What is the glorious truth of the Gospel? Before we can answer that we need to understand something about the Gospel. There are two foundational principles of the gospel we recognize as the pillars to the Christian faith! The 1st Pillar it’s by the grace of God! Paul wrote in Eph 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. The 2nd Pillar is the death and resurrection of Christ! This is a vital truth, because if it isn't true, than what Paul writes scares me to death; he wrote in 1 Cor 15:17 “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” Without these two principles the gospel is nothing but a gospel created by man for man. [Gal 1:6-9]. SEE! Jesus came to sinners [bad people] Listen to the heart of Paul as he deals with his dilemma of sin “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!....” Rom 7:24-25
• That He would consider the rebellious sons and daughters of Adam a hope of eternal life.
• That I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
• That I have been born again by the finishing work of the cross.
• That it was the power of God unto salvation that I’m declared His own [declared righteous].
Paul wrote in Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." We come to a letter where there was a lot of confusion for the early church! Was it by works? Or was it by the grace of God through faith that we are declared His? According to this letter Paul wrote to the church….a born again Christian is someone who has been transformed by the power of God for the glory of God.
WHAT IS THE GLORIOUS TRUTH FOUND IN THE GOSPEL?
1. THAT I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED TO MY SIN AND SELF (v20)
“I have been crucified with Christ” This is our victory over sin and death….this is required for a Christian to see the Kingdom of God. This is a powerful portion of scripture basically is telling us that justice has been satisfied and the Christian is forever free from any further penalty of sin. It required someone to show grace and for someone to take our place in the courtroom of God. If you were to look at Rembrandt’s painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you’d be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows.” Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross. Paul washer said "God saved you for Himself; God saved you by Himself; God saved you from Himself." It was my sin your sin that held Him there! As Isaiah said “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;….” Isa 53:5. This had to be done in order for me [us] to be set free from the bondage of sin. As Paul wrote in Rom 6:6-7 “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”
WHAT IS THE GLORIOUS TRUTH FOUND IN THE GOSPEL?
2. I HAVE ESCAPED THE WRATH OF GOD AND ETERNAL TORMENT. (V21)
Why do I say this?By what we read at the end of (v21) “for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” This portion of scripture can be better translated “Christ died needlessly” Think about it! If there was another way to solve the sin problem God would have done that don’t you think? The greatest example of this is Jesus praying in the garden before His death. Jesus said in Luke 22:41-42 “And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." Those that insist you can earn salvation by their own efforts undermine the foundation of true biblical Christianity and render Jesus’ death as unnecessary. Which according to the Gospel of Jesus the wrath still abides upon you! John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
It’s not Jesus plus this, that and the other….It’s Christ alone by the glory of God alone, through faith alone. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12. Christ came to do a work that none of us could ever do ….Meaning the ability to achieve eternal life for sinful man and woman. There is nothing I can do to add to the grace that has already been given in Jesus Christ my Lord. I can’t achieve, strive, or become a Christian apart from the saving work through Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That’s why we can read in the same letter…..“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree" Gal 3:13.
The gospel is everything and it’s complete for those who put repent and put their faith in the Saviour. All the glory to Him….as the Hymn writer wrote “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” If this isn't true then the wrath of God still abide upon us! If this isn’t true then Jesus was liar and a lunatic and this statement is false and a waste of time...“by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Col 2:14. But! I know that Jesus was no lunatic or are a liar. Why? Because I’m here [you’re here] as proof to His wonderful grace found in Christ. A Gospel that finished with these precious words….. “it is finished”
J C Ryle said “Christ’s death is the Christian’s life. Christ’s cross is the Christian’s title to heaven. Christ “lifted up” and put to shame on Calvary is the ladder by which Christians “enter into the holiest,” and are at length landed in glory. It is true that we are sinners–but Christ has suffered for us. It is true that we deserve death–but Christ has died for us. It is true that we are guilty debtors–but Christ has paid our debts with His own blood. This is the real Gospel! This is the good news! On this let us lean while we live. To this let us cling when we die. Christ has been “lifted up” on the cross, and has thrown open the gates of heaven to all believers.” That’s the glorious truth of the GOSPEL!.....................SDG