What is the Heart of the Gospel? Radio Program
Pastor Eric: What does gospel means? It means good news, and when we are talking about the gospel in the Bible, it is talking about the only message that can give a person eternal life:
Romans 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; for therein is the righteousness of God revealed…
1 Corinthians 15:1 I declare unto you the gospel…by which also ye are saved… that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
- Salvation: deliverance from sin and its just condemnation.
- God’s righteousness is revealed: God’s righteousness demands death for sin, God’s righteousness demand He accomplish everything He promised to accomplish, God justifies us on the basis of imputed (credited) righteousness that comes from Christ’s faithful life.
- Christ died: He really died on the cross and this death was significant in His plan to save us from sin.
- For our sins: His death was to take our sins upon Himself and be punished for us.
- Rose again: It demonstrated His power over sin and death proving that He was God in flesh and providing for us the guarantee of eternal life.
Victor: What makes it good news? 3:10, 20 There is none righteous, no, not one…therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
- Since we are unrighteous, and it is impossible to be justified by our works, that leaves us with no hope. If God leaves us as we are, no person can receive eternal life.
- 3:21 But now…These two words tell us there is hope, when there was none before. This is wonderful news. God has not left us without hope, but has provided the possibility of forgiveness and eternal life in this message.
Mr. Biney: Is the New Testament gospel the same as the Old Testament gospel? 3:21 “being witnessed by the law and the prophets…” This tells us that the Old Testament message of redemption is not different than the New Testament message of redemption. In fact, the Old Testament pointed to what Paul was preaching.
- Genesis 3 God would send salvation through the seed of the woman.
- Genesis 15 God would send salvation through the covenant He made with Abraham and Abraham was justified by trusting in God’s promise.
- The sacrifices in the law pointed to Christ.
- The Passover Lamb was a picture of Christ.
- The prophets, especially Isaiah made clear the Messiah would die as our sin bearing substitute and we are justified by faith.
Pastor Joel: What is the main point? God can only declare us righteous, if we have a righteousness that is acceptable to Him. And clearly, we do not have that in ourselves. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
- Righteousness of God: This section tells us how we can receive a righteousness that is from God and outside of ourselves. This righteousness is Christ’s righteousness. Our righteousness is filthy rags and unacceptable to God, but Christ’s is perfect.
- Without the law: This righteousness has nothing to do with your ability to keep the law.
- Being justified: Remember from last week,
- Justification is a legal declaration by a judge that someone’s claim to innocence is just and right when the evidence is weighed and compared to the law.
- The law is the standard.
- The judge has the final say and is required to be completely objective and truthful.
- The evidence will be compared to the law, and the accused person’s claim of innocence.
- The ruling of the court is final.
- If God justifies someone, He is saying as their Judge, that they are innocent and righteous before His court. They are free and not under the punishment legally demanded by the law for law breakers.
- God can declare us righteous, if we are placed into Christ, where His righteousness becomes our own, by imputation.
Pastor Eric: How is this righteousness received? 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
- By faith: It is by faith, meaning that this righteousness is given to us the moment we trust in the gospel.
- Upon all them that believe: The moment we trust alone in the gospel, God declares us righteous on the basis of Christ’s imputed righteousness.
Victor: What is saving faith? Saving faith is a faith that is focused on the finished work of Christ alone. Saving faith is a repentant faith, that recognizes that our works, goodness, and righteousness play no part in our salvation. It is focused only on Christ: His person, saving work, and sinless life.
- Saving faith has to understand the basic truths of the Gospel: Who is Christ, what did He do, why did He do it.
- Saving faith involves the heart wholeheartedly turning to embrace these truths.
- Saving faith involves a decision that the will makes to turn from anything keeping the man from trusting in Christ, and trusting alone in His finished work on the cross.
- Saving faith is not a faith that adds Christ to your own ideas about salvation, or that rests in a combination of Christ’s work and your own. It is a faith that turns away from all other hopes, and trusts alone in His work.
- Saving faith is humble not proud because it realizes that we contribute nothing to our standing before God.
- Saving faith is a living faith that will manifest itself in genuine fruits of righteousness.
Mr. Biney: Does God save us because we have strong faith? No, faith is not the basis of our salvation; rather it is the instrument that God uses to join us to the benefits that were purchased by Christ.
- The basis of our salvation is the finished work and righteousness of Christ. Our repentance and faith are not that basis. God saves because of what Christ did, not because our repentance and faith gives us some merit before God.
- Our faith is the instrument that God uses to connect us to the benefits of Christ’s work. When we truly trust Christ, at the very moment, that God in His mercy brings us to faith in His Son, He imputes the righteousness of Christ to us and legally declares us righteous on that basis. Since God’s Son has taken our sin debt upon Himself, we are forgiven, and God’s justice has not in any way been compromised.
- We are saved when our faith, no matter how immature, is placed simply in Christ alone.
Pastor Joel: Is the gospel available to anyone? 3:22 unto all and upon all them that believe
- It is able to save anyone who is will believe.
- It is available and presented to everyone.
- Its benefits are only applied to those who exercise genuine faith in the finished work of Christ.
Pastor Eric: Is justification earned or given freely? 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace
- Freely: We do not pay anything for it. You could say that it is paid in full by another on our behalf
- By His grace: This is undeserved favor. Grace is not getting what I deserve. It is something that a person gives to the undeserving by His good pleasure, and that is how we should view salvation.
- The moment our works play a part, no matter how small, we are no longer looking at something that is free and by grace, but something that is a wage and earned.
Victor: What is the basis of our justification? 3:24 Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
- Redemption has the idea of buying someone out of slavery. We are slaves to sin and under God’s wrath, therefore, unless a price was paid to free us from our terrible position, we could not free ourselves.
- His righteousness, and sacrifice paid the price that was demanded to free us from bondage to sin.
- Our union with Christ is the only thing that can bring us this redemption.
Mr. Biney: What can keep us from being justified?
- Ignorance of the truth.
- Self righteous pride.
- A love for sin that produces willful rebellion.
Pastor Joel: How would you challenge our listening audience?
- Do you understand what the Bible is saying?
- Is this what you have always believed or is this old message new to you?
- Do you feel the convicting work of the Holy Spirit working to convince of your need to turn to Christ and trust alone in His finished work?
- Go back carefully through these scriptures, and read them, to see if what we are saying is true.
- Pray that God will give you the understanding of what He has preserved for us in His word.
- If you are under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, do not fight His convicting work in your heart. He is diligently working to convict you of your sin, His righteousness, and the reality of the judgment that is to come.
- Do not put off your response. God commands us to repent and to trust in the gospel.
- There is not more serious matter in the entire world.
- Do not let the cares of this world and the challenges of your day distract you from what God is saying.
- Do not allow the things that this world has to offer deceive you into putting this off.
- Do not let your love for sin harden your hear to what God is saying.