New Hope Baptist Church
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Shaped by the Gospel

 
We love the powerful gospel. My hope for us is that our lives are being shaped and formed by the gospel, so that we could say along with the Apostle Paul "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe...(Romans 1:16)." The gospel is the powerfully good news about Jesus. It is the announcement that Jesus was born of virgin, lived a sinless life, endured the wrath of God on the cross for sinners, victoriously rose again from the grave, and is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for His own. The gospel is not just a starting point into the faith, it is the foundation for living. The Bible is not a collection of stories to teach us morality. The Bible is the revelation of God's redemptive plan, unfolding over the centuries, culminating in the arrival  of Jesus, and longing for His return. Our message is not "do good" but "it is finished", not "try" but "trust," not "good advice" but "good news." We will spend eternity considering the blessings of the gospel. Here are three gospel-centered verses to consider today. 

First, we can experience fearless living. "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Paul wrote this line in jail awaiting trial, even death. The gospel is the powerfully good news that crushes the crippling fear of death. Faith family, we have been bought by the blood of Jesus, "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...(Romans 8:1)."  We can really live, because we know we will never really die. We have the gift of everlasting life, and we can live without fear.

Second, we can enjoy each other as family. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35)." God is our Father, Jesus is our big brother and we are united together in Christ. We are commanded to love each other like Jesus loved us. Jesus loved us sacrificially and unconditionally, when we show love that way to each other they will see evidence we are a part of God's family. The powerful gospel takes people from different backgrounds and makes us a faith family.

Third, we can experience purpose. "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10)." The powerful gospel gives us daily purpose. We are not saved by good works (as the previous verses make plain), but we are saved for good works. How would you live you life today if you were absolutely certain that you were completely forgiven of all your sins, totally made right with God, empowered by His Spirit, and He placed you in the circle  of influence you live in? The powerful gospel gives us a purpose for everyday life, to shine the light of Christ in your sphere of influence. That's God plan for you.

How are you being shaped by the gospel? It is not just the starting point of our faith, it is the foundation we build our lives and eternity on. It is life-changing powerfully good news.

Blessings,
Pastor Matt