Bible Reading: Romans 1:1-17
We have taken the last six days to study around the gospel and its centrality to our Christian faith.
As we round off this Surge series today, we will highlight some of what we have learnt in the course of the week, and lay out a few application questions.
On What The Gospel Really Is
The Gospel is the good news that the incarnate and crucified Saviour, Jesus Christ, is the risen Lord and impending judge of the world.
Remember these essential elements of the gospel:
It is good news.
It is about Jesus.
It recognizes that He was born as a man
It recognizes that He was crucified
It recognizes that He was raised from the dead
It recognizes His Lordship
It recognizes Him in His authority by which He will judge the world.
On The Story That Sets Up The Gospel
The story behind the gospel starts from creation. God made the world good. God designed the world to function in His good purpose. God’s design for man and the created universe was perfect. But sin came in and, through sin, came death. Man then began a cycle of struggling and empty vanity. Fear. Miserable work. Relationship disorders. Environmental disorders. That is not just an Adam and Eve story. It is an every one-of-us-story. We are all born into the bondage of sin.
The story goes on to the helplessness of man to set things right. In his best effort, man is a sinner and can’t work his way out of the bondage of death and eternal destruction, and all its consequences.
If we don’t understand this story, we will never value the gospel statement. It is against this background, that we receive the good news of the gospel.
On The Danger Of Altering The Gospel
The gospel is not a message birthed out of human situation and circumstance- economic, relational, etc. The gospel is an eternal message of the state and destiny of humanity. You don’t shift the goal posts because players are tired. We must not be swayed by a desperate generation to alter the substance of the gospel, or to tone down certain elements that we feel ‘uncomfortable’ with.
On The Implications Of Believing The Gospel
Every story has implications. Saying ‘Yes’ implies saying many other ‘nos’. Jumping into a car driving northward implies I cannot be going Southward.
Believing the Gospel has implications. It is not enough to collect Jesus’ blood-earned love-soaked ring, and lock it up in a drawer of our heart. The implications go way beyond a ‘Yes’ that I said at an altar call- it is a yes that I say to His every call that alters my life forever.
People who believe the gospel have a way they behave. We must embrace the implications of believing. We are unashamed. We are unapologetic. We tune our lives to the frequency of His Lordship. And we make that our pursuit.
We must resolve to live out what the Gospel has worked in us. Let’s live true to the life we have found in Jesus. Let’s be courageous and unashamed to incline everything we are and every breathing moment towards the truth we have found. The Gospel changed us and it is still changing us. Our words, our conduct and all our expressions should be life-giving and Jesus-glorifying.
Because of Jesus, we are empowered for this!
On Becoming Heralders Of The Gospel
What does good news do to you? What does it prompt? What would you do with good news about your family if you were the first to hear it? What would you do with good news about your neighbours if you were the first to hear?
What response does the good news of the gospel propel in you?
We must not to be silent! Good news is not just to be pocketed- it is to be proclaimed!
There is a God-given obligation on people who have believed the gospel to ensure that they don’t just sit on it, but that they shout it. Don’t wait for the big platforms and spotlights, light your spot and start from there!
Discussion Starters / Bible Study for individuals / Life Groups
1. Why do Christians often resort to living / preaching ‘another gospel’? (Galatians 1:6-8) See Galatians 1:10; Romans 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:1; Numbers 22:1-40
2. What are some things that hinder us from boldly heralding the gospel? What are some practical steps we can take in dealing with each of these hinderances?
3. From the conversation between Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-39), what principles can you identify in starting and engaging a conversation about the gospel?