A demonstrative Gospel

As Christians we need to see the Gospel and the character of God for what it really is. We don’t believe in a powerless Gospel that only consists of nice words. Non-believers won’t be converted if you only tell them about the goodness of God and the power of the Gospel – they need to experience it as well. It needs to be demonstrated. Paul and Jesus proclaimed the same message:

Paul:

“For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).” 1 Cor 1:17

Jesus:

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]” John 14:11

Jesus (in reply to a question about whether He really was the Messiah:

“So He replied to them, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news (the Gospel) preached to them.” Luke 7:22

Jesus said we will do the same things that He did, and even greater (John 14:12). We can demonstrate the incredible saving power of the cross. This includes praying for sickness or any dead situation and seeing the miraculous happen!

“For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on NOT talk but POWER.” 1 Cor 4:20

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Effortless faith

Many Christians have heard a wrong message about the true meaning of faith. It has been preached many times that faith is something you need to achieve or attain out of your own strength. The truth is, faith is something that will effortlessly come to you as you hear about the good news of the Gospel.

Faith is not a science – it is a state of being.  Worry or fear does not need to be premeditated or summoned through effort – it just comes to you. In the same way (but in a more positive way!) faith will come to you as you start trusting in the goodness of God’s character. Your faith is therefore equal to your revelation of God’s goodness.

“So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).” Rom 10:17

“For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]…” Col 1:4

Jesus also showed us this in the following verse:

“And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness).” Matt 8:26

He put the word faith directly opposite fear. In essence He is saying: “Why don’t you trust in my goodness and my character?“. Immediately after saying this He demonstrated His goodness by bringing a great and wonderful calm and peace upon the waters.

Remember – all you need to do to get more faith is to hear the message of the goodness of God (the message of the cross of Jesus and all that it entails – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). There is no human effort involved.

Don’t forget who you are (3)

In the previous two posts we spoke about our positions as sons of God, not slaves of God.  Being sons of God, it follows that we are heirs of God. This means we will never lack any beneficial thing. Today I want to speak a little about your new natures as sons of God.

Firstly the Word tells us that we become a new creation the moment we believe in Jesus:

“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” 2 Cor 5:17

Our natures change completely once we are born again. We become sons of God. The essence of a human runs through the veins of a newborn baby. The essence of God’s spirit runs through the veins of a newborn Christian. We now possess the authority and the power to speak life into dead situations. We can change events with what we say.  The same spirit which raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us (Rom 8:11), meaning we can now do the works that Christ did, and even greater works (John 14:12)!

Jesus raised people from the dead, miraculously fed hungry mouths, calmed storms, walked on water and many more incredible things! This is now our new identity – no threatening circumstances should intimidate us anymore!

Nothing can separate us

The moment you are born again you become ingrafted in Christ. Ingrafted means to be incorporated in a firm or permanent way; to be implanted. That means you are connected to Him forever (also see post on being born of incorruptible seed).

“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” 2 Cor 5:17

This is why Paul was completely convinced of the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ. This is truly the one relationship in which you can feel 100% secure. Unlike some earthly relationships it does not come and go, or fade away with time – it is a permanently fixed rock on which you can build your life and identity.

“For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:38-39

Nothing can destroy it, spoil it, damage it or sabotage it. It is constant. It is solid, unwavering and steadfast.  The Message puts Lamentations 3:22 – 23 in such a beautiful way:

“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning.  How great your faithfulness!”