THE GREATEST EVENT IN HISTORY - THE RESURRECTION
The Three Great Parts Of The Gospel
The Death & Resurrection of Jesus is God’s greatest accomplishment on behalf of every human being. The gospel is simply the declaration of what was accomplished by this great historic intervention. It announces three great Realities that should be front and center in our message whenever we share the gospel.
1) That Jesus took complete blame and punishment for the sin of the entire world so that we can be restored to perfect standing with God, if we sincerely believe this.
2) That God puts His own Spirit in us to empower us to live moral, upright and loving lives, if we receive it (Him).
3) That God placed the curse (warranted by our sin) on Jesus, so that we could be restored to the full blessing and care of Our Heavenly Father and be blessed in every area of our lives as Abraham was if we accept it. (Gal. 3.13)
It is a gospel of
• RECONCILIATION and forgiveness,
• TRANSFORMATION by the implanting of a new nature into us and
• BLESSING & HEALING through the removal of the curse and restoration to favor with God Our Heavenly Father.
Jesus Our Passover
Jesus established all three realities through His death Resurrection and Ascension, and revolutionized the relationship between man and God.
1) As the innocent Lamb He took our judgment and death penalty. The issue of guilt and shame that once separated us from God Our Father is now removed and everyone can come home to His love, protection and through faith and repentance.
2) There is more. He brings our Adamic nature - the sin damaged nature we all inherit, "the heart of stone" - to death and replaces it with the life of the Spirit. It remains only for us to recognize the pathetic uselessness of our adamic heart and receive the Holy Spirit. As with physical heart transplant surgery, the new heart cannot be given until the old is removed. That is why Jesus could only implant His Spirit in us after the Cross - after He Himself had taken our adamic nature to the death in Himself.
If God were simply to forgive mankind we would continue to destroy and defile ourselves with our unruly behavior. "Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7.18-23)
God's solution to our sinfulness is not just to forgive us but also to EXTRACT the sinful side of our nature and replace it with His own Spirit. This is His RESURRECTION GIFT to us - His spirit to come and live in us. (John 21:24) His solution is to fill us with His own Spirit whose LIFE coming into us, sets us free from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:2-4)
From the defiled adamaic heart (which all are born with) proceeds all immoral behavior; but from the Spirit of the Risen Lord come forth the nine issues of the Holy Spirit 'Love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness faithfulness and self control." (Gal. 5.22) Against such there is no law.
The long, dreary history of trying to control, restrain and reform man through laws, regulations and external restraints is now yielding to a new day when righteousness is placed within us and we walk by the strength of God's Spirit in lives of love and joy.
3) On the Cross our great Passover Lamb became a curse for us. (Gal. 3.13) On Mount Sinai God's people had been placed under the stern ordinances of the Law, and were warned that failure to obey the Law would cut them off from the protection and blessing of God. (Ex. 20, Deut. 28)
To shield us from having to bear this curse, Jesus took that curse upon Himself on the Cross. Now With the curse of the Law taken by one man, Jesus, for the sake of all, the way is clear for all to be restored to God’s favor blessing. His love can fill every heart. His Spirit can infill every person and we can walk in a new way.
The only thing that remains is for all to hear, the Good News, believe, respond and come home to God through the blood spattered Door of Jesus' atoning Sacrifice.
Faith in the Blood of the Passover Lamb brought millions of Israelites from slavery to freedom. Today faith in The Great Passover Lamb. Jesus, is bringing countless millions from slavery to sin, slavery to the adamic sin nature to freedom and destiny in the care of God.
Every gospel proclaimer is charged to deliver all three parts of this message: RECONCILIATION, TRANSFORMATION AND BLESSING so that all may have the opportunity to turn, believe and receive the benefits won by the Resurrection.
Focused On The Gospel
In this day of information saturation it is easy for believers to be distracted from our mandate to proclaim this wonderful news to all the earth. Information overload, debates over obscure theological and archaeological issues, intricate trivia about biblical minutiae, speculation about future disasters, debates about government policy, disputes about the law can tear us apart, distract us from our mission and dilute our message.
Paul the greatest of Christian teachers, warned against being distracted by such things. "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned." (Titus 1.9-11)
The issues may be fascinating and interesting to some, but the preachers of the gospel have a different assignment. They are constrained in their message and limited in what they are free to speak about. They are couriers of a message that is not their own. Their role is not to analyze the message but faithfully to deliver it.
"And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinth. 2:1-5)
We have a mandate to deliver this amazing good news to as many people in as many places as the Lord permits us. The preacher has no other mandate.
A New Generation Of Witnesses
Previous generations have tried to prepare people for ministry mainly through academic knowledge. This is good but it is not enough - because an academic degree in theology cannot impart the Spirit. This system produced theological debaters rather than witnesses of the Resurrection.
However, a new generation of witnesses to the Resurrection is coming forth. They are true disciples whose lives have been transformed by the work of Jesus and captivated by His life. They are students in the school of God's word and the school of faith, trust and obedience. They not only 'search the scriptures' but they come to Jesus to live from His life and receive it into every area of their lives. They are given over to Him so that HIS WORDS HIS WAYS, and HIS WORKS are manifested in their lives. They are through with living for the interests of SELF and by the life of Self. They are learning to live By The Life OF Another and for others. They are receivers and transmitters of Heavenly Love. They are dedicated to spread this Great Message and receive the empowerment of the Spirit (the Baptism in The Holy Spirit) from Jesus to proclaim it. They live lives of reckless abandonment to the limitless mercies of God their Loving Heavenly Father, and their lives are accompanied with signs wonders and miracles of healing, guidance and provision.
Jesus has risen to NEW LIFE. Has He risen in you? May we draw daily and hourly, in every situation, on HIS RESURRECTION, OVERCOMING LIFE.