Summary: The Gospel of Christ gives us Freedom. A study of Christ’s Gospel proclaims 4 things: Self Realization, Upward Search, Challenge, and Hope.
John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Intro: In these two verses Jesus told us that we could be set free if we would hold to his teachings. Jesus teaching is the gospel. The gospel sets us free! Because of the gospel the chains are broken and we’re set free. Today, let us look at the Gospel that Jesus taught, in order for us to be set free.
Definition of Gospel: Gospel-It is the glad tidings of great joy for all people. Glad tidings or good news. The good news concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation. The gospel is God’s open book. The gospel is the old news, the new news, not views but news.
I. The Gospel Proclaims Self-Realization
1. In the light of the gospel and gospel alone do we come to know ourselves. The gospel searches our hearts and shows us whether they are pure or impure.
2. The gospel shows us that we are nothing without God, like a car without gasoline.
3. The gospel comes to us to break down our stubborn will and we realize God’s way is safer and God’s way is saner than our own selfish will.
4. The gospel shows us that there is only one agenda.
The Gospel brings us to realize “What it is for a soul to be lost in sin”
1. Christian and lost sinner
2. One of our weaknesses in Churches today is that we don’t have an understanding of the lost ness of men.
3. Illustration William Booth: It is said that one thing that which thrust Gen. William Booth into his world wide soul winning program through the salvation army was that he heard a scoffing infidel say, “The Christians are liars, they do not believe what they say, they believe. If, I believe what Christians say they believe about heaven and hell, I would not stop day and night in warning men away from hell and in winning men to Christ and heaven.”
4. God’s word cries out about the lost ness of men. It teaches that lost men are aliens and enemies to God, we are slaves to sin, estranged form God and gone away from God.
5. Paul realized that the gospel teaches the lost condition of lost men and said: Romans 9:1-3 “I speak the truth in Christ-I am not lying, my conscience confirms in the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I wish that I my self were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race.”
The Gospel Brings us to realize “What we are in the presence of God”
1. The bible is full of examples of men who were not conscious of their sins until they came in the presence of God.
2. Moses came face to face with God-Saw his guilt and of his people
3. Zaccheaus caught a sight of Jesus and immediately he was made conscious of his sin and paid back fourfold what he overcharged.
4. Peter in the great catch fell at the knees of Jesus and said “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man O, Lord”
5. Paul thought he was justified in persecuting Christians but in the light of the gospel, he saw himself as a lost sinner without Christ.
II The Gospel Proclaims an Upward Search for God
1. With a search for God there comes a state of Repentance and confession.
2. There cannot be a search for God without first repentance and confession.
3. Simon Peter when he denied Jesus he wept and repented
4. Publican and Pharisee, the Publican cried out in his upward search for God, “God be merciful to me a sinner” and he went away justified.
5. Thomas the doubter after seeing the hands and side of Jesus, believed and cried out, “My Lord and My God”
6. Listen to the words of this old hymn:
I’m pressing on the upward way, new height I’m gaining every day,
Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord plant my feet on higher Ground”
My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay:
Though some may dwell where these about my prayer my aim, is higher ground
I want to live above the world, tho Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
But still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found, “Lord lead me on to higher ground”
Lord, lift me up and let me stand, by faith, on heaven’s tableland.
A higher plane than I have found; Lord plant my feet on higher ground.”
That is an upward search for God