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The Essential Message of the Gospel Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2024 6:01 am

The Essential Message of the Gospel Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 2, 2024 6:01 am

P.T. Forsythe said that, “The first duty of every man is to find, not his freedom, but his master.”

Who or what then is Master of your life? And what have you done with Jesus Christ? For those who have placed Him on life's throne, he calls you to live out bold compassion to those around you. Today Pastor Rich talks about what that kind of compassion looks like from our passage in 2 Cor 4:1-6.


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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. PT Forsyth said that the first duty of every man is to find not his freedom, but his master. Who or what, then, is master of your life?

And what have you done with Jesus Christ? For those who have placed him on life's throne, he calls you to live out bold compassion to those around you. Today, Pastor Rich talks about what that kind of compassion looks like from our passage in 2 Corinthians 4, 1-6.

Let's listen in. This series in this particular section of 2 Corinthians is entitled The Glory of the Gospel. This is 2 Corinthians 2, 14 all the way through the end of chapter 5. The glory of the gospel is encapsulated in this statement. The regenerating Spirit of God with the illuminating Word of God transforms the redeemed people of God based on the reconciling Son of God pointing to the righteous goodness of God and overcomes the distracting enemy of God. That is the glory of the gospel.

Our focus today is the first six verses of chapter 4. The title for today's message is The Essential Message of the Gospel. What is the gospel in a nutshell? If it could be encapsulated in one statement, Paul makes it clear in this text and the essential message of the gospel is this, that Jesus is Lord. That Jesus Christ is Lord.

He says we preach Jesus Christ as Lord. We find that in verse 5. And something that is made very clear to us is that this is the point because this is our end. And the scriptures make that very clear to us beginning all the way with Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 45 verse 23, Paul in Romans 14, 11 and then also again in Philippians chapter 2 verse 10. The message is clear. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess.

There are no exceptions to that. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. When it says to the glory of God, it just simply meanings pointing to God. He's the point. It's all about him. We are his creation. We were created by him and for him. And that way we would be able to enjoy him forever.

But that is the point. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess. To whom? The reconciling son, Jesus Christ. That's why he is Lord. Now this makes us ask questions and it makes many people ask questions today. Well, who is Jesus Christ? And why is it that he is Lord? And what are the implications of that upon my life? You see, those are all very important questions.

And we need to be able to answer them. And this is the essential message of the Gospel. That brings us then to the basic question for all of us. What have you done with Jesus Christ? That's not hard, is it?

That's very simple. What have you done with Jesus Christ? The word Lord, it says Jesus Christ is Lord. The word Lord is the word kurios, which means master.

Another way of translating that. And when you ask what have you done with Jesus Christ, the implication in that question is, will you be mastered by the benevolent sovereign? And that's who he is. He created us in his image so that we could enjoy him. Will you be mastered by a benevolent sovereign or will you be oppressed by a consuming tyrant? The consuming tyrants are many. And if you'll remember Dr. Jim Birce who masterfully exposited Luke chapter 16 for us and the man who trusted in himself and his own riches and his own abilities and he thought your life is good, you don't have a care to worry about, he never acknowledged God.

And then when he was in torment, he acknowledged that God is God. Will you be mastered by a benevolent sovereign or oppressed by a consuming tyrant? Those are your two choices. In the end, ultimately, those are your two choices. Peter T. Forsythe accurately said, the first duty of every man is to find not his freedom, but his master.

Why does he say that? Because it is a confession, it is a recognition, it is an admission that we are, every one of us, we are contingent beings. We are the ones we are, every one of us, we are contingent beings. We did not create ourselves, we cannot keep ourselves alive.

We are dependent beings who is our master. So the message of the Gospel, the essential message of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ is Lord. The message of the Gospel that Paul presents in 4, 1 to 6, he makes it clear that it is a message that is clear. It is a clear message.

The Gospel message is a clear message. Verse 4, look at toward the second part of the verse, he says, the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, it shines on people. The light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. The light turns on and we can be so used to light, can't we? We are so used to, we have the convenience of just walking into a dark room and flipping the light switch and there is light. Now what do you do when you walk into a room and the light turns on? Do you look at the light? Is that why the light turns on?

No. It is so that you can see everything else. That's the significance of the light. But if we don't have the light, then we live in darkness. And God sheds the light on us and our existence, our definition, our purpose, our meaning. That light is shed upon us in the person of Jesus Christ and his revelation. It is God who said, let there be light. Look at what it says in verse 6, for it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness. As Dwight mentioned this morning, he prepared for worship last night. What a wonderful testimony.

I encourage you to do the same. You look at that one, all the stars up there, did you realize that some of them that you're looking at are actually stars, others that you're looking at are actually whole galaxies. And it is this God, the eternal, the eternally and infinite Existent One, the self-existent one, the necessary being who willed and spoke all of creation into existence. That God with that power has shown the light in our hearts and our minds. By virtue of the very fact that you listen to this this morning, this is the revelation of God and the light is now shining in our hearts and our minds. And this is the revelation from the God who spoke all of the galaxies into being. And that is light is most specifically in the person of his son Jesus Christ.

I love the old hymn And Can It Be? by Charles Wesley. He says, Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature's night. Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, a life-giving ray. The dungeon, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.

My chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose, went forth and followed Thee. You see, the clarity of God is in the person of Jesus Christ. The message is clear. Jesus Christ is Lord. And the clarity of God's self-revelation is in the historic person of Jesus Christ because He is the very image of God, the very image of God, the very image of Jesus Christ. The very image of God, the very representation of God. John tells us that in John 1.18. Look what John says. He says, No one has ever seen God.

Why? Because He is infinite spirit, but He is person. The only God who is at the Father's side, a direct reference to Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, the only God who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known. That phrase, made Him known, is the Greek word from which we get the word exegesis.

He has explained Him. The historic person of Jesus Christ has in person explained God to us. That's the message of the Gospel. And it is very clear.

Hebrews 1.3. He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person. God has communicated to us in person the clear, clear message of the Gospel. And John also says in John 1.9 that Jesus was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. Now, that is the message of the Gospel and that is the clarity of the message of the Gospel.

It's as clear as turning on the light in a dark room. And Paul says, as we present the message of the Gospel, our presentation of it is and ought to be just as clear as the message itself. That's why he says in verse 2, he says, but by manifestation of the truth, that is the open statement of the truth. The open statement of the truth. That is setting forth the truth plainly. Paul says, that's what I'm doing.

I'm giving it plainly. Look what he says in verse 2. We have renounced the hidden things of she, not walking in craftiness or handling the word of God deceitfully, which was a common thing for itinerant teachers to do in the day.

Teachers of wisdoms and philosophies and they would, it was all up to the dynamic personality of the speaker and the floweryness of his speech or how subtly he could get his philosophy, his message into whatever he was presenting, his positive speak. And Paul says, we don't do that. We are not disguising the essential message of the Gospel. We're not disguising it in sensational wrapping.

We're not disguising it in ambiguity either. I was born and raised in Columbia, South America as a missionary kid. And I remember down there it was hard to come across medicines sometimes and my mom would have to give me a pill of some sort, sometimes an Excedrin or something like that. And I hated taking those things.

They just choke on them and they taste nasty. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 06:32:10 / 2024-05-02 06:36:49 / 5

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