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The Alex McFarland Show-54-The Good News

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2023 2:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-54-The Good News

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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April 20, 2023 2:00 pm

The Gospel is often referred to as “good news.” But why? What exactly does that mean for humanity? On today’s episode of the Alex McFarland Show, Alex explains what the good news of the Gospel actually is and the hope it can offer every human being. He also discusses both the idea and application of baptism, and how it ties into Christianity. While many Christians live under legalism and in bondage, Alex shares an encouraging message as to why we can live as free and redeemed people, by grace, through faith. 


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Alex McFarland

Faith and Family Retreat

The Alex McFarland Show (YouTube) 

The Alex McFarland Show (NRB TV) 

Alex McFarland (Truth and Liberty Coalition) 

Exploring the Word with Bert Harper & Alex McFarland

Equip Retreat

My Relationship with God

The Assault on America

Ask Alex Online

alex@alexmcfarland.com

booking@alexmcfarland.com



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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of Scripture.

Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. The gospel is called good news. Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to talk about the good news of the gospel and how really the believer is set free in Jesus Christ. I'm going to read Romans 6-4 in just a moment, but first I want to tell a story that is probably a pretty familiar sermon illustration.

It is true. It's a matter of historical record, and it is a good illustration about how someone was free but they didn't know they were free. World War II had ended, and peace had been declared, and there's a famous story of a Japanese lieutenant, Hiru Onoda. He was of the Japanese Imperial Army, and he was on an island in the Philippines. And he didn't know that the war had ended, and they had put out propaganda bombs, leaflets that floated down, telling people the war was over. And Onoda, Hiru Onoda, who had been dispatched in 1945, stayed on for 30 years fighting, and they actually sent search parties out into the jungle to find him. He was unaccounted for. Finally, in March of 1974, nearly 30 years after World War II had ended, he surrendered. A former commanding officer had gone from Japan to the Philippine Islands to look for him and to persuade him, really to plead with him, that the original order had been rescinded, and Hiru Onoda had been relieved of duty, and he finally believed that the war was over. But you know what?

Even though he was really living in the jungles, hiding, ready to kill or be killed for 30 years, in reality, he had been free since 1945, but he certainly wasn't living like it. And do you know what? That's how a lot of people are when it comes to the gospel. Now, in 2 Timothy 1, verse 10, it says that Jesus has, quote, destroyed death and brought to life and light immortality through the gospel, the good news.

Isn't that something? We often are conditioned to live in terms of legalism, performance. Maybe if I do better, God will love me more. If I mess up and stumble, God somehow loves me less. And while we should live a righteous, holy life, we should strive to grow in the Lord and be Christlike, the fact is that God's love for us is unconditional.

And I want to say, and maybe this sounds a little counterintuitive given the crazy, lawless world in which we live, but I want to say that we really are under grace. Friends, God loves you. Oh my goodness, God loves you so much more than you could realize. And you're not under law.

You're not under works. You don't have to turn cartwheels and try to get God to love you more. He really, really loves you. And you, if you're a believer, you have truly, truly been set free. Now, I fully believe that love is a greater incentive for obedience than law or hardness. God's grace and God's just care for you is such more of an incentive and a motivator that we don't love God or serve God out of paranoia. We don't think God is up in heaven just wanting to drop the hammer on us. But no, I want to serve him, and I want to grow, and I want to read his Word, and I want to commune with him in prayer, and I want to know what his plan for my life is rather than my own agenda.

Why? Out of gratitude. Now, you've often heard me say this, probably, and as a young believer, 21 years old, in college, I had come to the Lord through a Monday night Bible study, but I wrote this down in a journal. I was driving a delivery truck, and I had a notebook, and I would listen to Christian radio and listen to cassette tapes. I'm old enough that I had one of those. It wasn't a Sony Walkman.

They were too expensive. But I had a cheap imitation, and I carried cassette tapes of Billy Graham and different ones. And I wrote this in my journal one day, and I repeat it now. It says, We're not saved by works, and we're not kept saved by works. But everything we do post-salvation should be a decades-long thank-you note back to Jesus.

And then I wrote, Every day I want to be working on that thank-you note. Seriously, I really believe that love is a better motivator than law, and God's grace is a better incentive than some paranoid idea that God is mad at me or something like that. Now, I want to read Romans 6, verse 4. And I do want to talk about a couple of misnomers and misconceptions about what salvation means.

And we do get a lot of correspondence on these things, but Romans 6, 4, speaking of the Gospel and the new life that we have in the Lord Jesus, says, We were buried with him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life. Now, there's a lot here that when we become a believer, and the way you do that is several realizations. You realize, then you respond, Do you realize that you're a sinner?

I think if we're honest with ourselves, we probably all know that, that we have known the right, we've done the wrong, we are sinners. Do you realize that Jesus is God incarnate, not just a good man, but the God-man? Jesus didn't speak simply for God.

Jesus spoke as God. Do you realize that? So do you realize that you're a sinner? Do you realize that Jesus is the Son of God, and that when he was nailed to the cross, he did it for you, because he loves you?

And do you realize that if you turn to Christ, you can be forgiven? Okay, Romans 6.4 says that when you do that, you are buried with him through baptism. Now, part of the reason that I want to bring out this Romans 6.4 is because we have people that ask this question. They'll say, Do you have to be baptized to be a Christian? Now, what they think of when they ask that question is water baptism. And we have people that call in or email in, and I'm happy to hear from these people, I'm happy to dialogue with these people, but they'll very often say to me, You're not fully saved until you've been water baptized in the church. Now, what we've got to point out is that the New Testament uses the word baptism in a couple of senses, in a couple of ways. And in the New Testament book of Galatians, chapter 3, it talks about being baptized into Christ. Now, I'm going to read a scripture here, and then I'm going to go back to Romans 4. In Galatians 3, it says this, that we have been baptized into Christ. All right, Romans 3.26 and following. So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God, how?

Through faith. That's Galatians 3.26. Children of God in Christ through faith. Now, verse 7 of Galatians 3, for all of you were baptized into Christ and have clothed yourselves with Christ. So there is water baptism. We call it very often believer's baptism. Just like you wear a wedding ring to visibly show that you're married, you are baptized in church to show that you've been born again. But the baptism in water is not what saves you.

The fact that you put your faith in Christ, that was what saves you. Now, when we come back, we're going to talk further about the two different ways that the New Testament uses the word baptism. Stay tuned. We're talking about being free in Christ through simple faith when we return. Stay with us.

Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Renewal of wedding vows. It's going to be great. Then fun. A trip to Dollywood.

Who wouldn't like that? And then faith in action. There'll be a mission outreach, talking to people about Christ. So again, August 6th through 11th, 2023, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Go to faithandfamilyretreat.com. I hope to see you there. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely.

Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. In Galatians 3, 26 and 27, it says that we are children of God through faith in Christ. If we put our faith in Jesus, we are baptized into Christ. We have clothed ourselves with Christ. And therefore, verse 28 of Galatians 3, there's neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, but we are all one in Christ Jesus. And verse 29, praise God. If we belong to Jesus Christ, then we are children of Abraham.

Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. Well, welcome back. Alex McFarland here. So glad you're listening to the program. Hey, I want to say a big thanks to everybody who is really interacting with us. You're watching us on YouTube. You're watching us on NRB television. You're watching us on Truth and Liberty, truthandliberty.net, which airs five nights a week, 5.30 to 7 Eastern. And I'm on every Tuesday night for an hour and a half.

You can call in and ask questions. I'm on frequently, like on Friday nights as well. But then, of course, on the American Family Radio Network, on the program Truth for a New Generation with Alex McFarland, and of course our conference tour. By the way, if you go to my website, which is alexmcfarland.com, you can see where we are all over the country, recently in Tennessee, working on events in several states. And of course, one last thing for which I solicit your prayers, our youth camps, that as you hear this will be on the eve of our first of six youth camps this summer. And of course, our teen biblical worldview youth camps can be seen online at equipretreat.org. People ask, what do we do at the youth camps?

Well, we do all the fun camp stuff, you know, zip lines and Frisbee golf and, you know, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, all that fun camp stuff. But we talk about biblical worldview and apologetics. And folks, lest you assume that teens don't care about truth, they really, really do. Goodness, for a quarter century, my staff and I, my wife and I, you know, we do a lot of things, writing research. I do some teaching at a couple of colleges, so I tell people I have to teach to support my preaching habit. But we work with teenagers, middle school, high schoolers. And I will tell you, having been face to face in front of more than a half million teenagers over the years, teens are asking, how do we really know God is real?

How do we really know the Bible is true? What about transgenderism, homosexuality? What about socialism, Marxism, all the crazy delusional falsehood that they're being taught in public school and at public university? We're teaching kids about God and country. That's why we need your help. That's why we need your financial help. And you can support what I do online at AlexMcFarland.com. You can mail in a tax-deductible contribution to Alex McFarland Ministries, P.O. Box 485, Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, 27313. Your gift in any amount will be faithfully used and fruitfully handled.

Right now we have five employees besides myself, and I never dreamed I'd really build an organization like this. But, you know, the gospel is free, but it takes resources to deliver that free message. We give away 70-some thousand books and pamphlets a year that we print. In fact, right now I need to reprint. We have this new believers book called What Does God Say About My Relationship With Him?

And it cost us about $1.85 to print these, and we print thousands every year. And it's in Spanish, and it's in French, and it's in a number of languages besides English, and frankly I need to reprint those. And your prayers and help on that regard would enable us to give resources to young people that will help them stand strong in their Christian faith. But I want to go back to Romans 6-4 right now, and we're talking about being set free in Christ. Okay, baptism. The New Testament uses the word baptism in really two different ways. Now, there is baptism in the context of a church service.

And if you have been in church where somebody professed their faith in Christ, and they join the church, or they identify with the local church, or they publicly show forth their Christian faith by being baptized, that's a beautiful thing. And very often you have heard the minister, as they'll say, you know, I baptize you, my brother, in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, buried in the likeness of his death, raised to walk in the newness of life. Well, that baptismal recitation, or formula, comes right out of Romans 6 verse 4. But I was thinking about this, and I looked in the Greek, and sure enough, my gut feeling was true. Before the word baptism, and before the word death, is a definite article.

The. In Greek it's t-o-u, like two, but in English it's t-h-e, the. And it says the believer is, quote, buried with Christ through the baptism into the death, so that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life. Now let's talk about what it means that when we've put our faith in Jesus, we have experienced the baptism and the death. And my point being here that it's not water baptism that saves, but being water baptized is a fine thing to show forth the saving faith, the reality that's already taken place in your life.

They say that if you, you know, you could be baptized a dozen times, but unless you've put your faith in Jesus to be born again, you'll go down a dry center and come up a wet center. But what it means, and the Galatians 3 passage that I read, Galatians 3, 27, 28, talks about being baptized into Christ. Now, in Romans 6, 4, when it uses the definite article, that through faith we have experienced the baptism. Now, if it meant everybody's own personal individual experience of going into the baptismal waters, that definite article wouldn't be there. Baptism, because the baptism, that's something very definite, not something general. And it means that you are in Christ.

You've been immersed into Jesus, shall we say. The word baptismo in the Greek, it's interesting. In ancient language it means to, you know, immerse something under water. In fact, in ancient literature, the sinking of a ship was referred to as baptizmo. It was put under the water.

Even the washing of some dishes and eating utensils, baptizmo, put under the water. But in Christ, it's not talking about the act of physical water baptism, but you're immersed, you're infused, you're connected with, you're saturated into Jesus. How? Through faith, not works.

Through trust. That's why 1 John 5, 1 says, Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. How do you get born of God, made alive? You believe that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one. Christos means the anointed one.

Now when we come back, we've got a brief break. We're going to talk about what it means that you've been baptized into the death. So much goes on in that wonderful salvation transaction when you put your trust in Christ.

And you can do that right now. He's as close by as a prayer. If you call out to Christ, he'll hear you, he'll receive you. We'll talk about this in greater detail when we return. Stay with us. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country.

That they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here, so honored that you're listening.

Again, you can follow my travel schedule at alexmcfarland.com. You can support our outreach of seeing people come to Christ, seeing people come back to Christ, but above all, seeing people equipped to stand strong for truth. And we appreciate you listening.

We appreciate your involvement and prayers and financial support. Because look, if there's any message that people urgently need, it's the message of the Gospel, the good news. And while the Gospel is the message of the Gospel, the good news, and while the Gospel is a simple message, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. While the Gospel is simple, as one songwriter said, he paid a debt he didn't owe because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. And we put our faith in Jesus.

The word faith means trust. While it is a simple message, it also is a profound message, it's a message that we could spend our lifetimes trying to fully grasp and fully convey and explain. Well, Romans 6.4 says we are buried with him through the baptism. We're immersed in Christ through faith into the death so that just as Christ was raised up from out of the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we in newness of life should walk. Let's talk about Christ's death on the cross.

Do you know what? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5.21 that he who knew no sin was made to be sin for us. Isn't that a great blessing? Okay, he had no sin, but on Christ was put all of our sin.

It's really amazing to think about. And when you are in Christ, the payment for all of your sin, you share in what Christ did on the cross. Christ paid the debt. You are the beneficiary, the Bible calls, heirs with Jesus, just like an inheritance. What do you inherit?

Everlasting life, complete forgiveness, Christ's righteousness attributed to you, and yes, a home in heaven. And so, really, think about this. You could pay for your own sins.

Yes, you could. You could pay your sin debt. But that would mean an eternity in hell. And that's not the way you want this sin problem addressed. Lost in hell eternally, no recourse, no second chance, no hope whatsoever.

That is not what you want to do, and the good news is you don't have to. But if you put your trust in Jesus, you say, Lord, I do believe that you are the Son of God, as you said. Lord, I do believe when you were nailed to that cross, you did it for me. Do you believe that?

Would you put your trust in that right now today? Yes, Jesus gave his life for the world, but that includes you. That's the law of composition. The parts make up the whole. And if Jesus died for the world, and you are part of this world, then by default Jesus died for you.

Wonderful. And so when you put your trust in Christ, then you have been baptized into his death and also heir of his resurrection. So as Romans 6.4 says, and again I point out the definite article, the baptism, it's yours by faith in Christ. The death, it's yours by faith in Christ. The resurrection, raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, it's yours by faith in Christ. That's why John 6.40, the Lord could say this, Whoever sees the Son and believes in him has everlasting life. And Christ made this promise, I will raise you up at the last day. So to see the Son, S-O-N, to comprehend and understand and then respond, you say, Lord, I do believe you are God incarnate, the Son of God.

I believe you died on the cross for me. And Lord, I'm accepting that. By the way, if you've ever been to one of my seminars, I've got 328 PowerPoint seminars that I do. That's a lot of PowerPoints. My computer, I'm constantly having to look at the hard drive space because my laptop has like a 100 gig hard drive and I've got like 60 or 70 gigs of PowerPoint presentations.

That's a lot. But in my teachings on evangelism, I show this graphic, it looks like steps going upstairs, that we're trying to help people get their mind around. Let me share some of these with you because we talk about Christians influencing others for the gospel, but maybe these are some realizations that you yourself need to come to. Number one, I know there's a God. Number two, I recognize that I'm responsible to God. Number three, I admit that I am a sinner. Number four, I realize that my sin has separated me from God. Then I recognize that Jesus is the way to God. And then here are the last two.

Listen, this is kind of on my little graphic, the top of the staircase. I am willing to be saved. And then I accept Christ as my Savior. See, there are a lot of people, and they're not a Christian, but they're not even for sure that God is real.

And of course, that's another topic for another day. Creation, conscience, Scripture, Savior. These things are best understood in terms of God existing. There is a Creator, and we have a conscience, and that law written on every heart is due to the fact that there is a moral lawgiver. And then, in very clear terms, Scripture and Savior, the Bible and Jesus, tell us who God is and how we can know God.

So people need to understand, I know God is real. I'm responsible to God. I've sinned, and sin separates me from God.

And then I realize that Jesus is the way to God. But here's the thing, and maybe you're at this point, and so don't ignore what the Spirit of the Lord is trying to impress on you right now. People need to understand, look, I'm willing to be saved. And if you turn to the Lord, you will be saved. You will be saved.

But sometimes people sort of hit a brick wall at this point. And I've had people say to me, they'll say, Well, Alex, I just don't know that I can believe Jesus loves me. I know Jesus would love this other person, and I know Jesus laid down his life for this other person, but I'm unworthy. God couldn't possibly love me.

Look, folks, we're all unworthy. Jesus was not nailed to Calvary's cross because you were worthy, although you are valuable to God and God loves you very much. He didn't come down here, take on a human body, suffer the rejection and the beatings, be nailed to the cross. The appropriate measure of God's wrath that you and I deserved poured onto Jesus because you and I deserved it. He did it because he was merciful because we didn't deserve it, but yet we urgently needed it.

That's why it's called God's grace, G-R-A-C-E, God's riches at Christ's expense. So be willing. Say, Lord, yeah, I throw myself at your mercy.

Lord, I fall into your arms. And then say, I accept Christ as my Savior. Belief.

Trust. To simplify the staircase illustration, let's say somebody is hostile and they hear the gospel and then they're neutral. They're not saved yet, but at least they're not antithetical to it. And then they're searching. And Christian friend, maybe your life and your words make people kind of thirsty and they're like, wow, you know, this person has peace.

This person has just kind of a stability and even a joy that I wish I had. And then they trust Christ and they are born again. The Bible says, born from above. And Jesus said in John 3, you must be born again. The way you have that second birth is admit, believe, call on his name, A-B-C. Admit that you're a sinner. Believe Jesus is the Savior.

Call out to him right now. And the Bible uses the word, in the Greek it's the word apostrophe, like a 180, converted. You know, you've seen an apostrophe.

It's a line going one way, then it goes the other way. Peter preached in Acts, repent, be converted. And what will happen?

Your sins will be blotted out. Do you know that can happen right now today? Jesus is as close by as a prayer.

Would you call on him? People, and we've seen this literally tens of thousands of times. People, they're hostile, they're neutral. But then they're hungry, they're thirsty. They turn to the Lord. And then after being saved, they are growing, maturing.

And then ultimately, and what a joy this is, to see that people reproduce. They have been reached for Christ and then they are used by God to reach others. Well folks, it's not works, it's God's grace. It's not something you earn, it's a gift you receive. And you can receive that gift by simple faith. Romans 6, 4. We're buried through his baptism into Christ, into his death.

He was raised up by the glory of the Father, and we who have put our faith in him walk in newness of life. If this message has been a blessing to you, let us hear from you. Let us know if we can help you or encourage you spiritually in your walk and your witness.

Please let us know as well. Again, AlexMcFarland.com. We're on social media. We're out there, believe me. But God wants you to be out there too. We have been set free in Christ.

And so we help the world find this freedom and this new life as well. May God bless you and may God help you stand strong for truth. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at AlexMcFarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404. Or by calling 1-877-Yes-God-1.

That's 1-877-Yes-God-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.

Do you have a desire to deepen your faith, better understand Christian apologetics, or to get a biblical perspective on current events? Well, I've tried to make it simple for you to do just that. On my website, AlexMcFarland.com, there's a new section called Ask Alex Online. It's simple, it's clean, and you can read my answers to common questions about God, faith, and the Bible. So visit the website, AlexMcFarland.com, and look for the section that says Ask Alex Online.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-25 05:46:27 / 2023-04-25 05:58:22 / 12

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