Why is the Gospel Important?Growing Deep in the GospelIt is important to keep the big picture in mind when we look at the gospel. The Big Picture Jesus Gospel Church MissionSo what exactly is the gospel?It is the good news about Jesus. About His sinless life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, Hisascension to the Father and His waiting to return to establish His eternal kingdom.A good short summary based on 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 is “Christ died for our sins and rose again”.Why is the Gospel Important?We discover the importance of the gospel by looking at what the Apostle Paul had to say about itin the first chapter of Romans and chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians.Importance of the Gospel to PaulRomans 1:7-8To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God ourFather and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that yourfaith is spoken of throughout the whole world.Romans 1:13-15Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but washindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the otherGentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as muchas is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation ofeveryone who believes…1 Corinthians 2:1-2When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimedto you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except JesusChrist and him crucified.Even though the believers in Rome were known for their faith throughout the whole world Paul stillwanted to come and preach the gospel to them and even though he knew the gospel his dailyfocus was on the gospel. Everything else flowed from that foundational reality, from that centraltruth.Number One Reason Why the Gospel is ImportantWhat is the number one reason why the gospel is important and from which all the other reasonsflow as well? Because it is the power of God!
Romans 1:16 – Key Bible VerseFor I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation ofeveryone who believes…The gospel is not just any kind of power, is the power of God for salvation. The Greek word for“power” is dunamis and it the word from which we get dynamite.All the power in the universe can not save one person. It takes the power of God in the gospel.Salvation = RescueThink of a person whose ship sunk and is all alone in the ocean, no one for thousand ofkilometers. Then they hear the sound of a helicopter – Good news! Rescue is coming.The same is true for every one of us. We are lost in an ocean of sin. We need to be rescued fromour sin. If we are not rescued we face death, judgment, hell and wrath. We are without God andwithout hope.Salvation is not just what happens when you repent and place your faith in Jesus. It begins therebut doesn’t stop there. It will continue until God creates a new heaven and earth and comes downwith the New Jerusalem to live with His children forever.Salvation can be broken up into three aspects: 1. Justification 2. Sanctification and 3. Glorification.1. Justification – BeginningJustification is God declaring those who receive Christ to be righteous, based on Christ’srighteousness being imputed to those who receive Christ through repentance and faith.Jesus’ perfect, sinless life and sacrifice on the cross where He experienced the punishment for oursin are the only grounds for our being justified in God’s eyes.2. Sanctification – MiddleThe process of being conformed more and more into the likeness of Christ through the work of theHoly Spirit and God’s Word within a community of believers called a church.Sanctification is what happens as we follow Jesus. Remember what He said? “Deny yourself, pickup your cross and follow me.” He gave us an example to follow.3. Glorification – EndGlorification is the completion, the consummation, the perfection, the full realization of salvation.It begins when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom, at that time we will get our new glorifiedbodies. Salvation will be completed when God creates the new heavens and earth and brings theNew Jerusalem down to earth where He will dwell with His children forever.ConclusionEvery aspect of our lives can be influenced by the power of the gospel so we really need to makethe gospel the center of our lives. Everything good, true and beautiful flows from the gospel. 2
Quotes on Why the Gospel is ImportantC. J. Mahaney“If there’s anything in life we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t meanpassionate only about sharing it with others; I mean passionate in thinking about the gospel,reflecting upon it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world and all of life.”“…very small errors in a person’s understanding of the Gospel seemed to result in very bigproblems in that persons life.”P.J. Miller“Early in my Christian life, I thought the Gospel was the message to win people to Christ, then, indisciple-making, one moved on to “deeper things.” What a fallacy! You never move beyond theGospel. You go deeper and higher with the Gospel, but never beyond the Gospel.”Tim Keller“We never “get beyond the gospel” in our Christian life to something more “advanced.” The gospelis not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth.The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A-Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimumrequired doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom.”Jerry Bridges“The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essentialmessage in all of history.”Bible Verses on Why the Gospel is ImportantLuke 4:43But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, becausethat is why I was sent.”If the reason the Father sent Jesus was to preach the gospel and if Jesus spent most of His timepreparing His disciples to preach it, then it must be important!Mark 10:45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransomfor many.If Jesus came to die to make the gospel a reality then it must be important!2 Thessalonians 1:7-9…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire takingvengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel ofour Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence ofthe Lord and from the glory of His power…Then will come judgment day before the great white throne where every thought, word, action andmotive will be exposed and after this those whose names are not found in the book of life will bethrown in the lake of fire where they will experience the wrath of God forever.Luke 6:48-49… He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And whenthe flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it wasfounded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the 3
earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. Andthe ruin of that house was great.All of us build our lives upon a foundation based on some way at looking at life. The truths andworldview we believe in serve as that foundationWhat foundation are you building your life upon? When the storms of life come what will happen toyou? Will you stand firm or will you be destroyed?The gospel serves as a rock solid foundation upon which to build your life not only for this presentage but also for the age to come.Romans 16:25Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of JesusChrist…The gospel is the means God uses to strengthen us spiritually so we can stand up to all thetemptations and attacks we receive from our flesh, this world and the evil one.We are not suppose to train on our own. God set it up so we need each other in order to grow.Galatians 2:14But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel …The gospel is not just a get out of hell free card. It impacts every aspect of how we live our lives. Itserves as a light to guide us on how to live the best life possible that pleases God.Galatians 1:6-7I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to adifferent gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert thegospel of Christ.The Galatians were turning away from the pure gospel and adding the law (circumcision) in orderto be saved. Just as in Paul’s day, there are many today preaching false gospels, trying topersuade people to add some kind of works to Jesus.The best way to know what is counterfeit is by knowing the real thing. Example - Bank employeesspend a great deal of time getting to know what real bills are like so they can spot the counterfeitones.Living by Law - LegalismLegalism is adding our own efforts and works to what Jesus did, to either attain or maintain ourjustification before God and/or to earn or keep God’s favor by what we do.Jesus + Works = LegalismThe human heart is drawn to law, in order to justify oneself. While this is true sometimes we alsoexperience the opposite problem.Romans 5:20-6:1Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, graceabounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign throughrighteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall wecontinue in sin that grace may abound? 4
Against the Law – LicenseLicense means “against the law” or “lawlessness” and is the belief that there are no moral lawsGod expects Christians to obey. It is the unbiblical practice of living without regard to therighteousness of God, using Gods grace as a license to sin, and trusting grace to cover willful sin.Jesus + Abuse of Grace = License to sinHow did Paul answer his question from Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue insin that grace may abound?” We see his answer in Romans 6:2-4.Romans 6:2-4Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as manyof us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buriedwith Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory ofthe Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.The gospel helps us to walk the narrow path between these two extremes. The gospel path leadsto life as God intended.Blessings of the gospel 1. Aligns our knowledge and understanding of God, ourselves and everything else with reality. 2. Moves us to love God and people. 3. Fills our lives with joy and thanksgiving. 4. Gives meaning and purpose to our lives and changes our priorities. 5. Guides us as we live out our lives.DangerSatan will do anything and everything to try and keep you away from the gospel because heknows if you really take a hold of it he is in trouble.Review – The Gospel is important: 1. Because it was the reason that God the Father sent Jesus. 2. Because Jesus died in order to make the gospel a reality. 3. Because it gives us a rock-solid foundation on which to build our lives. 4. Because it strengthens us spiritually. 5. Because it guides us on how to live the best life. 6. Because it keeps us from being deceived by false gospels. 7. Because it keeps us from falling into legalism or licentiousness. 8. Because it provides the means to avoid judgment, hell and wrath.Romans 1:16 – Key Bible VerseFor I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation ofeveryone who believes…Reflection Questions Does your life reflect that the gospel is important to you? What changes do you feel the Lord wants you to make in your life in light of the gospel?Grow Deep – Let the gospel go deep into your heart and out into your life. 1. What you do with the gospel and Jesus determines everything in your life including your eternal destiny. 5
2. Resolve to make the gospel the highest priority in your life and ask Jesus to empower you to do so day by day through the Holy Spirit. 3. Take the time to study, meditate and pray over the gospel on a regular basis so that you are continually growing in your understanding of it. 4. As you grow in your knowledge and understanding of the gospel take a hold of it by faith and learn how to live it out.Last WordTake a hold of the gospel so Jesus can take a hold of you. Jesus invites you to join Him on thejourney of a lifetime.The Gospel JourneyYou enter into a life-time of discovery, wonder and adventure when you decide to make the gospelthe center of all that you are and all that you do. It is a journey like no other and you don’t have totravel it alone. Come and join us as we walk with Jesus on the gospel journey.Review Questions 1. What is the number one reason why the gospel is important? What Bible verse explains this? What other reasons are there for why the gospel is important? Can you think of any other reasons that were not mentioned? 2. What is salvation and what does it consist of? 3. What danger do we need to be always aware of? Why? Give some examples of how this danger can work in our lives. 4. Answer the “Reflection” questions. First question- In what ways “yes” and what ways “no”? 5. How do we grow deep into the gospel? What do you need to do to grow deeper?To Learn More 1. Memorize Romans 1:16 and Acts 4:12 2. Be able to explain in your own words why the gospel is important. 3. Read the article “Life’s Most Important Truth Can Be the Easiest to Forget” by CJ Mahaney and write out what were the three things that stood out to you the most and why. 4. Take the handout “How the Gospel Transforms Us” and read, meditate and pray over it (including the Bible verses) daily for the next month. At the end of the month write out a paper on what impact it had on you and give it to Florin. 5. Review these notes over the next month and write down what God is teaching you. 6. Discuss items 1-4 with someone or in a small group. 6