3 Most Important Words: Gospel
By Bobby Blakey on October 5, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:8
3 Most Important Words: Gospel
By Bobby Blakey on October 5, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:8
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:06] I want you to imagine with me that Jesus Christ was preaching here at this church today, a little bit of an upgrade in the preacher department, right? What would Jesus Christ preach on at a new church like ours? Now, imagine if Jesus Christ was here today. We would we be we'd be able to fill this entire amphitheater. Right, because he maybe would have done a little bit of healing. And again, anybody with a problem here, Jesus Christ could have healed you. Right. And in fact, that don't add order would be pretty simple. Just get one donut and start breaking it into pieces and everybody's full, right?
[00:00:42] I mean, what would Jesus Christ preach? I would imagine there'll be such a big crowd of people standing all around. You'd even have the haters would be here and they'd be watching everything and they'd be judging everything. And we'd have some people here who were. Who would they be challenging? Jesus. And he'd probably even welcome their challenges. And he'd probably they would try to stump him and he would prove them wrong once again. But what would Jesus preach would be the topic of Jesus's sermon. Grab your Bible and open it up to Mark Chapter one. And I want to show you what I believe is the answer to that question. And I want to see what we're going to talk about, because it's what Jesus talked about here in Mark, Chapter one versus 14 to 15, because I think Jesus had a had a way that he did things no matter where he went, no matter who he was talking to and he was talking to a new crowd when he began his ministry. Jesus always said the same basic thing. In fact, you could say that Jesus always said the same three words over and over again. And Mark summarizes it here right in Mark. Chapter one, look at verse 14. Mark chapter one, verse 14. It says now, after John was arrested, that would be John the Baptist, the one who prepared the way for the Lord. After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee and he's proclaiming here's what he's doing, preaching the gospel of God and saying the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel. Now, I don't think that Jesus was doing one liner sermons here.
[00:02:17] I don't think this is the whole message. I mean, that would make for a pretty short service. All right, everybody, have a good day or let me close in prayer. I don't think that was the entirety of everything Jesus said. I think that's the summary of everything that Jesus said.
[00:02:29] Like, if you could summarize what Jesus said down into three words, it would be repent. Believe gospel. That's what it would be. That was his message right there. And unfortunately, my concern as a pastor is I'm not quite sure that that is the message in the church today. When you go to a church, do you hear over and over, repent, believe gospel? Are those the three main words that you hear people talking? Those were the three main words that Jesus used. And if Jesus used them, I would argue they're the three most important words that we could use.
[00:03:06] Repentance. Have you heard a lot of sermons in your life about repentance? What about believing? What about faith? All right. Everybody's talking about faith. Oprah is talking about faith. Everybody's got it. What does it really mean? What is our faith in the gospel?
[00:03:21] This is important stuff that we want to make sure everybody here knows as we begin this church. This is where we believe the power is in a real understanding of these three words and how they change everything about our lives. So go back to First Thessalonians, Chapter one. That's the book that we're going through. And I just wanted you to see that Jesus said that repent and believe the gospel, because now we're gonna see how the Thessalonians did that. There are example that we're trying to follow here at CompassHB Bible Church, Huntington Beach. The example we want to follow is this church in Thessalonica. And you'll see here in versus eight, nine and 10, these same three three things that gospel, repentance and faith three, these three versus with me First Thessalonians, chapter one, verse eight. It says, For not only has the word of the Lord, that's the Gospel. Has it sounded forth from you? It's echoed from you. It's it it's like it hit you and it started these ripple effects, these sound waves out from you. Not only has it sounded forth from you in Macedonia and the care, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere.
[00:04:24] So that we need not say anything for they themselves. These other people that Paul's talking to. And he wrote this letter. They themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you and how you turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
[00:04:51] I mean, these people, they had a testimony. The story of their salvation was spreading far and wide. And it's like, look, I'm walking around in other cities and people are coming to me and they're telling me your story. I mean, it goes so far as to say. Your faith is known everywhere. I can't go anywhere where people aren't talking about you guys. Like when I came to you, I preach the gospel to you. And not only did you receive the word of God, it just kind of blew up. It was just kind of like dynamite. And you guys started living so different. You used to worship these idols, used to live like everybody else and Tesla. And you turned over here and you started serving the true and living God. That's repentance. I used to live this way. And God turned me around. And now I live another way. He's like, people are talking about that. And it's not like you just improved your life. It's not like he was just behavior modification. No, it's all about this guy. Jesus you guys are talking about and you think he's coming back from heaven. You're crazy enough to think that he rose from the dead. And you guys are like, just focused on Jesus Christ. And that why you're why your life has turned around.
[00:05:57] I mean, the testimony of this church has gone everywhere, he says. And so we've got a very straightforward question that I'm here to ask you today. What is your testimony? What is your story of salvation?
[00:06:13] What is your story of repenting and believing in the gospel? Everybody who's a Christian? Every saved person has this story and the story has three basic elements to it. Like we heard from Johnny here, it's got. Here's my life before Christ when I was lost in my sin. Here's the moment that I met Jesus Christ where he saved me. There's a moment where I made new. And then now here's my my life after Christ. I mean, really, your story. The testimony is the same as his story. History. Right. I mean, that's how we. No. Are our days. This is the year 2014. 2014. From what anybody know what it's coming from? What is it coming from? Right. 2014 A.D.. Right. Which is which is a abbreviation for a Latin phrase, which means year of R watch out and out of, you know, year of our Lord. There we go.
[00:07:07] I mean, history revolves around Jesus Christ. There was history before Jesus. Then there was Jesus. Now we're live in in about 2000 years after Jesus. That's history. Years. Your life should have that same story. I was living this way before Jesus. Then there was a time maybe you can't say the exact day. Maybe like Johnny, you know, the exact moment when it happened. There was a time where I got put into Jesus Christ, where I met him, where I started a relationship with him. And then after that man, my life's in a whole new direction. This happened so dramatically with this church in Thessalonica that the story went out through the whole country, basically, of the area of modern day Greece, Macedonia and the care. Everybody's talking about how these people have been made new. And it's all because of this guy, Jesus, who they think rose from the dead and is common back. That's the story.
[00:08:00] And their faith has gone out everywhere. I want to know everywhere you go. Do people know that you are a person of faith in Jesus Christ?
[00:08:09] Can people tell your story just by being around you, just by hearing the things that you say, the things that you do? Can people tell that you're a part of the story that God is writing in people's hearts as he saves them and his son, Jesus Christ? Do you have a testimony? And if you do have a testimony, man, let's get that story out there. Let's spread it far and wide. Let's let everybody know what Jesus has done in your life. That's what we want to talk about this morning. Now go back to Act's Chapter 17. Everybody turn back to Acts Chapter 17, because I want you to see here the story of what happened with the Thessalonians. And if you were here on our first Sunday, that was a month ago now that we're a month old now. So we're getting old now. If you if you were here a month ago, we went to act 17 and we started to look. And I want to just review, because you got to start with where we started on our first Sunday look at Act 17. Here's the story of how the Thessalonians people got saved. It says now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they're going through these cities and they're like making tracks to get that desolate Nicaea where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And here's how Paul did it. This is how he planned the churches. He went in, as was his custom, into the synagogue. And on three Sabbath days, he reasoned with them, dialoged with them to debated with them from the scriptures. And here's what Paul was trying to say, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ. That's who Jesus is, the messiah, the anointed one to suffer and to rise from the dead. And saying this Jesus, whom I proclaim to you is the Christ. And some of the people who heard this, these Jews there in the synagogue, they were persuaded and they joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks. It reached beyond the synagogue here and not a few of the leading women man revival started breaking out in the city because Paul came and he gave them the gospel message.
[00:10:05] Now, that's what I want to make sure everybody here knows because we've already gone over this. If you were here on the first week.
[00:10:10] But I talked to so many people who call themselves Christians who go to church and I say, what's the gospel? And you know what they tell me? They tell me, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, there's there's four of them.
[00:10:22] That's the kind of answer that I get.
[00:10:24] That's not what the gospel is right here in Act 17, so let's review the first thing we want to do is review what we already talked about. We want to review. Point no point there is make sure you know the gospel information. Make it right. Now, if I asked you to write out the gospel underneath that point. Make sure you know the gospel information. Could you write down for me right now. The Gospel or the good news of Jesus Christ? Could you write that down for me? Could you grab a mike like Johnny did? And could you tell the gospel could you tell a story of how you got saved and how that good news of Jesus changed your life? And so we got three dashes there. Those are the three things that he says here in Act 17. First thing he says is Jesus is the Christ. If you just want to write this down, hopefully this is review, but maybe it's new information that Jesus is the Christ Jesus. We have to say that Jesus is God. If you don't say that Jesus is God. Do you have the real Jesus? You don't. To be God. And then we say that Jesus died for our sins. That's what he did. That he suffered is the way that Paul says it here to these people. This is all verse three. It's necessary for the Christ. That's who Jesus is. The Messiah. The prophet, priest and king. He's got to suffer. He's got to die for our sins. And then our third dash there is Jesus Rises from the dead. And we talked about how these are fighting words because the Jews wanted a messiah who was going to overthrow the Romans and give them a political and military victory. And this strong king who was going to reign. And you're telling me that the messiah is going to die. That's what he's coming to do to die a worthless, miserable curse, death on a tree. And he's going to do that. They didn't want that kind of messiah. The Jews rejected that kind of messiah and Jesus Christ. But Paul, he says, here's what you got to know about Jesus Christ. OK. Now, we preach that a few weeks ago here at this church and we didn't assume anything. We acted like let's pretend nobody here knows the gospel and we preached it. And you know what? We found out some people here. They didn't know that gospel and they heard that gospel. And you know what happened to him after they heard that gospel? They got saved by that gas.
[00:12:27] We've already had people get saved right here in the brief history of this church. And I'm thinking, that's awesome. That's awesome. The date nobody had ever maybe explained it to them that clearly or they hadn't thought about it, that those specific facts right there, if I'm not putting my trust in that, if it's just this general idea of God, I'm not saved. I have to be putting my trust in the sacrifice of Jesus for my sin. And I have to see that heroes again to give me new life. It's got to be that clear and specific in my mind. But I'm seeing that the gospel is vague and confusing and so many Christian people's minds. Right. If everybody who could articulate these facts of the gospel was saved, then why are our churches so weak today?
[00:13:12] I think a lot of people think that just by knowing the information, just because I agree with the facts, that means, therefore, I'm a saved person. Well, let me tell you who agrees with the facts. The demons agree with the facts. If you guys heard about this before, James, 219, says that the demons believe. And what does it say they do when they think about the gospel of Jesus Christ? They tremble. They shudder. It says in our ESV translation, they shudder.
[00:13:42] I don't see a lot of people who call themselves Christians today doing a lot of shuttering and a lot of trembling about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I see a lot of people acting like, oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Good news. Old news for me, man. I've heard it a lot of times. Yeah, I know about this. Oh, this is gonna be one of those sermons.
[00:14:00] All right. I mean, what else am I going to do today? I mean, they're already checking out the gospel. Oh, I know about that. See? The good news is old news to you then that's bad news for you, my friend.
[00:14:13] Because the gospel is not just information, what we want to talk about this morning is the gospel leads to transformation in your life. The gospel shakes everything up. You really understand what that what we just said, those three things about Jesus Christ. You will never be the same person again. That's what the gospel really does. I mean, think about it. The demons. When Jesus dies for sin and rises again, the demons know they're done, right. I mean, they are convicted about where they're at. They know that he just won the victory. And so they shudder and they tremble. We don't have enough people like Johnny describe getting down on their hands and knees and begging God to forgive them for their sin because they're shuddering and trembling as a sinner before a holy God they see down the line and they see their judgment that is coming.
[00:15:02] And so they tremble before a holy God.
[00:15:05] I don't know of a lot of people who are doing that. It's people like, Oh yeah, I agree with that. Yeah. Sign me up. Yeah. What would we do? We come forward. We pray a prayer. What what do we do. Okay, good. Am I good now. That's the vibe that I'm getting from a lot of people.
[00:15:18] I'm seeing that people are sent to the information, but they don't show that transformation in their life. So that's what a testimony is. It's the story of a radically changed life from the inside out. And look, that's what keep reading with me and act 17.
[00:15:32] Let's get the rest of the story here, because you didn't just tell them the facts and then people get saved. And it was a happy day. And we all had donut nuttery afterwards. No, look at verse five right here. It says, but the Jews were jealous. See the gospel start shaking things up. The Jews don't like this. You just set them aside as that guy. We're not buying that and taking some wicked men of the rabble went on down to smarted final and found some wicked men or something. They formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and they attacked the house of Jason and then they seek them to bring them out to the crowd. They're looking for Paul and Silas. They got a mob. They want to bring him out to the crowd. Who knows what they're tending to do to him.
[00:16:11] And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities shouting. And here's what they say about Paul and Silas. These preachers of the gospel, they say these men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.
[00:16:28] And this guy, Jason, has received him and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another King Jesus and the people in the city. Authorities were disturbed when they heard these things and when they had taken money and security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. So there's a lot of brouhaha here. We have raised a ruckus. We've got a mob. We're dragging people out into the town square. And what do we say? Right. And all of this hatred here and persecution, we give perhaps the greatest compliment that could ever be given. These guys are turning the world upside down. That's what the gospel does.
[00:17:05] Do you believe that? Do you believe that the gospel is about a few people at church intellectually agreeing with some facts? Or do you believe that the gospel is here in Huntington Beach to flip this town upside down? What is your view of the gospel of Jesus Christ? I don't think Johnny Miller is the only one who live in like that kind of life here in Huntington Beach. All right. I think we've got people who are lost up and down our streets, and I think the gospel is for them. And if they really come to see the gospel of Jesus Christ, their life will be radically changed. When I'm praying for our church to get out there and tell me the Bork people, the gospel, I'm praying that bars in Huntington Beach are going to shut down because nobody wants to go to. All right. I'm praying that all these vape shops and all these kind of places where they're illegally selling marijuana under the counter. I'm saying plain that those places shut down because people want to do what's right in Huntington Beach. I'm praying that all the Colts running around on their bikes and knocking on people's doors, telling everybody about a fake Jesus Christ. I'm praying that they end up selling us their churches because nobody wants to go to them because of the gospel of Jesus. Can I get any men from anybody here this morning? All right.
[00:18:14] We didn't come here to sit under an easy up to be like who wants to agree with the facts of Jesus here today? We came to turn the world upside down. That's why we're here. And that's going to raise a ruckus. And it's going to draw a dividing line right down the middle. And some people here are going to say, I need to be saved. I want that life and Jesus Christ make me new here today. And other people are going to say, I don't like this and I don't like you're implying that my life is in put together. And I don't even like the tone of your voice right now.
[00:18:41] I mean, like you and they're going to go over here, say, let's start dividing people and it's going to get intense if we really do our job here right at CompassHB by what you're trying to beat, because that's what the gospel does say. Drove me to Romans, chapter one, verse 16 to one way you could describe the gospel is you could define it with the information that Jesus is the Christ, that he died for our sins, that he rose again. That's one way you could define the gospel. For Romans, 116 gives us another definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And look what it says here. Hopefully you're familiar with this verse because it's a rallying cry for Christians everywhere. It's his Romans chapter one, verse 16, for I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
[00:19:26] I'm not going to hide my little light under a bushel. No, man, I'm going to let it shine. I'm not ashamed of the gospel. For here it is. Here's a way you could write this down. A definition for the Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation. That's what it is to every one who believes man to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Just like we saw there. And that's a line I commanded. Starts here with the Jewish people. And now it's gone to all kinds of people everywhere, all over the world, man. That gospel is a powerful force to save anybody who puts their faith in it. That's what it is when you hear gospel. Do you think power. That's what he just said. Literally the word is dunams, which we get the word dynamite from. Right. Do you think of the gospel as bad? If I keep getting the gospel out there at my workplace, in my neighborhood with my extended family, if I keep bringing people here to church and we keep preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you think it's just going to start blowing stuff up? Is that the picture like gospel explosion's just going on? Look at that guy. He's convicted right now. Gospel just blew up in his heart. Right. I mean, that's what I've heard before. Our pastor back in Alice Sophia, go down south. Pastor Mikey liked to say just keep throwing the gospel grenade out there until it goes off.
[00:20:41] That's what you used to say, right? I mean, that's what that's the idea here. Like you're throwing out dynamite.
[00:20:47] Like if somebody came here today and sweat and sat under one of these easy ups and really put their faith in the gospel, you would be picking up shrapnel of what happened in that person's life for the rest of eternity.
[00:21:00] That's what it said, because they would be a brand new person from the N side out. So we got to have a better faith in the demons. My friends. The demons rat lives did not radically change. They are not turning the world upside down. That's what we should be doing. People who have been changed by the gospel. And you do you have a story of being one of those people who turn off First Corinthians, Chapter one?
[00:21:25] I want you to see the very next letter that Paul writes. He uses the same definition for the gospel. And he and he actually contrasts it with other things that people are going to get to believe in. Look at First Corinthians, chapter one, verse 18. Look what it says, says for the word of the cross. That's the gospel message. The cross is the centerpiece of the gospel. You get Jesus is God humbling himself as a man living the perfect life. Then he dies on that cross and he rises again. But it says the word of the cross is folly. It's foolishness to those who are perishing. But to us who are being saved, it is. There's the definition again. The gospel is the power of God. And then it starts quoting the Old Testament search, saying some things.
[00:22:06] But look here at verse 22 and now it's going to contrast the gospel to other things that people could believe. For Jews demand signs. They want to see miracles. Greek seek wisdom. They want to figure it out rationally. But we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and fall each Gentiles. But to those who are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God for the foolishness of God is wiser than men. And the weakness of God is stronger than man. Hey, I'm going to start telling everybody that this guy Jesus, he's the one that we should all be looking for. He's the savior of the world.
[00:22:44] He's the lord of heaven and earth. And here's what he did with all authority given to him. He died for you. That's what he did. And he rose again so that you could have a new life. And the Jews are like, our messiah doesn't die. Our messiah reigns forever. He's in the line of David. He's the king. And to them, it's a stumbling block. They don't want to hear about him as the Jews don't frankly want to admit that they really need saving. That they're very proud people. They're God's chosen people at the time of Jesus Christ. That's what they thought. They didn't need Jesus. They already had it going. They just needed the Messiah to show up and destroy the Romans. Then you got the Greeks. The Greeks are looking at this and the Greeks are so advanced. See, the Greeks, they don't worship God like the Jews, like people of old.
[00:23:28] Now, who to the who? To the Greeks. I mean, at that time, it's the Roman Empire that's over the world. Who does the Roman Empire worship?
[00:23:35] They worship Caesar. Right.
[00:23:37] And remember, that's the threat there. And Act 17. Oh, these guys are saying there's another king other than Caesar. See, that's how they got everybody in the town in on it because not everybody in the town was a juice. They don't care what they were saying about the Messiah, but they started to say that Caesar had a rival and everybody back then was into worshiping see reserve because that meant the Romans won't come and wipe you out. See, that's Linacre. They were Macedonians taken over by the Romans. They wanted to be on Caesar's good side. They don't want anybody talk about about Caesar because that's who they worshiped, was a leader, was a man.
[00:24:11] So it says to the Jews, it's a stumbling block to the Greeks, the gospel is foolishness. What is the gospel to Americans? That's what I was trying to figure out this week. What is the gospel to people in America? Because we're definitely not believing in some Old Testament deity here in America anymore.
[00:24:26] And we're definite we don't want to worship a man. Does anybody here want to worship Barack Obama? Anybody want to worship him? Anybody want to worship any of these Republican candidates either? I don't think we're going to worship any of these guys.
[00:24:36] Who do we worship here in America? Oh, we should by the people, for the people of the people, we worship you. Who's the king of America? You are saying, see, you're the Burger King King, right? You have it your way right away. That's what that's how it is in America. See everybody here? You. I mean, this is what if we're not in church here in this high school? This is what they say in this high school. They have an assembly. They've got all the kids here. Here's what they tell. Follow your heart. Believe in yourself. Live your dreams. Do we look, no one else can be you. That's what the world stands right there. Best thing you could ever be is you. Is that the gospel of Jesus Christ? My gospel of Jesus Christ says you need him to sing. He had to die for your sin. It's not about you is what the gospel. In fact, you are the problem. That's it. Sorry. I'm sorry about your self-esteem here. There air today. Right. There's any high schoolers here. I'm sorry. I'm contradicting what they're telling you. Actually, I'm not sorry, but, you know, I'm trying to be polite about it. But the truth is, you got a big problem. And you could go anywhere all over the world and you could try to find satisfaction in whatever you want, but you can't escape your problem because it's you. That's the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's the opposite of the American dream. The gospel is going against what our very our country used to have more of an understanding of this. But I think that we can all agree that we're moving away from that kind of thinking that people are sinners who need to be saved by a God who's holy and righteous. And then he would love us so much to send us his son, Jesus Christ, who now offers you a new life. We're over that in America. That's that's stupid. That's old news.
[00:26:25] We're way too progressive and modern for that. But I think that that message is actually the power of God. That's what I believe.
[00:26:35] And that's why today the whole point is to preach the gospel, because I believe if we preach the gospel here today, people's lives will be transformed.
[00:26:43] I think it's going to happen even right now as I'm speaking. Maybe God's going to come and save somebody here this morning. That's what I believe about the gospel.
[00:26:51] Go to Romans, Chapter six. Just a few pages back here to the left. If the Gospels, the power of God, well, how does it work? How does this power work upon you? I think a great passage that really describes it is Romans Chapter six. Look at this with me, Romans Chapter six. Well, unfortunately, a lot of to a lot of people, the gospel is something that happened in history 2000 years ago, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And maybe they believe in it. Maybe they don't. Maybe they agree with it. Maybe they're not sure. But here's what it says in Romans, chapter six, verse three and four. It says, The gospel is in something that happened. The gospel is something that needs to happen to you. Look at this. Verse three. It says, Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
[00:27:37] We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism, into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we too might walk in newness of life.
[00:27:50] Here, you know, it's using baptism here, that's a Greek word. When we hear baptism, we maybe we think of the symbol of dunking somebody in water and bringing them up. That's a symbol that we use in the Church of Salvation.
[00:28:01] And I'm already looking forward to someday having a baptism service here at CompassHB by what you're trying to beat after some people get saved as a symbol of their salvation. It would be awesome to dunk them in water and to celebrate that salvation. Anybody would be excited about some like that. I want to do that. But before people get dunked in water, it's talking about something spiritual that happens. This is when it says baptism here in this passage is not talking about placing someone into water.
[00:28:25] The word Baptist zo in the Greek. It means to immerse. It means to dunk. It means to place into. And what does it say you're getting placed into here? Well, it says you're getting placed into Christ. That's what's happening. And when you get placed into Christ, it's something spiritual that happens inside of you, where you get placed into his death. It's like you die to your old life of sin and then you get risen up to a new life where the Bible says it's called being made a new creation or another way. The Bible talks about it is being born again. It's something that happens just like you were born physically. This is a moment where you're born spiritually, where you now die with Christ and rise again with him. The gospel now happens to you inside of you.
[00:29:09] That's the power of the gospel. And then it says you walk in newness of life. I mean, you got the same body. You got the same personality. But there's something brand new about you. You don't have this power of living in sin and always being trapped by the things that you want and always fighting against your own desires. No. Now it says you've got this transformed life. You've got this new heart. You've got a great direction. And it's Jesus Christ. Has that happen to you, my friends?
[00:29:38] If you can't tell me the exact day in time, can you tell me for sure? Here this morning, are you willing to bank your heaven or hell on it that you have died with Jesus Christ and risen again?
[00:29:51] I mean, God forbid that anything bad would happen to somebody here today. But if today was to be your last day, could you tell me with confidence? Yes, that has happened in my life. Has the Gospel done that powerful work within you? Let's get this down for point number two.
[00:30:08] Here's the point of our sermons that you can be assured by the gospel transformation. So review, you got to make sure you know the gospel information. But point number two or point number one, our point for today, second line there. Be assured by the gospel transformation. So you can know the facts and you can know that you know the facts. But the only way to really know that, you know, Jesus is to see this change in your life just by agreeing with the facts or pointing to some past experience or even pointing to to some good things that you're doing. None of that assures your salvation. It has to be that you've died with Christ and you've been made a new person. It's this transformation that occurs.
[00:30:52] That's the only way you're going to have confidence that you've been saved by Jesus Christ. Go to the book first, John with me. Everybody turn over to first John. If there's anybody who's wondering today if you've had this transformation in your life, I would strongly encourage you to read through this entire book of First John. Let me just tell you what it's all about. Let's skip straight to the end. Look at first, John, Chapter five. Everybody turn there with me to first John, chapter five, verse 13, where John tells us why he wrote this letter. Like, I think this is the most helpful letter maybe in the New Testament because it helps people know if they've really been saved or not. First, John, chapter five, verse 13. He says, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God. So you agree with the first point. You agree with the facts. Intellectually, you're there. Well, then he says this, that you may know you have eternal life. OK. Just because you know the facts doesn't mean you know that you're saved.
[00:31:49] So this book here is now written to let you know if you're saved or not. And how does this book do it? Well, it all it does is it draws that line in the sand. He's going to start out at the beginning of the book. If you read it and he's going to say, hey, you're either in the darkness or what's the opposite? You're either in the what?
[00:32:06] Let me hear from you guys. The heat sapping your strength here today. You guys still with me? All right. You're either in the darkness or you're in the light. And he's like, you can say all you want that you. You're in the light. But if you walk in. If you still have seen in your life and you still walk in the darkness. Go ahead and say you're in the light. But John says you're a liar.
[00:32:25] And the truth is not in your gospel. Power hasn't blown up in your life yet. You haven't been transformed.
[00:32:32] And he's going to say there's two types of people. There's those who obey God's commands. And there's those who disobey God's commands. There's people who love other people. And there's people who hate other people. There's still about themselves as people who are about the world. And there's people who love God, who can't love them both. Which one do you love? And on and on and on he goes.
[00:32:50] And he's drawn the line in the sand because so many people in church today want the middle ground. That's what we want. I want to know I'm going to heaven, but I don't mind dipping my toe into what's going on in the world right now.
[00:33:03] And he said, no, you're either one or the other. Look at first, John, chapter three, verse nine. Here's a pretty straightforward verse that I think challenges a lot of us in the church today. First, John, chapter three, verse nine. Look at what it says here. Just think about this is this straightforward statement.
[00:33:21] No one born of God makes a practice of sinning for God's seed of bites in hand. He cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. That's pretty clear. In fact, that's too clear for a lot. A lot of us maybe.
[00:33:41] I mean, I've known a lot of people who go to church a long time and they're like, so what are you saying?
[00:33:46] You're saying that even if I stopped doing most of the bad stuff and even if I've started doing most of the good stuff, but there's still this ongoing pattern of something in my life that I have a hard time stopping that seems to win over me. And even if it's just this one secret hidden thing that I keep under control as much as I can, if I still have a practice of sinning, a habit of disobeying God in my life. You're telling me I'm not saved? Is that what you're saying here? I'm not telling you that, OK?
[00:34:15] God's telling you that. That's what he's saying right there. Saying if you've got the power of sin over your life, then you don't have the power of the gospel over your life. You don't co-exist. It's one or the other.
[00:34:30] So everybody here, we're drawing a line in the sand here today, and everybody here is going to be as exposed as one side or the other, either you're still live in your old life with a lot of Jesus external stuff or you've been made new in Jesus Christ.
[00:34:46] And you've got to find out. You've got to know for sure, my friend, because your soul is on the line. Which one are you? Which one are you?
[00:34:54] If you just flip your hand out over real quick, you'll see we put a verse there on the back. You just flip your hand out over says, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, I'm not talking about people who go to church or people who call themselves Christians. I'm talking to people who got placed baptized into Christ. The gospel happened to them. They died with Christ. They rose again.
[00:35:12] If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come see everybody here if we've been saved. Here's what we should be able to do. We should be able to almost like on a blank piece of paper. Maybe you could even try this if it would help. We should be able to draw like a little tea chart on a piece of paper, just a line down the middle with two columns, old and new.
[00:35:38] And you should be able to write down who the old you was, what were the practices of sin that the old you was ensnared by the things that you were caught up in, the things you couldn't say no to. And then let's right down over here on this site. The new you. What has that been replaced with? Where have you seen that gospel transformation where your old sin is being put off? And your new way is now the way that you walk. Has that happened to you?
[00:36:04] That last week I talked about my son Jack, who's two years old. He's just this cute little ball at Shub walking around and you guys who said, yeah, he's cute. Well, I've got a son who's a little bit older here, and he's Tyler and he's a and so a Tyler and I. I'm really enjoying my son getting older because he's starting to get into things like sports and he's starting to get athletic and he's starting to really understand the Bible. And he can read and he can write. And I'm just like content. I don't know if any of your other parents are like this, but I'm just continually amazed by by the words that are coming out of his mouth like this kid's smart, you know what I mean? And maybe maybe you guys don't have smart kids like I do. I don't I don't know. But but I'm just saying, like, this kid's impressing me with the things that he's saying coming out of his mouth.
[00:36:45] Right. And one of the things that I've noticed with my son is we had a few rules at my house, like like, look, son, you do not do this when I'm not around. If I hear you doing this, man, you and I are gonna we're gonna be talking to things I've made very clear since day one with this kid, Tyler. No one is you don't disrespect your mom. You don't talk back to your mom. Number two, you don't hit your sister. Okay? Just seems kind of nice to me. He has a real hard time with these things. Know if anybody else's kids are also having a hard time, you know. But it's amazing how many days over his life, just a young wife of eight years where it's like, dude, are you kidding me? You hate your sister again. Right. And we're sitting there talking and we're face to face. Right. And it's tense. Father and son. You broke one of the rules. We don't do that here. What does God think about that? We're talking. And I would say to him over and over as he's growing up. Why do you do this? You know, it's wrong. You know, we've talked about this so many times, yet you keep on doing it. And the answer that I got from my son that maybe you would get from years is, I don't know.
[00:37:57] That's what he would say, he would say, I don't know. And he would say it over and over, and I kept I was like, eventually he's going to answer my question, you know? What do you mean you don't know? Because you are in there, as I have this conversation. The Lord started to show me what was going on. The guy really doesn't want to disobey his mom. He knows it's the wrong thing. The guy actually, I think, feels bad when he hits his sister.
[00:38:24] But here's the truth about my son, or at least that was true about him. He can't stop doing it.
[00:38:33] See, for him, I realized one day when he tells me, I don't know when he's crying and you can tell he's all worked up about it. He has no new category. For him, there is no other option. See? That's what he does. He's a sinner. The gospel power has never transformed his life. He cannot stop though he wants to. Though he tries those some weeks, he does better than others. Fundamentally, that's who is.
[00:39:04] And I think we got a lot of people like that in the church, my friends. I think we've got a lot of people and they're struggling and they're trying and they want to live for Jesus.
[00:39:14] And if you sit down and you talk to them, they really want to do what is right and they feel bad when they don't do it. But I don't think they can stop. I don't think they've got a new category. I don't think when it comes to am I gonna hit my sister or not when it comes to am I going to do drugs or not? When it comes to am I going to have sex with this person or not?
[00:39:35] I don't think they have another option. See? I think they're trapped in their sin and they keep doing it because they can't help themselves. What we're talking about today is opening up a new category in your life. What we're talking about today is a brand new way where you can look at that sin that has enslaved you. And you can say, get behind me, Satan. And you can be done with it. You can say no to it. And you can actually do something now. That's a new way to go. If the gospel is so powerful, then why are there so many weak, struggling Christians? The answer has to be, to some degree, that a lot of them don't know the gospel. There has to be the conclusion.
[00:40:25] And so if we're going to turn Huntington Beach upside down, we got to start by Chern turning the expectation at church upside down and the expectation at church needs to be if you know Jesus Christ, your life radically changes from the inside out. That's got to be our expectation. Can I get any men from anybody on that one. OK.
[00:40:45] As a pretty important crew, as Eklil 36, look at this passage in the Old Testament that talks about this new way that God is going to save people. Ezekiel, Chapter 36. We've got to go to the Old Testament at least once here this morning. So turn back there with me. Hopefully you can find it. One of the things that we want to do is we want to see how the old promises about the new and here's a prophecy specifically about a new covenant way that God is going to save people. This is the age that we're living in. As Zeke Hill, 36, look at verse 26, if you're taking notes, you could write down New Covenant. That's that's what this is. Here's the way that God saves people like me and you today through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It describes it in verse 26. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit.
[00:41:34] I will put within you and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh. And I'll give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you and check this out. The spirit will cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey by rules. Here's what salvation is gonna look like in the New Covenant, which was a prophecy here and is equal. But it's the time that we're living in right now. I'm going to give people a brand new heart. I'm going to change their desires. They're not even going to want to do the old stuff that they used to be caught up in. They're going to want new things and I'm going to put within them. So something more than them is at work.
[00:42:14] The spirit of the holy living God inside of you.
[00:42:19] I mean, this let's think that through as a Christian, you're claiming to have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling you. Do you think that would then show up in less sin in your life? I mean, it says here that he will cause you to walk in his statute. He's going to make you careful to obeys commands. There is no such thing as a Christian who does it live a new life because the Holy Spirit makes it happen every time. Because the gospels, there's just that powerful.
[00:42:50] That's what it does when it saves you. And so the question here today is, has the gospel really saved you? Is there a pattern? Is there is there an outward reality of an inward change that you have been transformed, that you have died with Jesus and you have risen again? And the great news is, if you're sitting here right now and you're realizing I don't have a new category, I don't have another option. I mean, sometimes I do better than other times. But the truth is, there are things that control me. There are things that I can't stop doing. I'm here today. I'll tell you today that today that could all change by the power of Jesus Christ. Today could be the day of your salvation. That's what we believe, that it does happen in a moment where you get born again.
[00:43:39] Turning me to Luke, Chapter 23. And I want you to see one time that it happened when Jesus died on the cross. I mean, that's that's the center of the gospel is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for your sin. And you could see this here in Luke, Chapter 23. The scene is just brutal. I mean, maybe you've heard about the physical pain of Jesus Christ on the cross, the nails in his hands and his feet, how they whipped him, how he's he's got to push himself up to breathe. And so his open, exposed, bloody back is rubbing up against this wooden cross. And eventually he's not going to be able to get air because he can't lift himself up anymore. The cross was designed to torture you before it killed you. That was the point. But maybe beyond the physical pain is the spiritual pain of this is the first time in all of eternity that the father is turning away from the son and the father. God in heaven is pouring out his wrath. And he is judging the son for your sin. Jesus is taking the punishment that you deserve. So the spiritual pain was way worse than the physical pain was.
[00:44:42] And to make it on top of all of that. What are the people doing? Who are there watching the son of God die for their sins? What are the people doing when Jesus is dying? They're mocking him. That's what they're doing. They're saying he saved others. Too bad he can't save himself. Ah ha ha ha.
[00:45:00] They laugh at him.
[00:45:03] He's the king of the Jews. Why don't you get down from there if you're the king of the Jews? They say they're.
[00:45:10] I mean, do you see the irony there? He's dying for their sin as they mock him that he can't get down off that tree. But it's love that's keeping him up.
[00:45:22] There were two criminals crucified on either side of Jesus Christ, one on the right and one of the left. And it makes it very clear you can read about these guys in the gospels and it says that these two criminals were also mocking Jesus with a little extra umph probably than the other people like. Hey, man, you saved others. Why don't you save yourself and us over here, too? You know, I mean, they were they were like mocking him, but they kind of wanted him to do something so they could get off the tree.
[00:45:47] And all of a sudden, something happens with one of these criminals while he is on the cross next to Jesus. There's a conversation that takes place, looked down at verse 39, look 23, verse 39. Check this out. This could happen to someone here this morning.
[00:46:03] One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him saying, are you not the Christ man? If you're the Messiah, you're the anointed one. Save yourself and us to verse 40.
[00:46:12] But the other office, suddenly other criminal speaks up and he rebuked him. Saying, Do you not fear God and don't you tremble, man. Don't you shudder. Since you are under the same sentence of condemnation, dude, don't you realize you're about to die? And we indeed justly we deserve to die. We are receiving the do reward of our deeds. Dupere criminals. We deserve this. But this man Jesus has done nothing wrong. And he said, Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom. I mean, right there, he changes his mind about Jesus Christ.
[00:46:50] Right there, he believes the gospel, he went from a marker to someone who said, you're the king and will you please king? Remember me when you come into your kingdom. Right there.
[00:47:01] He got the gospel. And look what Jesus says did. And he said to him, truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise.
[00:47:11] I mean, Jesus, while he's dying on the cross to save the sins of the world, is saving the man to one side of him because that man acknowledged his sin and asked Jesus Christ to come and save him.
[00:47:23] In that very moment, it says. That man was on his way to paradise. And I want you to be in paradise. I want you to know where you are going with 100 percent confidence when you die. And the only hope that we have any of us here is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which the moment you believe in a radically changes your life. You go from a marker of Jesus to someone rebuking people who mock Jesus Christ when you put your trust in him. I pray that you have done that, my friend. I pray that you have a testimony testimonial before and the day that you met Jesus Christ and after. And maybe if you don't have that story, today could be the day for you. Let me pray as we continue our time of worship. Please pray with me. Gary, thank you so much for this good news of Jesus Christ. God, not only good news of what Jesus did to die for us and to rise again, but good news of what you can do to us that we can die to our sin today. That people can come in here today with with who knows what issue in their life. There are people like Johnny, drugs and drinking and just being about themselves and pleasure seeking, maybe there's people who are trying to do the right thing and always trying to be good and working so hard on the outside. God, how awesome it is to think that people could leave here today with those things gone away. Dead to those things. That old life behind them now. And behold. New life in Jesus Christ has come. Got afraid that there would be a thief on the cross here this morning, at least one guy that you would be so good to save right now that the gospel would work in their heart with power and they would cry out to Jesus Christ and they would say, Jesus Christ. I know who you are. You're the Lord. You're the anointed one. Will you please remember me when you come in your kingdom? I have sinned. And I deserved to die, but I need you to save me. Can we pray that you would save people here this morning, we pray that you would see those of us who have testimonies, that we would spread them far and wide and that you would flip Huntington Beach in the area around here upside down with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Help us to believe it's your power. Help us to not be ashamed. God, we pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
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