The Gospel Does Not Belong to You

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Gospel just means good news.  The gospel is specifically good news about Jesus Christ.  Paul is in a position here where he has to defend himself.  He had preached to the Galatians, many had received Jesus Christ and been saved

JUDGEMENT

The Gospel is a Judgment that Man Can’t Make – Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

When a judgement is made in court, it is based on the mouth of witnesses and the testimony of the evidence given for or against.  God has given witness, evidence, and testimony all to benefit mankind.  But when that evidence, testimony, and witness is rejected man is without defense.  And the judgment belongs to God because He has actively pursued a soul with the following witnesses to help him.

  • God’s Righteousness Revealed in Creation (1:18-32) – What you do with God’s revelation determines what God does with you
  • God’s Righteousness Revealed in the Conscience (2:1-29) – Your judgments of right and wrong are based on God’s righteousness revealed in your conscience
  • God’s Righteousness Revealed in the Law (3:1-31)
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 – God is Revealed in Jesus Christ – His life, death, burial, and ultimately his resurrection

What will come to light in the gospel’s judgment is that man’s disbelief was not due to lack of evidence or ignorance.  Man’s problem was a secret thing called SIN.  The only way you and I come to that understanding is by revelation.  God brings it to the surface and says Look, this is what you’re dealing with.

LOVE

The Gospel is a Love that Man would Never Consider – Romans 5:7-8 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The word love is used for almost anything these days.  I love my dog.   I love baseball.  Love is also associated with certain feelings.  The poets and philosophers disagree on what love is.  They range in their descriptions from the highest heights to the lowest depths. Hollywood has taught us that love is an uncontrollable emotion that one can fall into, hence they “fell in love”.

Love is not Natural

  • It’s not that people are incapable of love, it’s that love is not what we are inclined to do.
  • Children don’t have to be taught to disobey; that’s natural.  They must be taught obedience.  When Jesus Christ is asked about the commandments of God in Matthew 22:36 he gives two answers about love that cover the scope of the law and the prophets.  It’s a command because it’s not natural.
  • Men must be commanded to love, Ephesians 5:25 – not that they don’t know how, but they don’t want to
  • Women must be taught to love.  For the longest time I believed that women were more naturally geared to love until I saw this verse, Titus 2:4. – not that they don’t want to, its that they don’t know how.
  • Since the Love of God is not natural, we need a standard like training a tree to grow straight up.

Love is not an Emotion

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • A man said he didn’t think he loved his wife anymore because he didn’t feel anything for her.  At the same time a woman said she was willing to throw away her entire family because she had feelings for someone else.  On the one hand, the man is throwing it all away because of a lack of feelings and the woman was willing to throw everything away because of the presence of feelings.  The truth is, neither of those things are love.
  • Love is not Lust

Because love is not natural and not an emotion we need a standard for love –

Jesus Christ is the STANDARD of love

  • Jesus Christ modeled God’s love and then commanded us to do what he showed us how to do – 1 John 3:16, Ephesians 5:25 – So we don’t go away with the same misconceptions about love
  • Romans 5:8 – while we were yet sinners—MERCY
  • charity is applied even where there is no reciprocation
  • Judas Iscariot Jesus called friend

Love is not Perpetual

  • Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  It is work to maintain it and there are constant forces at work to destroy it.
  • Matthew 24:12 – sin has an eroding effect on love.  The more sin, the less love.
  • Revelation 2:4 – activity and business will distract from love

Because love is subject to wax cold, to wane, to disappear even

Jesus Christ is the SOURCE of love

  • 1 John 4:7-11
  • Biblical love can be defined as a question, What are you willing to give for the object of your love? John 15:13.  I’m not saying its a wise decision to give up x for y, but it does define your love for the object.
  • Charity seeketh not her own – there is no expectation.  That means love doesn’t come with a yoke.  I will love you IF…
  • 1 John 4:19 we love him because he first loved us
  • even after we get saved we still have this idea that God is just dinging us for this or for that
  • if you are the kind of person that enjoys finding fault, your heart is in the wrong place – I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked
  • the friendship of Jesus Christ – accepted in the beloved – responsible to each other as well.

POWER

The Gospel is a Power Man Does Not Have – Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth

  • Power of Energy – man has been able to unleash the power of an atom.  He has been able to defy the law of gravity with engineering.  He has been able to cultivate electrical power through mechanical and chemical means.
  • Power of Strength – Goliath, the hulk of a warrior.
  • Power of Authority – Nebuchadnezzar.  A power he could not keep.
  • Power over the will – Eastern religions that worship the will and the ability to control it such as Buddhism
  • All the men associated with discovering, harnessing, using any of these powers succumbed to the power of death.  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death.
  • Greatest medical care on earth, but cannot drag life out forever in these sinful bodies out forever.

SUCCESS

The Gospel has no Failure Rate – Romans 10:13 Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

  • there is no such thing as 10 people called upon the name of the Lord, but only 5 of them were saved
  • Success is to accomplish the purpose you set out to accomplish
  • The gospel involves two willing parties and Jesus Christ has already shown himself willing.  Now he invites whosoever will call upon him he will save.
  • there are no mistakes

Conclusion

Christian, you’ve been entrusted with the gospel.  Sometimes we treat the gospel like we treat our own things.  I’ll get to it when I want to.  The gospel has been entrusted you and to me, but it does not belong to us.  It’s not our idea, it’s not our plan, it’s not ours to do with what we want to.  It belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.