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The Essential Message of the Gospel, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2024 8:24 am

The Essential Message of the Gospel, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 3, 2024 8:24 am

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.

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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 is part two of a message first preached on March 2, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston Salem. 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, and my mom had a remedy for that. She would crush it up into powder and then put it in a spoonful of strawberry jelly.

I liked taking that stuff, and I wanted more of it. You see, I was attracted to the jelly. Give me more jelly, see, and that's what we can do with the Gospel. If we put all this sensational wrapping out there, people are going to be drawn to the sensational wrapping, and they're not going to realize that the real power of the Gospel is in the message of the Gospel.

The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Paul says that very clearly, and you know, you can listen to testimonies of people who've come to Christ, come to a saving knowledge of Christ by surrendering themselves to Him simply from reading the Word of God. If you have opportunity, listen to testimonies given by the Gideons.

Ask them. Give me some testimonies of people who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ just from simply reading the Scriptures. The Gideons hand out the Scriptures and the Testaments, and I've heard some absolutely fascinating testimonies of people who have simply read the Scriptures. We had a young man standing here in our church about six years ago.

His name was Abdul Diallo. He was a Muslim from Burkina Faso, and he was studying over here, and he's working, and one of his colleagues asked him if he'd ever read the New Testament because they were talking about faith and religion. And do you know who Jesus Christ is?

Yeah, I've heard about him. Have you ever read the New Testament? No, I've never read the New Testament. And his colleague says, please, I ask you, read the New Testament. And Abdul Diallo, after reading the New Testament, surrendered himself in faith to Jesus Christ because that was the first time he'd ever discovered Jesus Christ.

He'd heard about him. But the power is in the Gospel, in the self-revelation of God. It is the power of God unto salvation. Paul does deal with something here, and you would say, you know, the message is so clear, and we need to be careful that we don't make it ambiguous, that we don't confuse it, and we can do that through syncretism and things like that. We can do it by catering to our fears of other people. We can disguise the Gospel.

We don't need to do that. The message is clear. And Paul says, that's what we're doing. We're presenting an absolutely clear message in the open statement of the truth. He speaks of the unreceptiveness now. If the message is so clear, how come there aren't many, many more people just flocking to it?

That's a question that is asked. Look what he says in verse three. For even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. Now, you remember what the veil is? The veil is what keeps a person from seeing the glory of God, even as they might look at his self-revelation, God's self-revelation. The veil is what keeps a person from seeing God for who he is and seeing his glory. And that veil is limiting yourself to your own understanding. In other words, if I can't wrap my brain around it, then it certainly can't be true.

What is it? That's a veil. And thinking that my understanding is the standard of all that there is and all that is true. That's a veil. And so he says, if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. Verse four, how is that?

Whose mind? The God of this age has blinded who do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. What's going on there? The God of this world has blinded them, meaning we are not ignorant of his tactics, his schemes, his devices.

And what are they? All you have to do is go back to the beginning of scripture and read what happened. What are his tactics? His tactics are very simple.

He is going to confront you and distract you away from God as your object of trust. Those are his tactics. And he will do so by flashing something shiny in front of you, something that is sensational, something that is attractive to you, something that you think will bring you satisfaction more than God can.

Those are his tactics. And those things then become our objects of trust. For many people, that shiny, attractive thing is themselves and their own intellect. I know better than God. I will trust myself. How's that working out after you've bought the farm?

That means you're six feet under, by the way. Distracted to other objects of trust. The essential message of the gospel is Jesus Christ is Lord. And not only is the message clear, but Paul makes this clear also. The message is not only clear, it is a message of bold compassion.

It is a message of bold compassion. He says at chapter four, verse one, he says, therefore, since we have this ministry, when he says this ministry, he's referring back to chapter three, verse six, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant. Remember the explanation of the new covenant? The old covenant was a moral code. It was God's righteous requirement. It was the righteous requirement of a absolutely holy God. But all it was was a code. It could not change a person.

It could not transform an individual. Jesus Christ introduced the new covenant. He said, this is the new covenant in my blood.

So his death and burial and resurrection launched that. And under the new covenant, it is a covenant of grace because Christ has done all the work necessary for us to be made acceptable to God. Therefore, it's not up to our behavior to make us acceptable to God.

You see, you see the difference there? That's the old and the new covenant. And so this ministry, we're not communicating law. We're not telling people you need to straighten your life out. We're not cursing the darkness. We're not telling people how sinful they are. We're telling people how sinful we are and how God has rescued us through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

And that is the only thing that I have that can make me acceptable to the infinite holy God who made me for himself. That is the gospel of grace. It is the liberty giving gospel.

We are not communicators of law. We are dispensers of grace. And this is what Paul is telling the Corinthians. We are dispensers of grace. In Ephesians 1 8, he speaks of grace.

This is how the New American Standard translates it. He speaks of the grace of God which he has lavished upon us. Isn't that a great word? He's just lavished it on us in abundance. In Ephesians 3 8, he speaks of preaching to the unbelieving masses, the unsearchable, the unsearchable riches of Christ. See, the idea that it's good news.

It's good news. It is a liberty giving gospel. And that's why it is a message of bold compassion. Bold compassion. Charles Wesley again in the hymn, And Can It Be. He speaks of Christ. He emptied himself and bled for Adam's helpless race. Tis mercy all immense and free.

What is that? That's bold compassion. The message of the gospel is the message of God's bold compassion upon you and me. And that is what makes Jesus Christ Lord.

And this is the point. Jesus is Lord. He is Lord. And in submission to him, we find our freedom. In submission to him, we find our freedom. Paul understanding this was very, very bold. And when I say bold, it doesn't mean he was crass or arrogant or rude. It means that he had an absolutely unshakable confidence and hope. And he had absolute freedom of speech because he lived for the audience of one.

So it's an idea of freedom of speech. He says this. Look what he says in chapter four, verse one. We do not lose heart. We've received this ministry by the mercy of God. We do not lose heart. There's a lot of people rejecting it, but we don't lose heart at that because it's not about us. We don't preach ourselves. We preach Jesus Christ as Lord. And the question is, what have you done with Jesus Christ? So we don't lose heart. As he says in chapter three, verse 12, therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech.

What is that? That's openness. That's confidence of speech. It has nothing to do with arrogance or crassness. It's confidence.

And it's a bold compassion. And as Paul speaks out, and this is encouragement to you and me and the people that we are in the marketplace with, people that we work with, family members that we live with, you know, we might sit back and say, oh, you know, I would just, I really want to share with them the gospel, but I don't know if this is the right way to do it. And you sit there, what's the right way to do it?

And we think our lives way, thinking about the right way to do it. Or I'm not sure this is the right time to do it. Or even, I'm not sure this is the right person to share the gospel with.

I just don't think they would be receptive to it. I just don't know. I'm kind of waiting for the right way, the right person at the right time and to do it in the right way. 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 AM.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-03 10:06:46 / 2024-05-03 10:11:26 / 5

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