Summary: Last week I talked about the fact that church growth is not our responsibility. Jesus said, "I will build my church." Today I want us to talk about what is our responsibility as a church. Our job is Gospel growth, not church growth
Purpose: To outline the comprehensive nature of the Gospel.
Aim: I want the listener to be willing to give up all for the Gospel.
INTRODUCTION: Last week I talked about the fact that church growth is not our responsibility. Jesus said, "I will build my church." Today I want us to talk about what is our responsibility as a church. Our job is Gospel growth, not church growth
Let's begin by looking at the classic passage that defines the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:1--8 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (NAU)
Notice that those who are saved have received the Gospel and continue to live by the Gospel. This is why the Gospel is "of first importance" and this is also why the Gospel is all about Jesus Christ.
If someone asked you to explain the Gospel, would you know what to say? If the Gospel is SO important then it is vital that we have a clear understanding of what the Gospel is. Let's look at the first mention of the Gospel in the Bible as a way to understand it.
I. Bethel Should Know the Gospel
Within a very short time after Adam and Eve rebelled, God announced the Gospel in Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel (NAU)
God did not speak these words to Adam and Eve. He spoke them directly to Satan. The great cosmic battle over sin is not between man and Satan it is between God and Satan.
Although this pronouncement is only the beginning seed of the Gospel, yet from it we can get a picture of what the Gospel will become.
A. The Gospel contains the incarnation "her seed"
The sin nature is passed on through the man. Since everyone here has a human father everyone here has a sin nature. Jesus on the other hand had NO human father. Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to [Mary], "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (NAU)
This promise was also given to Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (NAU)
B. The Gospel contains the suffering of Christ "you shall bruise Him on the heel"
Acts 3:18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. (NAU)
C. The Gospel contains the defeat of Satan "He shall bruise you on the head"
That would be a fatal wound! John 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (NAU)
Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (NAU)
D. The Gospel is all God's work "I will put"
Ephesians 1:4--8 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.... (NAU)
We must never forget the big picture. The Gospel is God's plan for defeating His arch enemy, Satan. The Gospel is all about glorifying God, not just saving us from hell. Colossians 2:13--15 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (NAU)