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Summary: This sermon opens this series (The Cross Files) on the significance of the Gospel message that is found in Scripture. The four main points are borrowed from the book, "What is the Gospel", by Greg Gilbert. This sermon is to rekindle the passion we, as b

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Intro: And it is specifically good news about our relationship with God. We all like to receive good news, especially if it addresses some bad news we've just received. If you've just been told that you have cancer, for example, it's good news when the doctor tells you that it is a type that readily responds to treatment. The gospel is like that. It is the good news that directly addresses the ultimate bad news of our lives.

Some think of the term “gospel” as Old Fashioned and irrelevant.

We hear the term “gospel” and we can’t help but conjure up thoughts of our grandparents faith. Gospel quartets, Gospel choirs, Southern Gospel music, Gospel meetings…. All those terms come to mind and they all ring of old fashioned, out dated, irrelevant Christian faith.

Some will say the Gospel is Old Fashioned.

(Pictures of old people at church.)

Some will say the Gospel is that we all should be healthy and wealthy.

(Pictures of Copeland, Hagin, Hin, etc…)

Some will say that the Good news is that Jesus wants us to be rich and prosperous and if we are not, it is because of sin in our lives. This is often times referred to as the Health and Wealth gospel and you can get an ear full of it on some cable TV stations.

Some teach that the Gospel is being happy with Jesus.

(Picture of Joel Olstein – others….)

Others say that the Good News is that Jesus loves you and you should feel good about yourself and life and just be happy because Jesus loves you. This is a “Happiness Gospel” that you might hear from Joel Olstein and other popular speakers that claim to be preachers but preach a different Gospel than the one we see in the Bible.

Some say positive thinking

(Picture of Robert H. Schuller – Crystal Cathedral)

Still others water down the good news and try to tell us that the gospel is that in the end, God being a loving God will save everyone and that your OK and I’m Ok and were all OK.

Trans: The problem there are many different ways people will define the term Gospel. And this is not a new phenomenon.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (NIV)

3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

Galatians 1:6-8 (NIV)

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

So, let me ask you, how would you answer if someone asked you: What is this news that you Christians go on and on about? And what’s so good about it?

The problem with a lack of a clear understanding of what is the Gospel is that we fail to keep the main thing the main thing. We end up individually and as a church making other things the priority. Good things, but not the things that should be first and foremost. The true Gospel message needs to be proclaimed and lived, and put forth as our priority! Anything less, just hurts all that we do. If we don’t get this right, everything else will be effected in one way or another in a negative manner.

“An emaciated gospel leads to emaciated worship. It lowers our eyes from God to self and cheapens what God has accomplished for us in Christ. The biblical gospel, by contrast, is like fuel in the furnace of worship. The more you understand about it, believe it, and rely on it, the more you adore God both for who he is and for what he has done for us in Christ. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” Paul cried (Rom. 11:33), and it was because his heart was full of the gospel. – Greg Gilbert

The apostle Paul knew the importance and necessity of keeping the Good News accurate and in the forefront even while some in his day felt that perhaps the Gospel was too simplistic or even for fools. He wrote:

Romans 1:16 - “I am not ashamed of the gospel,” he begins, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).

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