are doing.

5. Living in Boldness and Courageous Faith is evident in the lives of the church leaders like Peter, Barnabas, Silas, and esp. Paul. They knew how to stand before kings, pagans, intellectuals, scholars, soldiers, church leaders, and relate with confidence with any person. Even in whatever situation whether in prison, getting flogged or stoned or beaten up or maybe stuck in a violent storm, their faith in the sovereignty and wisdom of God is constant and unshakeable! Knowing where you stand as God’s child brings security, courage, humility, grace, and confidence.

Why I Think Christianity is NOT A Religion

Religion, by the simpliest definition is man’s systematized attempts to reach out to “the Divine.” Christinity is so unique that it all starts with the realization of the Good News that God has already reached out to us! He already made the One Way, not a man-made way, but a God-given way-thru the person and the work of Jesus.
Here’s what I think:

1. It’s NOT ABOUT YOU!
Religion focuses on the external actions-how “faithful” you are, how “committed” you are etc.
Yet this is why the Christian gospel is good news! Take a deep breathe here’s the truth…Christianity is all about Christ! It was never about how externally “good” or righteous a person is. Its about how awfully bad we are and how amazingly good Jesus is! It rightly begins with an understanding about the Person of Jesus and His Work-His perfect life of righteousness, His substitutionary death for us on the cross and His victory over the power and consequences of our sin when He rose again from the death!

Let Jesus be rightfully known that he might be truly loved!
Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 2:8-9

2. A DIFFERENT MOTIVATION
Good works, giving to the less privileged and needy, to missions, volunteering at church activities, leading and serving a commuity group, Bible reading and studies, prayer, attending youth groups, worship services, etc. and all the “religious” and “Christian” acts are definitely good but the big question to consider is “Why are you doing these?”

Religion does good works out of guilt. A grace-driven Christian does it out of gratitude. Religion does it to “please” God with performances Christians does it because of a desire to please Him by faith because of His great grace.

Let His Story be loved that we could Make History for His Glory!
2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:10 & 3:21; Hebrews 11:1

3. Mere Knowledge Vs. An ENCOUNTER
Religion demands that you follow a set of rules of Do’s and Don’ts and that you Know, Know, and Know as if Its all about KNOW-ing. But it’s all about an inside-out life-change because of a personal Encounter with God. (Isaiah 6:5; Saul in Acts 9:17-18; Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43)

I could merely KNOW how awesome it is to watch Transformers 3 in an IMAX 3D Theatre, how good the lights are, the clarity of the high definition screen is, the sound effects that are so doubly digitally Dolby….but not until someone gives me a free ticket (because I can’t afford it :)) and EXPERIENCE what it really MEANS to watch a movie in an IMAX 3D will I only TRULY KNOW what watching in IMAX means.

Let Him bring back AMAZING in His Grace, and allow Jesus to ignite a fire within you that no one else even you yourself could shut. And like candles in the dark may our lives shine louder than what we proclaim that more men would know how good and liberating the Real Christ of CHRISTianity truly is!

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Guilt-Driven Vs. Grace-Driven Fasting

Guilt-Driven says… “I SHOULD because I am a pastor, a small group leader, a full-time Christian worker and everyone’s eye is on me…I SHOULD set them an example.”

Grace-Driven says…”I COULD and I WOULD because I’m a follower of Jesus and I love to keep on looking up to Him as my my Ultimate Example”


Guilt-Driven says…“It’s an annual DUTY… I must GO THROUGH this! Urgh!!! Waaahu!!! I’m from Sparta!!! I can! I can! I can! I trust my 100% juice and my drinking a lot of  water!!! Waahu!!!”

Grace-Driven says…”It’s MY DESIRE to get to KNOW and EXPERIENCE God more personally and commit all my days of my life to Him even this year 2011… And wow! In Christ alone I really can!


Guilt-Driven says…“Oh I want to go water fast this time so God could hear my prayers More CLEARLY and would possibly answer my wants!”

Grace-Driven says…”I believe God is leading me to go water fast this time so I could depend on His enabling grace more and that I would clearly hear and know Him and rightfully respond to Him


Guilt-Driven says…“I’ll go absolute fast and will not eat UNLESS HE ANSWERS the way I wanted and I want results fast!” (Hunger Strike)

Grace-Driven says…”I want to grow in my faith, trusting God in his promises more so I can obey more and be really strong and successful in life with Him” (Humble Surrender)


Guilt-Driven“I’m actually fasting SO THAT GOD WOULD LOVE ME more and I would be more worthy to come to God”

Grace-Driven says…”Thank God! In Christ alone I am completely loved, secured, and accepted that there is nothing I could do to make God love me more/less. I’m fasting SO I COULD LOVE HIM MORE, training myself to always depend on Him in all things!”

 

 

(It can be so easy to forget about the Gospel and try harder to strive in life

in our own might and strength.

Yet His presence is with us and that is what gives us strength and joy to thrive! )

Happy fasting to everyone joining the 7 Day of Prayer and Fasting! Let His Great Grace AMAZE us more and more this year 2011!