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Monday, February 18, 2008

The Missing Ingredient

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
(Colossians 1:14 – ESV)

Are you saved? If so, what are you saved from, a lack of self-esteem, a bad marriage, a bad childhood, a lack of money? No, looking at Romans from 1:18-3:23 we see that salvation is from the wrath of God, which has been being revealed against all who suppress the truth with their unrighteousness. Jesus Christ is the answer to sin, and His death propitiates (appeases) the wrath of God.

None of those other needs requires God to become incarnate, live a sinless life, die on a cross and rise again. Is it necessary for Christ to have been crucified; that is a good criterion, do you need a bloody savior to preach this? The problem is that people aren’t looking for salvation as being reconciled to God. The old (real) gospel starts with an offended God. The new (false) gospel starts with a wounded “us”. The truth is not that we are wounded but that we are dead!

The gospel is not a commodity, and unlike what we hear preached as the gospel these days, Jesus isn’t very passionate about some of your greatest felt needs. There is nothing distinctly Christian about the new gospel messages at all, that is why they are so popular. They appeal to the masses that are looking for some way out of their misery, when they don’t know what it really is. The false preachers just add Christ into the mix but their messages are just like they would be without Him, motivational talks, moral exhortations, feel good seminars. If you took out the biblical references or even added them it wouldn’t make any difference to the content of the teaching.

What kind of savior do we really need? The bible defines that need. We are saved from God by God. The law had to be fulfilled by humanity. Only God could save us; only a human being should save us. Until that broken law was fulfilled by humanity we were still dead in our sins. We needed a new federal head, a second Adam. To redeem a people He had to be fully God, so as to give the atonement an infinite value, and He had to be fully man to perfectly satisfy the requirements of God’s law, thus becoming an acceptable substitute for sinners. It is not how many bad things you have done, not how many sins you have committed, but actually how bad sin itself really is. The new gospel appeals to those who say, “just let me do what I want but help me deal with the pain”, or “I just want to feel better about myself”. That isn’t the gospel.

It is in Christ that we have what we need. The true gospel is a gospel of the cross. The new gospel is a gospel of wisdom. The true gospel cares about salvation from sin. The new gospel cares about salvation from ignorance. The true gospel looks to stimulate faith. The new gospel looks to stimulate knowledge and insight.

The new gospel tells us to forgive ourselves. You don’t forgive yourself it is God who forgives you, and if you are looking for that, the power to forgive yourself, well then you are looking to be God and you realize you don’t have the power and you feel bad and no wonder. Do they need a healthy self-image? No what they need is to be conformed to Christ’s image!

The missing ingredient in many gospels or gospel presentations is the fact that we are bound by sin, dead in sin, and slaves to sin. Salvation is from sin and to the Savior. The great problem of humanity is sin, not a lack of knowledge, not a lack of power, but a lack of purity. No amount of power and no amount of knowledge can erase that. Only the blood of Christ can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus can make me whole again. The only way we can have peace with God is if our sins are forgiven, and in Christ they are (Romans 5:1).


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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28 Comments:

At 9:05 AM, Blogger donsands said...

That was 'spot on'. Well said JD.

"we are bound by sin, dead in sin, and slaves to sin."
Amen.
And we wre once children of disobedience and wrath. Eph. 2

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

What you are saying here, seems so simple.....but for the reasons you stated, a lot of people won't understand. They have "today's" gospel...they don't know of God's wrath...they don't know what they're being saved from (and to). They just want relief from their present misery......and I was such a one!

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Kim from Hiraeth said...

Came over on Kim's (The Upward Call) recommendation. She said, "trust me" (which I do!), "it's a goodie" (which it is!)

Just had this conversation last night at our small group study on 1 John. Well said.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thank you all...yes the new gospel is really the old false gospel wrapped up in today's felt needs...

This post is part of a sermon I will post on Saturday...

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

My reading for today (The Call to Worship) says the very thing you have been writing and teaching about, JD.

Part of it said:

"We have a national disposition to emphasize our right to worship "in our own way." .........it misses an essential fact about true worship: biblical worship is on "God's" terms, not ours."

I'm realizing how "me" centered we've become. What did you tell us yesterday during praise time, JD? You were commenting on that one song....do you remember?

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

As you have seen before Chris, I stopped the “worship”; actually I just stopped the music and singing and focused our worship on some truth I was absolutely sure we needed to hear more clearly as we sung it.

It was during the song “unfailing love” that I stopped the music and went over to the screen and pointed out the lyrics and something I wanted to make sure people noticed. The lyrics were “Praise you God of earth and sky how beautiful is your unfailing love, unfailing love”… “And you never change Lord you remain the holy one and my unfailing love, unfailing love”.

From these lyrics I showed that they teach correctly that His unfailing love is grounded in His holiness, “you never change you remain the holy one”, and so therefore He remains unfailing in His love.

His love is grounded in his holiness not in our faithfulness and His holiness is that from which His love springs, not vice versa.

I’m not sure whether or not the author intended it this way, but it was good to point out considering the sermon of the day, or any day, nonetheless.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Also I used the stoppage purposefully to stop people from just “going with the flow”. The atmosphere was starting to get moving, and not necessarily in a bad way, but I wanted to make sure people don’t always equate this “everybody’s into it” thing with “now we are really worshipping”. I pointed out that we shouldn’t bristle at someone, something, or some event stopping our “flow”.

I asked if anyone was thinking like, “I was just getting into it man”, and how their focus would be wrong. Well, no sir, you were just feeling it, but God was already here to be worshipped and you must renew your mind to the fact that feelings are a byproduct of worship, not the conduit of them. Feelings aren’t the way into His presence; they are not something we simply stir up our emotions by repeating some vague chorus over and over, and “poof!” God is there, no. Was I wrong to stop the singing, no, not at all, it was a good demonstration of the fact that if this hindered your worship than you were worshipping at the altar of your own feelings.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Amen...

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger donsands said...

Thou art a fine pastor my brother to teach in the midst of worship about worship. May the Lord raise up many more like you.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thank you Don, I pray that as well, not like me, of course, but like Him...

Actually I have "stopped the worship" several times, so I think I will post tomorrow about it, and include what I have written here in this meta.

Again, Sandman, your words are a blessing to me on this Monday...

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

JD said--

From these lyrics I showed that they teach correctly that His unfailing love is grounded in His holiness, “you never change you remain the holy one”, and so therefore He remains unfailing in His love.

His love is grounded in his holiness not in our faithfulness and His holiness is that from which His love springs, not vice versa.

JD, you can't imagine how my head spins when you "turn" things around from whence I approach/understand something. So, if I thought His love sprang from my faithfulness......I once again was being "me" centered???

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Oh, BTW...thanks for the way that you "watch over/out for" the flock!

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

re: "stopped the worship"

I have never thought of it that way before. This was really good to think about, mentally chewing on it for a while.

 
At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

I don't consider it "stopping" the worship....more, helping us to stay focused "in" our worship...mho

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Tomorrow's post is titled..."Stop the Worship?"

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

*gasp*

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Jim said...

JD, I really got in the groove on this post. :)

Seriously though, you hit the nail on the head with regards to the missed emphasis of Christ's blood washing away our sins.

This whole matter of "worship" being merely a song is missing the boat by a mile or two. Worship begins in spirit and truth and without those two ingredients is not true worship of our Lord.

I may just come back tomorrow to see what you have to say.

God bless,
Jim

 
At 6:13 PM, Blogger Kim said...

This is good. I agree! very well said.

kim

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Christa Blakey said...

Kim at Upward Call said it was worthwhile and boy, was she right! I really appreciate the Biblical clarity that you are helping people to see the gospel with. For me one of the most profound things you said was

"The truth is not that we are wounded but that we are dead!"

You are right on in your assessment of today's gospel. Many churches today are presenting the gospel as another little perk to make yourself happier. You did a great job revealing that this really is not the gospel. Thank you so much for writing this sharpening entry.

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

I want to say thank you to all those who came over from Kim's site...she is one terriffic blogger, as you all know, and so for those who vist this blog, make sure you go to the Upward Call, you won't regret it...

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger Annette said...

I have to admit, that even though summer time busyness has cut down on my blog reading and posting, posts like this one, make me glad that I continue to come by here. :) Thank you.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Lisa writes... said...

Also here from Kim of The Upward Call...A great post, as she promised. I appreciate your call to proclaim sin and the cross.

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Paul said...

What can be said that hasn't been already, except perhaps one more and always one more, Praise be to GOD!!

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

Brother, I appreciate your clear thinking and solid theological foundation.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks Craver, your encouragement is always a special blessing to me...

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

This is one of those articles that we will see posted every once in awhile, as we have new readers, and also, certain posts serve as a necessary reminder to those that have seen them before...

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

6-11-07

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

2-18-08

 

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