Gospel Identity – Week 6 – Gospel Fluency

Gospel Identity Title
October 2, 2016

Gospel Identity – Week 6 – Gospel Fluency

Gospel Identity – Week 6 – Gospel Fluency

gospel-fluency-thumbWhat is the Gospel?

Jesus Did it all, is doing it all and will not stop until it is complete.
The 4 questions
Who is God?
What did He do?
Who are we?
What do we do?
Whatever God does to you, he also plans to do through you.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Baptized in The Father
Who is God? – He is Father!  
What He has done? —sent His son to die for us, the children of wrath
Who are we? — Children of God, family as we are brought into the salvation of Jesus. Dearly loved by God when you were his enemy. 
What we do? — If you are his beloved, you will Love Others as Family (just as he loved you)
Baptized in The Son
Who is God? – He is King of Kings
What Has he done? – He has Purchased us
Who are we? – We are His Servants
What do we do? – We serve others.
Baptized in The Holy Spirit
Who is God? – He is Holy Spirit
What Has he done? – He has empowered us
Who are we? – We are His Missionaries
What do we do? – We live as Missionaries with a message. We Share the Good News
What is our identity as a church?  We are a Family of Missionary Servants sent to make disciples  

Q. What does it mean to be fluent in a language?
Webster:
  1. a :  capable of using a language easily and accuratelyb :  effortlessly smooth and flowing:c :  having or showing mastery of a subject or skill
     Hear, think, speak, dream
     Our language shapes our world view
I have studied German, Greek, and Spanish but I am not fluent in any of those languages.  In fact beyond some very small phrases I could not even make my way through any conversation in those languages.
The truth is learning a language is difficult.  How many of you would agree?  And the older we get the harder it is to learn a language.
What is the best way to learn a language? Submersive experience with a tutor
Today I want us to commit together to learn a new language as a church.  I want us to become fluent in the language of the Gospel.  Now I want to confess,  I don’t do this.  I need to learn how to do this more.  So please do not look at me as the example of how to do this.  I am trying to learn just like you are.  But that is why we commit to doing this together.
You see like any other language in order to learn how to speak the language of the Gospel we have to practice it.  If all you did was tried to learn a language for 2 hours in a week how long would it take to learn a language?  But that is what most Christians do every week.  The time and place we most hear the Gospel is when we come together and do this thing called “church”.
It take a long time to learn a language but it can be done.  In order to learn a language we have to just get some of the basics down first.  Many people approach this in many ways…. Hello, my name is…. Can you tell me where the bathroom is?  Thank you… Please…
Many people have learned just enough of the Gospel to survive.  Some people call these the 4 spiritual laws.
God loves you and has a plan for your life
We are separated from God by Sin
Jesus is the answer to that separation
We must receive the gift of God (Jesus) to restore the relationship and have His plan for us.
This is all true, right and good but there is so much more.  So we walk around our daily lives and we struggle to share the Gospel because the only words we know is Dog, Cat, Water, and Bathroom.
Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
I have said this before but it bears repeating salvation is not just we get to go to heaven when we die.  Salvation is so much more!   We were saved from the penalty of our sin, we are being saved from the power of sin, and we will finally be saved from the presence of sin when he comes again.   The Gospel is the power that bring salvation from yesterday through today and into eternity.  So in order to speak the language of the Gospel we have to see how the Gospel applies to everyday stuff.
This is what the Bible is all about.
The grand narrative. the big story of the Bible is Creation – Fall – Redemption – Restoration
We are created by God to be in relationship with Him  – God
We fall by placing other things on the throne of our lives.  Idolatry – Man
We need someone or something to fix the problem. – Jesus
Life is the way it should be in the first place. – Faith
Here is our big problem,  We don’t believe the Gospel because we don’t know the Gospel.  We hear the words many times but we don’t understand them.
In fact Paul was a master of this.
Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
The mark of maturity is not that you sin less, it is that you repent more.  That you see the need to repent more.  That you rely on His grace more.
Sinning less will happen by the result of being more aware of your sin.
Traditionally we have been taught the way to be more mature is “Learn the rules and follow the rules”. But the problem is then maturity is about behavior modification.
it is about our work not His.
Does our behavior change?  Yes.  Is that what it is about NO!!!! He is the one we proclaim.
Paul does this
1 Cor 6:9-11 – List of sins you used to commit BUT Jesus has washed, sactified, justified
1 Cor 6:18-20 – Flee immorality – You have been bought with a price
2 Cor 8:8-9 – Generosity  – He became poor
Eph 5:22-25 – Marriage – Christ loves the church
Col 3:1-4 – Sets the tone for the rest of the book (Wives, Husbands, Children, Parents, Employees, Employers)
What is the motivation for doing good?  The Gospel changes what we do.
Many times we sanitize the scriptures of the gospel and use them as good advise.
It changes how we think… (about circumstances)
     2 Tim 1:7-19 – Fear and Anxiety
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
     1 Peter 5:6-7; 10-11 – Cast all your cares.  why because God is trustworthy, He is good, my worth is not defined by my circumstances but by Him
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you…10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
It changes how we talk to people
     We give Jesus before we give advise.
King goes to battle – leave servants back at home.
     Battle goes well – He sends messengers back
          The battle is won – Gospel – all you can do with that is live in light of the news
          The battle is lost – Advise – here is what you can do to survive
That is not the Gospel, the Gospel says the war is already won…. live in the victory the King has done for you.
Here is what Jesus has done to give us the victory.  And we live in light of that.  It changes our behavior.
but it is not about our behavior, our behavior is not about us fixing the problem, it isn’t to beat off the enemy, or to win.
It changes what we talk about.   It changes how we approach struggle.  Do you see that?  What is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you?  Seriously?
Death? Is that losing?
As Gospel centered people we give good news, before we give good advise.  We like good advise, good advise is good but it always follows what He has done.
We talk about Jesus before we talk about the situation.  We talk about what He has done before we talk about how we should live.
Here is why that matters… Pick a situation.  You sit down with a friend and they tell you,  Man I feel like such a failure in my home.  My kids are a mess, my spouse and I are always fighting.  I can’t seem to win.
If we look at them and say, man I am so sorry, I hear you.  Here is what I did when I felt that way in my family.  or Here is what I read lately.  Or here is what you should do. You should take your wife out on a date. You should get alone and really reconnect. (now that is good advise)  But what you are really saying is this it is about your behavior.  And That is the opposite of the Gospel.
When we sit down with someone and we give good advise without talking about what God has done for us through Jesus, Even though we want to be encouraging, even though we want to help them.  When we don’t talk about Jesus we are telling them this is about your behavior and the way to fix it is by changing your behavior.
Think about this if you have someone you love, let say you have kids, and you want them to behave in a certain way and so you teach them all the right things to say and do.  And they grow up and do all the right things… do they still need Jesus?   YES!   You can be perfectly moral and obey all the rules and still need Jesus.
If you are with a Christian and everything they are doing is right.  They pray, they read their Bible, they listen to Christian radio,  They have no vices.  Do they still need Jesus?  YES!!!  Why because He is the one who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure.   Because we are all being conformed into His image. I NEED THE GOSPEL!!  I NEED THOSE AROUND ME TO REMIND ME THAT IT IS NOT MY WORK BUT HIS THAT I REST IN.  I don’t know about you but, I get tired of trying to be the savior of this world.  I don’t have the energy.  (Bruce Almighty)
So we are going to give Good News before we give good advise.  
We are going to talk about Jesus before we talk about you.
 “Here I must take counsel of the gospel. I must listen to the gospel, which teaches me, not what I should do, (for that is th job of the law), but what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done for me: That is, He suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death. The gospel wills me to receive this, and to believe it. And this is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal of all Christian doctrine, where all the knowledge of all godliness consists. That is why it is most necessary that we should know the Gospel well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually.”    Martin Luther, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (Smith, English & Co. 1860), p. 206.  (modernized by me)
That is what we as Gospel people want to do.  Beat the gospel into each others heads… Be submersed in it so throughly that it is what we hear, what we talk about, the way we think,  even what we dream about.
Now when I try to do this there is a immediate response by many people who think they know the Gospel.  I know, I know, but you don’t understand.  I need to just vent, or I just need some help…. but if we slow down and just listen for second the Gospel can free us from all our worry, all our frustration, all our anxiety, all or striving, all our failures, all our burdens, all that keeps us from living in light of the good news.
Hebrews 3:12-14 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. ESV
Don’t worry… be happy.  It doesn’t work
So we are going to give Good News before we give good advise.  
We are going to talk about Jesus before we talk about you.
What does this look like?
Problem:  Struggling with a sin… I am tired of confessing the same sin over and over again.  At some point I think it doesn’t matter any more 
Advise:  Accountability
Good News:  Wow, I know what that is like, and your right that is sin.  But Jesus died for that sin.  He paid for it on the cross.
The gospel is more beautiful to you not on the days you are perfect nut on the days you fall and are so sinful.  The days when you feel you don’t deserve it.  That is actually what Grace is.  I is undeserved favor.  It is God forgiving and loving us because we don’t deserve it. So when you feel like I dont deserve it… your right… you have tapped into the gospel.
Problem: I am struggling… I am not reading my bible enough, I am not praying enough,  I am not sharing the Gospel enough,  I am not intentional enough.
Advise: Get up earlier… Set your alarm… get a plan in place
Good news: your relationship with God is not based o how much you pray and read your Bible.  Because you don’t get to take that aspect of the Gospel back from Jesus. Your relationship with God is that you have been adopted into the family because Jesus has given you His position at the table.  Because He reconciled us, and He gave us His relationship with the Father through the cross.  So it it is not that you have to do those things,  it is you get to do those things!  You get to read your Bible so that you can learn more about the Gospel.  You get to pray to to feel His power and His presence intimately.  You get to share the good news because it encourages you and those around you.   Both those things don’t change how God feels toward you.
And ultimately at the end of the day you will save no one.  That is his job so the pressure is off about if you say the right thing or the wrong thing because it is not your work it is His work through you.  So if you mess up,  no big deal.  God works through imperfect people and imperfect words all the time.
Next week we are going to walk through 2 processes that we can use to apply the Gospel to everyday life.  The cool part is you have heard these before but we will begin to use them practically in our own lives.  Come back next week and we will work through these together.

For more from this series you can CLICK HERE.

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