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The Essential Message of the Gospel, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2024 10:00 am

The Essential Message of the Gospel, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 6, 2024 10:00 am

“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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Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
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Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston Salem. PT 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 Corinthians 4, 1-6. Let's listen in. This is part three of a message first preached on March 2, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston Salem. To hear the full sermon and other sermons, you can check out www.delightingrace.com.

Let me share with you a Chinese proverb, he who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg. Right? Paul had boldness. He had boldness.

He just did it. Jesus Christ is Lord. What have you done with Jesus Christ? Who is Jesus Christ? Can you answer that? What makes him Lord? Can you answer that?

What are the implications on my life? Can you answer that? Christians, please. The Bible is clear on those things.

It's as clear as the lights in this room. We need to be able to answer those with boldness and bold compassion. Author and radio personality Garrison Keillor was asked to choose what he considered to be the five most important books. And among those books, he included the book of Acts in the New Testament. And this is this is how he summarized the book of Acts. The flames lit on their little heads and bravely and dangerously went they onward. Christians, listen, that flame that lit on their heads is the same person and the same power that exists in you and me. Bold compassion, bold compassion.

He says in verse five, Paul says, we don't preach ourselves. It's not a matter of hubris. It's not at look how I'm living. Look how good I am. Or you ought to be like me. That's not the gospel.

Are you with me on that? That's not the gospel. The gospel is Jesus Christ is Lord and Jesus Christ took your place.

And Jesus Christ can reconcile you to an infinite holy God because he loves you. That's the gospel. And if we get in the way of the gospel, if we make it about people looking at us, then we're getting in the way of the power and the glory of the gospel. Bold compassion means that my life and my speech communicate the message of the gospel. My life and my speech simply communicate the message of the gospel.

What is that? Jesus Christ is Lord. When your colleagues, when Fran looks at you, friends, relatives, when they look at you, can they say Jesus Christ is Lord in their life? I had the privilege of visiting Tony and Elizabeth Bragg to have prayer with them on Friday night. And Elizabeth and they were sharing many things with us. Elizabeth shared one particular thing. I says, Elizabeth, I'd like you to share that with the folks on Sunday.

This is an example. Elizabeth, you would come forward, please. This is an example of what it looks like to live for the audience of one, understanding that Jesus is Lord. And that's what matters to me. Bobby and Rich that came and they prayed with me.

I've been having some health issues and after which we just started talking about the goodness of God and some things in our lives. And Tony and I have had opportunities in many jobs. We've worn many hats. And in one particular job that I was in, I had to, I had to commute with other people back and forth. We carpooled.

And about five or six of us. And they were my friends. Some of them were my co-workers.

And I had wonderful time going back and forth to work with them. As I went on in that job, the Lord began to deal with my heart that it was time for me to leave that job. And after praying, and both Tony and I had a piece about it, I gave my notice. And since I was going to be leaving that job, I wouldn't need to carpool with these people anymore.

So I told them that, you know, I'd give my notice and I'd be leaving in a few weeks. As the day got closer for me to leave, one of the ladies named Barbara said, can I take you home your last night? And I was like, sure, that would be great. So the day came and got in the car and we started down the road. And as women do, we started chit-chatting. And then in a few minutes, I noticed that her tone changed and the conversation changed. And she looked at me and she said, Elizabeth, can I tell you something?

And I was like, sure. She said, did you know when you would get out of that car every day that they would laugh at you? Did you know that when you got out of that car, they ridiculed you? And they said you were a fool.

And I said, no. I was sitting there kind of reeling from it. And it's kind of like that line out of the Princess Bride, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice in it?

I was like, no, I didn't. And then as I was kind of chewing on what she had said, I noticed the car started slowing down. And she said that she started to pull over and she said, did you know why I wanted to take you home tonight? And I'm like, you are going to take me home, aren't you? This wasn't right.

I was not expecting. And she pulled over and she stopped the car. And when she turned her face toward me all the way, I could see she was starting to cry. And I said, Barbara, are you okay? And she said, no, I'm not. She said, I'm not okay. I was raised in church. She said, but my life is a mess. And I want Jesus, but I want the Jesus that you have.

Can you tell me how I can come to Jesus? And so, like Rich said, there are those that are veiled. Maybe they laugh at you and ridicule you behind your back.

Who knows? But there are those that that light is shining and they're ready to know how to know that Jesus. Thank you, Elizabeth. A clear example of living for the audience of one, the boldness, the compassion, the clarity of the message. And the message is clear in the life of the one who is living for the audience of one. And so, Paul, as Paul speaks of boldness in this text, let's remember that it is never boldness as we speak of it, as is commanded in Scripture. Boldness is never boldness. It is never a license to be.

What word shall I use? Stupid? We share humanity. All right. So, we need to understand that we share humanity with all people. Let's not set ourselves up as something superhuman. Boldness is never a license to be. Rude, disrespectful, arrogant, pretentious.

That's not boldness. David Moore, in his book, The Last Men's Book You'll Ever Need, said this. My goal, as a Stanford University student, was to start a Bible study in the Sigma Chi fraternity house. For over a year, I could get nothing going. Then came my God-given opportunity disguised as a hassle. I was rushing to the campus post office to mail some packages before the morning classes let out. A man on the free speech platform was pointing out specific sins in the lives of people he'd never met. While claiming to be free from sin himself, God told me to go over and question him.

Sorry, I told God I'm not available to interact with this Yahoo. But after minutes of arguing with God, I caved in and engaged him. Several hundred students gathered. As we finished, the Sigma Chi fraternity house president approached me about debating this evangelist that evening. After the debate, several students asked if I'd lead a Bible study in their house.

I often talked with these young men until 1 or 2 a.m. I'll never forget the godly convictions forged in that study in Ecclesiastes. That's what bold compassion looks like. Bold compassion.

And when he says bold, it's a confidence. It's knowing that I know what's true. But there's no hubris in that.

There's humility in that. It's a freedom of speech. I'm living before the audience of one. Therefore, what others think of me or how they react to me is of no consequence to me.

Bold. Confidently live for the audience of one, the one who created you and redeemed you. Former Ohio Congressman Tony Hall urged members of Congress, both parties, not to be shy about bringing their faith to the office and letting it be part of who they are in public. He described a trip he took to an Islamic country where he was greeted by the U.S. ambassador at the airport. Congressman Hall, I just want to remind you that you're in a Muslim country.

Don't talk about religion or it could really set back what we're trying to accomplish here. Hall said he just nodded politely. When they arrived at the office of the Muslim leader, Hall says that he was asked why he had come to the country. I would like to be your friend, Hall said. I would like our countries to be friends and I would like to invite you to the National Prayer Breakfast in the name of Jesus. The Muslim leader got very excited. He slapped his knee and said, this is remarkable. You have come all this way to be my friend and to talk to me about Jesus.

This is wonderful. My mother used to talk to me a lot about Jesus when I was a child. We should talk about Jesus more often.

Then the leader turned to the ambassador and said, why don't you talk about Jesus? Bolt, not rude, not arrogant, not pretentious, confident, living for the audience of one, bold compassion. And that second part is very, very important, compassion. And Paul includes it in this text here this morning. Bold compassion. Look at what he says in verse five. We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord and watch this, ourselves as your what?

What's the word for that? Slave. I serve you. Loved ones, when you interact with anybody who needs the light of the glory of Christ, remember you serve them.

Think about that. It was said of Jesus Christ that he went about doing good. And he did. He did ultimate good. He did infinite good.

And the good things that he did made him very attractive. But we also are called by the Apostle Peter. It says by doing good, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. That's bold compassion. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-06 12:20:22 / 2024-05-06 12:25:12 / 5

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