Saturday, March 8, 2014

Family Sunday Strengthening Our Faith in The Gospel


Today is Family Sunday at COTR. Our goal today is to strengthen our families and thereby strengthen the family of God by strengthening our grasps on the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This past Wednesday evening we rehearsed a simple, easy to remember, way to tell someone else the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Before we begin reading our scriptures this morning I want to invite the Children down to the front for a moment. (Production Note: I want to go over this with the children before releasing them back to their seats for Family Sunday.)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ in 4 Easy Steps:
1.   Jesus lived a life we could not live.
2.   Jesus died a death we should have died.
3.   Jesus rose to give us a life we could never have otherwise.
4.   Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life.

To further strengthen our faith in and grasp of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let’s turn and begin our scripture reading this morning from:

1 Timothy 3  NLT
14  I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon,
15  so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
16  Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.

Paul wanted to impress his son Timothy concerning the importance of the Church and its role in serving and preserving the Gospel of Christ. He did this by making several strong proclamations. Allow me to share my top 7.

1.  The Church is the Pillar and Ground of the Truth

Paul is not saying that the truth sits on the foundation of the Church but rather that the Church sits on the foundation of the truth and upholds and proclaims it.

2.  Without Dispute, Great is the Mystery of Our Faith

He is not speaking about the kind of mystery which is somehow spooky or unable to be comprehended. Rather, that truth which has been hidden through the ages is now revealed. Paul did not intend to allude to doctrine beyond comprehension or unintelligible. He was simply saying that which had been concealed from man is now made known and is of the utmost importance.

Colossians 1:26  The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.

3.  God Appeared to Man in Human Form

This is the power of the Gospel … Jesus Christ, is the Son of God and the Son of Man. We cannot preach the Gospel without holding to the fact that Jesus was in the beginning with God. He was, is and forever will be. And He appeared to mankind on earth in the form of a human – He took upon flesh and dwelled among us.

4.  The Incarnate Christ was Proven to be Messiah by the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit furnished the evidence that justified the claims of Christ, that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. From the voice and dove at baptism to the healings and miracles in Galilee, from the Resurrection to Pentecost, every prophecy of Messiah and every claim of Christ were evidence and vindication to the testament of God’s Word concerning our Savior.

This is the doctrine of faith which the Church is held to account.

5.  The Angels of Heaven Witnessed and Testified that Jesus is Lord.

From the Shepherd’s Fields of Bethlehem to the Temptations in the Judean Desert, from the Mount of Transfiguration to the Resurrection and Ascension – Heaven Witnessed and Heaven Testified to the Deity of Christ and the Power of the Gospel. Both heaven and earth watched in awe …

6.  Every Nation has been Included in the Gospel

This was a part of the “mystery” hidden from the ages and from generations. Although unknown and unimagined in wholesale by the Jews to whom Messiah was promised – God always had a plan of redemption for all nations, kindreds, tribes, tongues and peoples all over the world. This Grand Scheme of the Gospel was concealed until the revelation of the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of the Believers in the First Church in Jerusalem and they began to be witnesses to their city, their state, their nation and the uttermost parts of the world.

This again is the heartbeat and the responsibility of the Church and every Christian who holds true to Gospel entrusted to us by faith. The Gospel message of Salvation by the blood of Christ is to:
·        Whosoever will …
·        He who hath an ear …
·        Lest at any time … Gospel message.

7.  The Whole World is a Field Ready for Harvest

“He was believed in throughout the world …”

Refuse to believe what the world says about God, Jesus, the Church, Christians, you or even themselves. “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.” Multitudes from all walks of life, every culture, custom, race and creed sit in the valley of decision each day ripened and ready to be harvested. They will believe if we will only go and share the Gospel.

Go and tell:

1.   Jesus lived a life we could not live.
2.   Jesus died a death we should have died.
3.   Jesus rose to give us a life we could never have otherwise.
4.   Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life.

Might I just share one more Gospel truth this morning: In the part of verse 16, referring to Jesus Paul says:

He was Taken to Heaven in Glory

The great truth and the great power of the Gospel is that we serve a Victorious Risen Savior. And, if that same Spirit that raised Christ up from the dead dwells in you it will also make your mortal bodies alive and you too shall be victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave.

This morning I want to encourage you and encourage you to encourage your family and friends to believe and to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Accept no substitute!

Our Church is pledged to manifest and proclaim this Good News to our generation and to serve and preserve the Gospel of Jesus Christ for generations to come.

We hold to the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and put our trust in the Holy Scriptures. It is my hope that you will teach these powerful life changing truths to your children and to your children’s children, it will change and charge their lives for eternity.

As well, I commission you to serve and support the House of God remembering that the Church is the pillar and the foundation of truth.

Let’s bathe our families in prayer once again.