Minister Brenda Pachot, one of the Pastor's at my church, preached a sermon recently titled “Our Primary Duty”. Her two principle texts were;
Matthew 28:19-20 NIV Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
The message in the sermon was that ALL Christians are COMMANDED to go out and “preach” the gospel and, to not be ashamed or afraid to “preach” it. With that command comes a Mandate, a Mission, a Message, and Method. We often shirk our duty because we are either ill equipped or afraid that we will offend so, we water down the message with our opinions, making it ineffective, and often inaccurate resulting in many rejecting or not understanding the good news of the gospel, which is salvation through Jesus Christ. The emphasis of the gospel is Jesus who said that if we lift Him up He is the one that will draw others to Himself. That makes it crystal clear that what matters is Jesus and not our opinion of Him or of the gospel.
Lift Christ up
By Dr. Jack Graham of Powerpoint Ministries
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
There are many today who suggest that the church would be better off if we watered down the message of the Gospel for the sake of our witness.
These people say things like, "You're too hard on people. Don't be so dogmatic regarding Christ's teaching. You're going to run people off."
Well, you know what? The very opposite is true. You and I have been given clear instruction and teaching in the Scripture on how we should behave and how we are to perpetuate Christ's teachings in the world.
So what is our message and how do we present it to a hostile world?
Part of the message that we carry as Christ-followers states unapologetically that there is a right and wrong when it comes to cultural, ethical, and moral issues. It's clearly written in God's Word. And we've been given a message of hope and transformation that the world desperately needs to hear and to embrace.
So when you engage those whose opinions are diametrically opposed to yours, be respectful. But remember who you represent. We aren't here to champion our own opinion, but to lift up Christ and his Truth!
Treasure and defend the hope and love that Christ has deposited within you! Never deny your faith but be faithful to lift up Christ Jesus! And when you do, he will draw men to himself!
WE AREN'T HERE TO CHAMPION OUR OWN OPINION,
BUT TO LIFT UP CHRIST AND HIS TRUTH!
For more from PowerPoint Ministries and Dr. Jack Graham, please visit www.jackgraham.org
Share the Gospel? What Gospel?
Dr. Ray Pritchard
Here in a short form is our message: Jesus Christ has come into the world—fully God and fully man. He perfectly obeyed God's law and perfectly fulfilled God's will. He died in our place and as our substitute, paying for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day and ascended into heaven. He will one day return to the earth to establish his kingdom. In the meantime we are commissioned to preach the gospel to all people everywhere.
To say it this way means that the gospel doesn't center in our feelings or our sentimental notions. The gospel is rooted in time and space, in the facts of history, in the Incarnation, in the truth of what God did when he sent his Son to the earth.
God did this out of love and pity for us. He knew there was no hope unless he took the initiative to save us. Salvation begins with the admission that there is nothing good in us, nothing in us that can contribute to our salvation, that we are utterly helpless and unable to save ourselves, and that salvation must come from outside of us. We confess that we need the help that only Jesus can supply.
God offers salvation on one simple and single condition—a wholehearted faith in Jesus Christ, trusting him alone as Lord and Savior, resting upon him for complete salvation, renouncing all self-trust, admitting our sinfulness, confessing our need, and crying out to Jesus to save us from our sins.
Those who trust in Jesus Christ and him alone are saved forever. They are forgiven of all their sins, born again, brought into God's family, declared righteous while they were still sinners, their sins are placed on Christ and his righteousness is imputed to them, and they receive a new nature that enables them to walk in a brand-new direction. They are given eternal life and guaranteed they will go to heaven when they die. This is what John 3:16 means when it says that "God so loved the world." This is the Good News Jesus told us to preach "to all creation" (Mark 16:15).
Excerpted from "What is the Gospel and Why Does It Matter?" from Keep Believing Ministries (used by permission).
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.