The Gospel: A Central Element

Introduction:

“First Alliance Church exists to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ through the visible and tangible ways we live our lives in the communities of New York City.”

In other words, as a Church (a body of believers committed to one another and to a common cause), we are called to live our lives in the world God has placed us in, but in such a way (visible and tangible) that the individuals around us can experience the life of Christ (His love and compassion).

Last week we looked at Strategy, Structure and Steps (notes are available on www.firstchurchnyc.org or you can call us to obtain a hard copy).  The key to live the “Jesus way” is to fully embrace and live a “Gospel-centered” life.  But what is a “Gospel-centered” life?

“Gospel-Centered” Living

Some have call it a “Gospel-fluent” life,  a “Gospel-saturated” life, or as Steve McVey (Author of “52 Lies I heard In Church Every Sunday and Why the Truth Is So Much Better”), says…

“Our role as believers is to allow “Christ in us” to move into every sphere of our lives, bringing His influence to homes, families, businesses, governments — even churches. Christ expressing Himself through you wherever you are is the real Grace Walk.”

THE GOSPEL

What it is.

How it has affected you.

How it should continue to affect your life.

The Importance of the “Gospel”

  • What is the “Gospel”? (Franklin Graham – President of Samaritan’s Purse)
    • The Gospel is the “good news” of salvation – Mark 1:14-15 (NLT)

14 “Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where He preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” He announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

How can you experience the Kingdom of God (God’s good news)?

  • ADMIT that you are a sinner in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23), and understand that you have been separated from God by sin from birth (Psalm 51:5 / Isaiah 59:2);
  • REPENT of (turn away from) your sin (Matthew 9:13 / Acts 3:19);
  • BELIEVE that Christ died on the cross for your sin, and rose again from the dead (Romans 10:9)
  • RECEIVE Christ by faith into your heart for the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life (Ephesians 2:8-9 / Romans 6:23)
  • How has the “Gospel” affected you?
    • You have been born-again –

3 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”  4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”  5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.” John 3:3-6 (NLT)

  • You are a new creation –

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” II Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

  • How should the “Gospel” continue to affect your life?

Birth _______________t_______________ Death

The line represent your whole life and the “cross” represents the moment when God established an intimate relationship with you (could have been early in life or later).  The question to ponder is, what did you do in life, before the cross, to deserve salvation?  And, what do you need to do in life, after the cross, to deserve salvation?  The answer is the same, nothing!  It is a gift of God, unmerited, through faith by grace!

  • How should the Gospel continue to affect your life?  The answer is in the key/secret/mystery is “…Christ in you, the hope of glory…” (Colossians 1:27b)

If the “Gospel” has not changed, and its foundational premise has not change, why should we seek to live our lives otherwise (as if we have to earn what we already have and guaranteed)?  This is what a “Gospel-centered” life is all about!

Living a “Gospel-centered” Life (consider the following Bible verses)

9 “…We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” Colossians 1:9b-10 (NLT)

“…He (God) made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.  21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.  23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News…” Colossians 1:20b-23a (NLT)

Conclusion: Colossians 4:5-6 (Amplified)

5 “Behave yourselves wisely, living prudently and with discretion, in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity.  6 Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may never be at a loss to know how you ought to answer anyone who puts a question to you.”

Other verses to consider: Philippians 1:27 and 4:4-7 / I Thessalonians 2:12, 4:1-2, 11 and 5:5-8

Leave a Reply