Summary: Tonight is the last night of our revival and we focus tonight on our first love. We focus tonight on the message of the Gospel. I want to communicate to you as clearly as I can what God offers when it comes to the Christian life. And it is an offer. I
REVIVAL 2003: FREEDOM
FREE TO ACCEPT GOD’S GRACE
Tonight is the last night of our revival and we focus tonight on our first love. We focus tonight on the message of the Gospel. I want to communicate to you as clearly as I can what God offers when it comes to the Christian life. And it is an offer. It is a free offer of eternal life. It is a free offer to take the guilt of bad things away. I want to communicate the Gospel to you tonight in three different ways. By ‘Gospel, I simply mean the message about Jesus the Son of God. I want to first read you a sermon given by one of Jesus’ followers, second, I’ll explain the message of Jesus in my own words, and then third, we’ll use a simple Bible passage that sums up the Gospel completely. It sounds like a lot, but I promise not to take all night.
GOSPEL PRESENTATION 1: ACTS 2:14-41
READ ACTS 2:14-21 [comment while reading using the following outline and comments]
14-21 = Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus and he is getting the attention of the crowds. He mentions being drunk because all of the people were hearing the message in their own language and they came from many different countries! It was a miracle God gave to get the message out. God’s priority was that the people gathered there heard what Peter had to say and He made it happen… with a miracle of languages.
22-24 = Peter wants to speak to the people about Jesus and who He really was. The people gathered there had heard about the things Jesus was doing: healing the sick, healing those who were paralyzed, raising the dead, and teaching about God’s desire for our lives. The people knew Jesus as a good teacher and someone sent from God. Yet, Jesus was so much more than that.
25-31 = Jesus was not an afterthought of God. Jesus and what He would do for me and you was the plan of God from the beginning and the Bible talks about it and many of the people in the time before Jesus looked forward to His coming. David, mentioned in these verses, was one of them. He had a hope about the future. He saw ahead and saw the plan of God--- Jesus.
32-36 = Jesus was more than a good teacher or healer. Jesus was God in the flesh here on earth. Jesus was handed over to the authorities and killed. He had done nothing wrong, but willingly died for us. Peter is telling the people that Jesus not only died, but He rose from the dead and is alive! He tells them two very important facts:
Jesus is Lord à Jesus is the authority in the lives of the people who follow Him
Jesus is Christ à Jesus can save people from the sins and guilt that plague them
37-41 = One of the most important things this last part of this passage tells us is that a decision needs to be made. The people heard the message about Jesus from Peter and there was a decision to be made: ‘what shall we do?’ I want you to know that tonight you are being presented with the message about Jesus and you too have a decision.
GOSPEL PRESENTATION 2: EPHESIANS 2:1-10
READ EPHESIANS 2:1-10 = “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I. THE WAY WE ARE
A. Emotionally, we are disobedient to God and His desires for us. We do our own thing and make decisions about our lives without consulting Him. Ephesians describes people who go with their feelings on what is right and wrong. Ephesians describes people who follow what other people, movies, TV, and things that are not of God—we call that ‘the world.’ Basically, we don’t follow God.