Thursday, November 20, 2014

The IMPACT of the Gospel

The Gospel is not just a message we share with those who do not know Christ.  And, it is so much more than a get out of Hell free card!  The Gospel is what should give believers purpose each and every day.  The Gospel is the ongoing message that God loves us and desires us to walk in ways that please Him alone.  The decisions Christians make each day should speak loudly about the life-changing Gospel that has touched their lives.  Christ made it possible, by the giving of Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice, for all mankind to be brought into communion with God.  In fact, the Gospel not only brings a sinner into relationship with God, it is the work of the Gospel that collapses walls between enemies and allows them to enjoy one another’s fellowship—not just tolerate them!  This indeed is the mystery of the Gospel that the apostle Paul described.  I hope we all believe in the power of the Gospel since there is NOBODY we can’t forgive because of how the Gospel has changed our lives.
As Christians, our hearts should long for the words of Christ to dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:15-17).  However, in order for that to happen we must be spending time in the Word.  The early church was marked by its desire to know God’s Words and His Words served as the FOUNDATION of this first church. The Gospel not only creates a desire to know God through His Word more, but it prompts an uncommon love and concern for others (Acts 2:42-47).
The very first church not only set a pattern for future churches, but it established high priorities for God and others.  The church celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, prayed together, praised together, and they were very in tune with one another’s needs.   This type of love for one another demanded a loose grip on their personal schedules, priorities, and possessions.  The community that was observing this Christian behavior was “favorably” impressed and many of them were coming to know Christ, being added to the church regularly (day by day, Acts 2:47).
We can be guilty of building a church on the wrong foundation and preaching Gospel-light messages that don’t bring salvation or lasting change.  Programs and fanciful methods do not necessarily equate God’s glory being radiated from His church.  However, churches built on the authority of God’s Word, praising and proclaiming the saving Gospel, caring for one another, and all in prayerful dependence upon God are prepared to grow for His glory.  Healthy organisms always experience growth and so it is with spiritually healthy churches!!!

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