Summary: Introductory material from Colossians leads to an invitation to trust Christ
A Gospel Proclaimed…..
1. The Basis of the Gospel
Passion of the Christ ramps up the depiction of The Jesus film – none can really show the horror of the physical destruction.
Beating actually part of the crucifixion. Description.
Physical agony is necessary for us. Only way we can identify with pain of Christ as He suffers for us. Suffering far beyond the physical. Key: Death. Amazing love, how can it be. That you my King would die for me.
Physical suffering and death of Christ on the Cross
May 21, 1946. The place - Los Alamos. A young and daring scientist was carrying out a necessary experiment in preparation for the atomic test to be conducted in the waters of the South Pacific atoll at Bikini. “He had successfully performed such an experiment many times before. In his effort to determine the amount of U-235 necessary for a chain reaction—scientists call it the critical mass—he would push two hemispheres of uranium together. Then, just as the mass became critical, he would push them apart with his screwdriver, thus instantly stopping the chain reaction. But that day, just as the material became critical, the screwdriver slipped! The hemispheres of uranium came too close together. Instantly the room was filled with a dazzling bluish haze. Young Louis Slotin, instead of ducking and thereby possibly saving himself, tore the two hemispheres apart with his hands and thus interrupted the chain reaction. By this instant, self-forgetful daring, he saved the lives of the seven other persons in the room. . . (A)s he waited. . for the car that was to take him to the hospital, he said quietly to his companion, ‘You’ll come through all right. But I haven’t the faintest chance myself’ It was only too true. Nine days later he died in agony.
Nineteen centuries ago the Son of the living God walked directly into sin’s most concentrated radiation, allowed Himself to be touched by its curse, and let it take His life . . . But by that act He broke the chain reaction. He broke the power of sin.
2. The Goal of the Gospel
Sacrificial language – sacrifice had to be perfect; we are not perfect but have been made so through the His sacrifice. Practical outworking. God works to change our desires, attitutudes, goals
The Living out of the Gospel
The assumption of the first class condition…that we will continue to live the Christian life. Continuance proves the reality of the initial commitment. Problem of the backslidden believer at funeral time.
After John Wesley had been preaching for some time, some one said to him, "Are you sure, Mr. Wesley, of your salvation?" "Well," he answered, "Jesus Christ died for the whole world." "Yes, we all believe that; but are you sure that you are saved?" Wesley replied that he was sure that provision had been made for his salvation.
"But are you sure, Wesley, that you are saved?" It went like an arrow to his heart, and he had no rest or power until that question was settled.
3. The Expanse of the Gospel
When the now-famous poet Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage. Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened! Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it’s really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett’s own parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.
All of us are alienated from God because of sin, but God has provided a way of reconciliation. In the Bible, He tells about it, and also expresses His earnest desire for fellowship with us. The question is whether we will open the letter, hear of His love for us, and become reconciled to God through what Christ has done for us. I’ve opened a letter for you today.