Monday, February 25, 2013

What is Good News? (5)

To summarize what I have learned about the gospel:

(1) It is
It is a message, or truth, of the Spirit. It is not man-made. It doesn't require man's input, consultation, teaching, etc. It is only revealed and received by God's Spirit. The natural mind cannot accept or understand this supernatural message.

(2) It is the POWER OF GOD!
For those who believe, the gospel is the power to bring peace, hope, salvation, apostleship, and transformation.

(3) It SAVES us!  It makes us disciples.

(4) It SENDS us!  It makes us apostles.

(5) It SANCTIFIES us!  We are different because of it. God fills us with His power and we are forever changed!

(6) It is SENSELESS!
Because of everything noted above, we can conclude that it makes no sense to our human wisdom. In fact, it is foolishness.

So what?!
**Pray for people to receive the Spirit of Christ. It is the only way people can believe the gospel. Because the gospel defies human reason, we need to spend more time praying for people to have their minds "set on things above" or that the "Spirit will testify with their spirit" so they can receive Him. Practically, we need to pray the gospel into people's lives as much, if not more, than we preach it. (This doesn't mean the preaching should stop, as is evident in the next two points.)

**Keep it simple.
The gospel is always, and always has been, all about Jesus! Don't add "rules" to it and make it about other things. It is not about religion, but relationship. The gospel is not a set of principles, the law, the Bible, habits, routines, church attendance, etc. Keep the focus on Jesus. Talk about Him and leave it at that. We are solely concerned with someone's response to Him, not the other stuff.

**Tell it plainly. Jesus was/is human. He was a descendant of David. Jesus also was/is God. He created everything. He died to forgive our sins. He was raised back to life to empower us and transform us. We can live new, different, holy lives as He leads us and fills us with His Spirit. (Yes, it's crazy and miraculous, and it takes a radical change-of-mind - repentance - to embrace this message. But it is what it is.)


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