Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper

Digging A Little Deeper

 

What is the Gospel, which means Good News, that Jesus preached?   

Paul wrote, "...the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" 1 Cor 15:1-5

What is so important the Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day?  Notice "according to the Scriptures" is mentioned twice.  God planned a way and it was fulfilled.  Let's learn more...

Interestingly, Jesus taught love and acceptance, while teaching intolerance.  We’re familiar with the love of Sermon on the Mount but what about intolerance? 

Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. “Matthew 7:13-14

So, we learn that it’s not the majority.  “…there are FEW who find it.”

It’s not possible that this “few” includes Hindus, Muslims, Jews, etc – only true Christians.  Some of the other religions, such as Jehovah Witnesses and Muslims, acknowledge Jesus as a prophet – not God - but Jesus made it clear that He is God, "I and the Father are one." John 10:30    Jesus said of Himself, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16  Then He said, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. “John 14:6  To emphasize that He is the only way, Jesus said, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. “Mattew 10:33 

To make sure the point is clear the apostle Peter wrote of Jesus, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be Saved." Acts 4:12   Finally, let’s look at what the Apostle John (called the “Apostle of Love”) wrote, “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.  And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.   He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:10-13

So, we’ve established that only a few and only Jesus.   But who? 

Peter writes, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9  So, God doesn’t want anyone to perish but we’ve established that only a few will have eternal life. 

Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44  So, God must draw us to Jesus. 

The more a person has been exposed to the Truth and reject it, the greater the punishment in Hell.  “Then He (Jesus) began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.   But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you." Matthew 11:20-24.

This is why Jesus in His kindness spoke in parables so that the eternal punishment will be less for those not drawn.  Jesus said, "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

Before we go further, we need to emphasize that no one on their own merit qualifies to go to heaven because Paul writes, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23) and "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;” Romans 3:10

 Now we’ve established that Jesus is the only way.  How do we approach it from here?

 Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matthew 4:17  What does repent mean?  Literally it means to turn away. From what?  From sin but more accurately, from yourself and turn to God, who can Save you and is willing to Save you.  In other words, Repent: you can't but God can and wants to - you can't Save yourself but trust in the truth that God can Save you and He wants to.  This is a tough first step because we all truly think that we can do for ourselves. 

You must believe.  This is an absolute belief - you trust or put faith in something.  Believe, Faith, and Trust are words that have often been used lightly in the English language.  For example, "I believe he did it," meaning, "I think he may have done it."  The belief in Jesus is absolute.  It is a life or death belief.  "I will jump because I believe the I believe the parachute will open."  Although a life has been entrusted to a parachute, it might fail resulting in death.  Trusting in Jesus never fails - it always results in eternal life.

 "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be Saved, for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

“And without faith it is impossible to please {Him,} for he who comes to God must believe that He is and {that} He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebews 11:6

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’" John 6:9   It is important that the faith is faith in Jesus only.  “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12

So we now know that we must have faith to believe in Jesus as our Savior.  This is the key that opens His Grace to Save us.  “For by Grace you have been Saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God” Eph 2:8  Notice the key words, “through faith”  - Faith is necessary (see the above Hebrews 11:6).  It opens His Saving Grace.  Finally, you can see this Saving Grace is not something we can accomplish without faith.  It is a God’s wonderful gift for believing in the Sacrifice of His Son.

Once in believed – what happens? 

Our debt of sin that we could never remove is wiped away.  God places our sin debt, past, present and future in the Jesus’ account and imputes to us the sinless life of Jesus.  Paul writes, “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Romans 4:23-25

Then we become God’s children.  "’And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6

God places the Holy Spirit in us and seals us.  Paul tells us, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” Ephesians 1:13   and “…you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30b

This seal is permanent.  Jesus said, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one." John 10: 28 -30

As you read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will guide and teach you.  John writes, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27  and “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. “ John 14:26

Jesus becomes our one and only mediator.  “For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, [himself] man, Christ Jesus” 1Titus 2:5

Finally, what about doctrine?  Doctrine means teachings or principles of belief.  It is important.  “Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” John 7:16  The Jewish leaders asked, “The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.” John 18:19  Jesus warned the Apostles about the Jewish doctrine, “Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:12

It’s important to verify man’s doctrine.  “…they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11

When we look at the parable of the Seed and the Soil, Jesus talked of the different types of people who heard the Gospel.  In the parable some will hear the Truth but reject it - reject Jesus. 

It is my heart-felt warm prayer that anyone who reads this, will receive Jesus as the above Gospel proclaims.

New-Light Ministries
www.new-light.org

   real peace  

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