03. What isnt the Gospel Notes


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The third study in our "Growing Deep in the Gospel" series. In this study we answer the question "What isn't the Gospel?" by looking at false gospels, the difference between religion and the gospel and three ways to live: be your own god, make yourself right with God and trust Jesus.

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03. What isnt the Gospel Notes

  1. 1. What isn’t the Gospel?Take a hold of the gospel, so Jesus can take a hold of you!We need to keep the big picture in mind as we look at the gospel, because it helps us to keep aproper perspective on everything and because every aspect of the big picture is influenced by thegospel. The Big Picture Jesus       Gospel  Church  MissionLast time – What is the Gospel?Christ died for our sins and rose again according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)Basic Gospel Outline – Focus on Jesus 1. Why we need Jesus. 2. What Jesus did for us. 3. How we are reconciled to God through Jesus.From Man’s Perspective 1. We have a problem - separated from God due to sin- consequences: judgment, hell and wrath. 2. We need a solution - Jesus is the only solution- Jesus died for our sins. 3. How we acquire the solution for ourselves - repentance and faith.What isn’t the Gospel?1. False GospelsFalse Gospels have been a problem since the beginning of the church.Galatians 1:6-9I 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. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you thanwhat we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again,if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.Danger! Be Aware! Be Alert !!!Matthew 13:14-15This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand.When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened,and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and theirears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me healthem.’
  2. 2. It scares me to think that some can hear everything I say about the gospel, but will still end up inhell. If some would not listen to Jesus, then we should not be surprised when that happens todayas well.Only Jesus can heal you. Without Him you will face judgment, hell and the wrath of God forever.Several times I have warned of the many dangers that can keep us from understanding andreceiving the real gospel. Be aware that we are in the midst of a spiritual war and the stakes areeternal!The three main things the Bible says that work to destroy us, to keep us from God and on track forhell are: 1. The World 2. Our Flesh 3. The Evil OneWhat do we do?With so many things trying to keep us from the real gospel or trying to draw us away from the realgospel, what do we do?The best way to know what is false and deceptive is by knowing the real thing inside out. Whenyou really know the real thing you develop the ability to sense when something is wrong, eventhough you not sure exactly why at first. Then once you look into it further you see what is wrongwith it.Example - Bank employees don’t spend lots of time studying counterfeit bill, rather they spendmost of their time getting to know what real bills are like, so they can easily spot the counterfeitones.While it is good to really get to know the true gospel, it can be helpful to know some things aboutfalse gospels as well.Things to Look Out For 1. Focus on something other than Jesus. 2. Appeal to our flesh. 3. Contrary to the Bible.Some Examples of False Gospels 1. The Jesus “Plus Something” Gospel 2. The “Me” Gospel 3. The “Health and Wealth: Gospel 4. The “It’s OK to Sin” Gospel 5. The “Go to Church” Gospel 6. The “Spiritual Experience” Gospel 7. The “Better World” Gospel2. The Difference between Religion and the GospelWhat is Religion?There are many different definitions of religion so we need to be clear about how we are using theword “religion” when comparing it to the gospel. 2
  3. 3. The way we are using it is: 1. Performance of ritualistic actions to obtain the favor of God. 2. What you do in order to be accepted by God.Here is a list put together by Mark Driscoll showing the difference between religion and the gospel.If you take the time to study this list, it will help you to know what religion is and how it differs fromthe gospel. (There is an extra handout with more examples of the differences.)Religion vs. the Gospel 1. RELIGION says, if I obey, God will love me. GOSPEL says, because God loves me, I can obey. 2. RELIGION has good people & bad people. GOSPEL has only repentant and unrepentant people. 3. RELIGION values a birth family. GOSPEL values a new birth. 4. RELIGION depends on what I do. GOSPEL depends on what Jesus has done 5. RELIGION says “do”. GOSPEL says “done”. (This is not from Mark Driscoll but I liked it) 6. RELIGION believes appearing as a good person is the key. GOSPEL believes being honest is the key. 7. RELIGION has an uncertainty of standing before God. GOSPEL has certainty based upon Jesus’ work. 8. RELIGION is about me. GOSPEL is about Jesus. 9. RELIGION has the goal to get from God. GOSPEL has the goal to get God. 10. RELIGION sees Jesus as the means. GOSPEL sees Jesus as the end. 11. RELIGION ends in pride or despair. GOSPEL ends in humble joy.3. Three Ways to LiveI got my ideas about this from reading an article by Tim Keller, who got his ideas from C.S. Lewis,who was one of the great Christian thinkers and writers of the 20th century. He wrote TheChronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, and many more.Here are the three possible ways there are to live in this world as I see it: 1. Be your own god. 2. Make yourself right with God. 3. Trust Jesus.Be You Own God 1. I decide what is right and wrong. 2. I live for me, myself and I. 3. I choose what to worship, what to live for, what to seek happiness and find satisfaction in.Romans 1:18-20The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness ofpeople, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plainto them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’sinvisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, beingunderstood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.In these verses we see that people reject God because they love sin. They actively suppress theirknowledge of God so that they can continue in sin. But they will be without excuse on judgmentday because they should have realized that God exists from looking at what He created. 3
  4. 4. Romans 1:21-23For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but theirthinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise,they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like amortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.Paul shows us that when people reject God they become foolish and their hearts become dark.When they stop worshipping God they don’t stop worshipping they just turn and worshipsomething else. Sadly, they settle for so little when they could have had the Creator of theuniverse.Romans 1:24-25Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for thedegrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, andworshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.When people reject God to be their own gods, one of the things that happens is that their sexualdesires go out of control and become perverse. Why? Because the human body is the pinnacle ofall that God created and because of that people are drawn to it in a powerful way.Make Yourself Right with God 1. Live for self and God. 2. Acknowledge God but only give Him part of heart – live a divided life. 3. Try to earn salvation – hoping good works will outweigh the bad.Isaiah 64:6All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we allshrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.Matthew 7:21-23“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the onewho does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didwe not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name performmany miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’Trust Jesus (John 6:28-29) 1. Rest in the salvation Jesus made possible through His life and death. 2. Obey, serve and worship Jesus out of love, not out of duty. 3. Live for Jesus.Galatians 2:20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live inthe body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Three Ways to Live Be Own God Earn Acceptance Trust Jesus grace over truth truth over grace grace and truth irreligion religion gospel license legalism relationship rebellion duty love 4
  5. 5. Choose wisely the way you want to live. Don’t deceive yourself. Then find out how to live that way.Remember there are consequences both now and in eternity for the choice you make.Reflection Questions  What false gospels do you struggle with at times?  Which way of living do your thoughts, words and actions show you live the most?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. 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.Galatians 6:14-16May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has beencrucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; whatcounts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule…Review Questions 1. Name the three things that war against you spiritually to destroy you? What are some of the ways these things work to destroy you? 2. What are some of the signs to look for in a false gospel? 3. What false gospels do you remember from the study? Can you think of any other false gospels that weren’t discussed? 4. In your own words, what is the difference between religion and the gospel? 5. What observations and thoughts do you have from the list of differences between religion and the gospel mentioned in the study? 6. What things impacted you the most in this study of false gospels and religion and why?To Learn More 1. Memorize Galatians 1:6-9 and continue memorizing the seven key Bible verses from last month. 2. Review and reflect upon this teaching on what isn’t the gospel. Which way of living do your thoughts, words and actions show you live the most? Do you need to make changes in your life? If so, what changes do you need to make? 3. Continue improving the gospel explanations/definitions you wrote last month 4. Finish reading the booklet “The Gospel in Detail”. As you read the summary and the Bible verses for each section write out a summary in your own words. 5. Review these notes regularly and write down what God is teaching you. 6. Discuss items 1-5 with someone or in a small group. 5