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Five Gospel Words of Hope #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2023 12:00 am

Five Gospel Words of Hope #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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November 16, 2023 12:00 am

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We are going, with the veil pulled back, we are going to see the great character of God displayed in what we're about to see. Five words of gospel hope, five attributes of God that scripture plainly attributes as being his motivating factors in the gospel. What's the antidote to legalism? Since legalism is at the heart of guilt, fear, anger and sullenness toward God, we certainly need one. Pastor Don Green will provide it today on The Truth Pulpit.

Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and we're beginning a series titled Breaking the Bonds of Legalism. Here at the outset, Don has five words of gospel hope to impart. Don, what's in store for us in the coming days? Well Bill, for some of our friends, this may be a radical reorientation of their entire thinking about spiritual life.

So many of us have been conditioned to think about God in terms of earning his favor through what we do, not recognizing that in Jesus Christ, his favor is extended to us in a different way. There are five words of gospel hope that we're going to see over the next day or two. We're glad you're with us as we open this series titled Breaking the Bonds of Legalism.

Thanks Don, and friend, have your Bible ready as we join our teacher now in The Truth Pulpit. You know, legalism manifests itself in different ways. If you don't think rightly about it, you would not recognize the common thread that runs through it. Legalism is at the root of a man who is proud and boastful, like the Pharisee in Luke chapter 18 who prayed to God and said, Father, I thank you that I'm not like the man beside me. Legalism is at the heart of the guilty and fearful prodigal son who fears coming back to his father and who says I'll come back and I'll just be a slave to you, not recognizing how the father would embrace him in the time to come. Legalism is at the heart of the sullen, the angry, and the entitled second son of that father who said, look, I've done everything for you and yet you never gave me a fatted calf.

These are distinct spiritual sins and bad dispositions, and yet they do have a common root as we'll see in the weeks to come. The proud and boastful are manifesting a legalistic spirit. The sullen, the angry, the sense of entitlement comes from a legalistic spirit. Guilt and fear come from a legalistic spirit. Later on we'll see that those who reject the law of God completely are also operating from a legalistic spirit, as counterintuitive as that may see. I want to tell you this, you may not think that you're a legalist, you may not think that you're infected with legalism, but at one degree or another there are strands of legalism in every one of us. Because we think wrongly about God, we haven't thought rightly about the nature of his character, and the answer to legalism is found not in abandoning the rule of God, it's not found in suddenly saying, well I'm going to live any way that I want is the antidote to legalism, the answer to legalism is found in understanding the nature, the character, the attributes of God that are put on display in the gospel.

That will answer every legalistic bone in every person's body for those who will hear. The gospel gives us hope because it displays the nature of God towards sinners. And for those of us who are Christians, who are rightly called children of God, who are in Christ, that is the most common way for the Bible to speak of believers.

The Bible doesn't use the term Christian very often at all. What the Bible says repeatedly that believers are those who are in Christ, they are in him, they are in Christ Jesus, we are united to him, and when we are united to him we are brought into living contact with the nature of God who is revealed in the gospel. And when we think rightly about these things, first of all, when we see them, when we understand them, and when we start to think rightly about them, then we're opened up into an entirely different realm of what the nature of spiritual life is, brought into a realm of life and joy and peace and confidence and security that is the answer to the proud and boastful Pharisee, that is the answer to the guilty and fearful prodigal, that is the answer to the sullen second son who has a sense of entitlement about everything in life. The answer to all of it is in the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ. The answer to all of that is found in the displayed, the revealed character of God. Watch this, watch this, the answer to all of that is found in the character of God that conceived, that planned, that appointed, that executed, and applied salvation to our souls.

And so here's what we're going to do today. What would prompt a holy God to offer forgiveness to sinners like you and me? Why would He do that when justice called for our punishment? Why would He be gracious?

Why would it, why would there ever be forgiveness when we are guilty sinners before Him? Well, today's message sets the context for what we're going to consider for the next few weeks to come, and here's what we're going to do today. I'm really excited about this. We're going to look at five words of gospel hope. That's the title for today's message if you want to write that at the top of your notes. Five words of gospel hope. What these five words of gospel hope are are five attributes of God that are displayed in the gospel. We are going to see what God is like by looking at some crucial familiar gospel texts that tell us what was motivating God in the gospel of Jesus Christ, what was at work in God, what animates God to save any sinner, what animated God to save you, my brother, my sister in Christ, young person in Christ.

What we're going to see is we are we are going with the veil pulled back, we are going to see the great character of God displayed in what we're about to see. Five words of gospel hope, five attributes of God that Scripture plainly attributes as being his motivating factors in the gospel. And so point number one, we'll state it this way, point number one is that the gospel tells us that God is a God of love. God is a God of love.

Turn in your Bibles to 1 John chapter 4. 1 John chapter 4 verse 7 tells us this, beloved, let us love one another for love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God for God is love. Now, as we've often said here, you should not think about God's love in sentimental terms.

You should not think about it as some kind of an emotional reaction that he has as a doting grandfather might have on his grandchild or something like that. There's a place for that kind of love, but that is not how we should think about the love of God. The love of God means this, it means that he has sacrificially given of himself for the welfare of sinners.

He sacrificially gives of himself to others. And you can see that as you continue on in this passage in 1 John chapter 4, look at verse 9 with me. It says, by this the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent his only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through him. What does the love of God, what does the context tell you? God gave, God sent Christ, God graciously gave to those who deserve nothing from him. That's the love of God. And it goes on in verse 10 and says, in this is love.

Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Do you see it here, beloved? Do you see the prompt of the love of God? It wasn't from you.

It was not from you. But what prompted the gift of salvation came from the prior, pre-existent love of God. And in that love, motivated from that love, he sent Christ. And as we compare Scripture with Scripture, we see that Christ, in perfect harmony with the Father's plan, with the Father's heart, Christ says, I come, John 10 verse 18, and I voluntarily lay my life down. No one has taken it from me.

I give it freely and of my own accord. We see that reflected here in verse 10. Look at it again with me. Your eyes must see these words on the page for yourself and see that if you are in Christ and you are secure, it is not from what you did, it is from what God did for you out of this sacrificial love that the Bible describes so often and so well. Look at it again with me, verse 10. In this is love. Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation, that which satisfies the wrath of God for our sins. Beloved, when we hear the gospel, we're seeing the love of God on display. If you are a Christian here today and you are in Christ and you belong to him, understand that you have been on the receiving end of a great sacrificial love from the eternal God of the universe designed to secure the eternal well-being of your sinful soul.

That's magnificent, isn't it? You look at that and say that's an otherworldly kind of love. We're used to love that is conditional.

You love me, I'll love you back. This is love that is unprompted by any object, anything in the object of the love and affection and kindness of God. We have to understand that. And so it's so important, let's reinforce it from another passage of Scripture, Romans chapter 5.

This is all building and building and building here. Romans chapter 5, beginning in verse 6. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Do you see it there? Do you see the doctrine of total depravity on display right in that verse that man has no ability to recommend himself to God, to move himself in God's place? He is helpless.

He cannot help himself. You could not help yourself, spiritually speaking. And it was while we were in that helpless condition at that right time that Christ died for the ungodly. One will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But, verse 8, God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Beloved, this is so essential, I would stand on the pulpit to emphasize the point if it were not such a breach of protocol, that you must understand and get this now. God showed His love to you in Christ because it was what He wanted to do. It was not because you deserved it, it was because God in His very nature, at the center of His being, is a loving, gracious God who gives of Himself to sinners. That is why any of us are saved.

It is rooted in the unconditional, the unprompted, the unmerited love of God. That's why Christ went to the cross. That's why God saved you. It's because it was of His design and desire to show goodness to you, to show favor to you even though you didn't deserve it. God is a God of love. His love was a choice that He made directed toward undeserving people who had no claim on Him. Generally speaking and individually speaking, I had no claim on God. I had no claim on the great gift of salvation that I enjoy and will enjoy throughout all of eternity. There was nothing in me except the sin that I needed to be saved from.

And that's true of every man, woman, and child. And so this humbles us, but as we are humbled, our eyes are lifted up. Our eyes are lifted up to the sky, lifted up to glory, and we see that great love has come down in Jesus Christ to save sinners like us. One theologian put it this way. We talk about God as a good God. He said, and I quote, the supreme expression of God's goodness is the amazing grace and inexpressible love that shows kindness by saving sinners who deserve only condemnation and saving them moreover at the tremendous cost of Christ's death on Calvary.

End quote. You are saved if you're a Christian. You are saved because God is a loving God, and you were saved at the cost of the infinitely worthy life and shed blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary, which he freely gave, which he gladly gave. He wanted to give it, that he might carry out the purpose of God and bring you into salvation, to bring you into himself. Beloved, just think with chronology in mind. We're talking about this 2,000 years later.

Christ did this. Christ secured your salvation at the cross long before you were ever born. And so it's obvious that we are the beneficiaries of something that we did not prompt in God. We're the beneficiaries of an eternal love that has been set upon his people.

What's the key here as we move into this series? The key is this, Christian, speaking to you as a brother, a sister in Christ, God's love prompted your salvation, not anything in you. This was an act of love, an act of, this was a sacrificial gift at great cost to Christ that was given to you.

It came from God's love, not from your merit, not from your deserving. Let's look at a second word of hope, a second attribute of God that Scripture attributes our salvation to. And we can say this, secondly, he is a God of kindness. He is a God of kindness. He is the God of kindness. There is a gracious goodness to God. And by the way, these attributes, they kind of overlap and reinforce each other. It's not that they're separate and distinct and have no overflow into one another, but Scripture uses different words to describe the character of God who provided such a great salvation to such unworthy sinners as us.

And I want you to see these things because these things are essential. There is a gracious goodness to God. Look at Romans chapter 2. Look at Romans chapter 2 in verse 4. The apostle Paul, speaking to those who were judgmental, trying to correct their thinking, says to them in verse 4, he says, do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing, here it is, here's what I want to focus on this morning, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance. The kindness of God leads you to repentance. Kindness comes from the original word in the Greek kristos. It's a word that means that God has shown generous favor to us.

I love that word, that generous favor to us. Do you realize, those of you that walk about with meager, grudging thoughts about God, do you realize how much the thinking that God is miserly and difficult toward us, that he is difficult to please, that he is eager to quickly punish us for every smallest of transgressions that we might commit, do you realize how unworthy those thoughts are of him? Do you realize that we need to repent of that whole mindset?

We need to think in a completely new way if that's the way that we think about our God. Because God, beloved, think about it, here you were, a guilty sinner in hostility toward him, deserving eternal judgment and on your own headed that way in a hurry. And what did God do when he saved you, my Christian brother, my Christian sister? What did he do when he saved you? He graciously, he generously rescued you from all of that. He graciously, kindly, abundantly pardoned you in Christ.

And not only, not only pardoned you, he imputed to you the very righteousness of Christ and gave you a perfect legal standing that answers the halls of his justice forever and ever, amen. Is that the product? Look, look, is that what someone who is miserly and unkind and difficult, is that what a difficult person does? Is that what someone who is difficult to please does? Answer me.

No. No, God has shown generous favor to us. He has given us kindness that is useful. He has shown us kindness that is helpful.

And, you know, and there just comes a point where basic language just can't bear the weight of the magnificence of the revelation of God. But at a fundamental basic level, my friends, what we can say about the nature of God is this, is that in salvation he shows great kindness and that great kindness helps those that he gives it to. It helps them by delivering them from eternal damnation. It helps them by bringing them into union with his great son. It helps them by bringing them into a pathway that leads them securely and safely into the eternal bliss of heaven where we will one day ultimately experience the great beauty, the great splendor of the perfection of the new heavens and the new earth. That's what God has given to us in Christ when we were undeserving. And so, my friends, I call upon you with me to step back and look at that from a global perspective.

Look at the big picture of that and recognize something magnificent. A God who did something like that is a God who is infinitely kind. A God who has shown goodness to us. A God who has helped us. You know, he's so good and he's so kind.

Let's dial it back and come back into the earthly realm for a moment. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5. God is so kind. He is so good. He is so helpful. He is so favorable that he causes every day his son to shine on even wicked people. He is so kind that he allows his rain to fall on lands that despise his name.

Just in an earthly sense. He's good to people who will never bow the knee to him. He shows them all kinds of temporal mercy and goodness.

Scripture says it all comes from his hand and he generously bestows it upon them even though all he gets is rebellion and rejection in return. That's what he does with sinners. He's kind to them.

And look at what he's done to us in Christ. Look at all the kindness that he's shown to us, bringing us into this lovely, this magnificent, this wondrous, this perfect salvation. This is kindness beyond compare. There is no kindness on earth that can begin to be compared to the gracious goodness that God has shown to you in Christ. The best of spouses are nothing like this. The best of children and grandchildren are nothing like this.

All our earthly relationships will come to an end. God has shown us a kindness that is eternal that will never end. He did it in love as a sacrificial gift at the cost of his own blood. He did it in kindness to show a favor to us that we did not deserve, a kindness that is useful, a kindness that helps us.

What's the key for us today to have in mind? The key for us in this context is that it was God's kindness that prompted our salvation, not anything in us. His love prompted him in the gospel of grace. His kindness prompted him in the gospel of grace to lead us to repentance. It was his kindness. It was his goodness. It was his love.

Do you get it? Love and kindness make up the first two of five words of gospel hope. Pastor Don Green will have the final three for us next time here on The Truth Pulpit as he continues our series Breaking the Bonds of Legalism. Be sure to join us then.

Right now, though, Don's back here in studio with some closing words. You know, friend, we realize that you may not be close enough to our church to be able to join us as you would like to on any given Sunday. So let me invite you to join us on our live stream that you can find at our website, Sundays at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. And also, we have a midweek service on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. We would love to have you join us in that way.

A lot of people do. You might as well be one more to join us for those special studies of God's word and our church services on Sundays and Tuesdays. Here's Bill with some final information to help you find us. Just visit for the live stream. That's I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-16 04:47:18 / 2023-11-16 04:55:49 / 9

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