The Essence of the Gospel and Love

At first, the title of today’s study might seem a bit disjointed, the essence of the Gospel and love. You might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split these into two separate studies. Well, I thought about it, but the more that I explored each, I came to realize that the two cannot truly be separated; they are integral to one another. Without Love, there is no Gospel, and without the Gospel there is no Love. A surprising number of people today do not understand the basic foundation, the basic central core and essence of the Gospel message… all they really know, is that this guy Jesus, at some place and some time, died by crucifixion, and that for some reason He did it for them. (They may also include that He died for their sins).

What I have found is that for most people, these have become empty statements, lacking substance, lacking the essence of God’s Love and their personal identity in Christ. It’s one thing to say with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins – but it’s quite another to apply that reality to your life and to live from that place every single day. To take the fact that Christ has made you a completely new creation, and to apply it personally, and to make that identity completely yours, is the true essence of the Gospel. A fact that has been largely watered-down and even lost in many Christian circles today.

Your Conscience is Cleansed in Christ

One of the most misunderstood areas of our psyche, from a Biblical standpoint, is our conscience. This was an area that I was affected in for a number of years, because I heard and believed the lie, and it led me down a very dark path, which served to place an artificial barrier between myself and God and ministered condemnation and death to not only my soul, but my physical body as well.

This extremely destructive lie, was that I had to be constantly aware of and conscious of my sin; to do otherwise would mean that I would have a seared conscience – which I was told meant that I would not be able to “feel bad” about my sin any longer, and God would give me over to destruction. The only remedy for this was to constantly remind myself of sin and constantly be aware of my sin and keep myself from ever forgetting it.

Many people have heard this same lie and believed it like I have, and if that describes you today, then you are going to be very glad that you are reading this today, because this is not only totally backwards from the truth, and quite wrong, but it is also very damaging to our relationship with God, and has kept people bound in chains, sometimes for their entire lives. However the truth will make us free, and that is what I want to share with you today… the truth regarding your conscience.

Your Righteousness is Not An Illusion

How many times have you heard the phrase “we are sinners saved by grace”? It’s a common phrase in Christian communities. And most people agree with it. Another one is “God sees you in Christ”… that is a very true statement; God does indeed see you in Christ today. However what I want to share with you is why He sees you in Christ, and the totality of what that statement means. Because we have started to accept a distorted, lesser view of who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus today, than what is actually true, and God wants us to see all of who He has made us to be.

You see, most believers have this idea that they are actually still a sinner, still dirty, still unclean, but that because of what Jesus did on the cross, that God can somehow “look passed” all of that filthiness and see you clean, as if your cleanliness was some kind of trick or fraud or just an illusion. That is not the truth however, your righteousness is not just a mere illusion, and we will see why today.

Jesus Loves You (Even When You Don’t Feel It)

The phrase “Jesus Loves You” is powerful. Never has there been three simple words that have the ability to break bondages and transform lives like this one phrase. I have been in situations where this one simple phrase has totally delivered people, broken down emotional walls and set captive hearts free. And I have also been in situations where the phrase has been mocked, snickered at and downplayed to be less than what it is. The sad reality is that much of the latter, has actually happened by church-goers.

In many Christian-circles, we have reduced the powerful phrase “Jesus Loves You”, and we see it is something less, because our own vision and understanding of it has been lessened. I have talked to believers who respond to the phrase “Jesus Loves You”, with a “Yeah but…” – I know He loves me, but I still need more, kind of mentality. We fail to see the vastness of His love, and all that it includes. Today we will be looking at the wonder and majesty that is the love of God, demonstrated in Jesus Christ, and by seeing the truth, we can receive it for all that it is.

Walk According to the Truth and Live the Abundant Life

We have previously studied how walking uprightly according to the truth is not about performance, but it is about believing rightly the Gospel of Jesus Christ and receiving His righteousness. It is the understanding and acceptance of this truth that enables us to truly live the abundant life in Christ, free from uncertainty, worry and fear. Yet many people are not experiencing this, because for the most part, this truth is not taught in today’s culture. We are not hearing the original Gospel that Paul preached and received from the LORD Jesus, and therefore we are not experiencing the same results from the Gospel either.

That’s why in this study today, we will be examining what the true Gospel is, and how by believing and receiving the message of truth, we can live the abundant life of Christ as we are meant to.

The Ministry of Grace and Peace

Did you know that you have a ministry? Whether you are an ordained minister or not, regardless of your age, education, ethnicity or background, a ministry has been given to you, and for you. It is a ministry first and foremost for you to receive personally in your own life, and then it is a ministry to share with others. Many people do not realize that this ministry is for them, assuming that it is only for the super-spiritual or special holy men, but the Bible makes it clear that this ministry is for everyone.

Today in this study, we are going to be examining this ministry; what it is, how we receive it, and then how we are to share it, because even though the Bible says that it is ours, if we do not know that we have it or what it is, it doesn’t do us any good.

Jesus Has Freed You From Sin-Consciousness

How aware are you of your sins? You may have been taught in the past that to be more humble you must maintain a constant awareness of your own sins and shortcomings; and that to do otherwise would be a sign of arrogance and pride. I had been taught that before, and that teaching led me down a very dark road of pain and despair, as I would constantly remind myself of how bad I was and all of the ways that I was not measuring-up to God’s perfect standard – all the while thinking that by me doing this, I was pleasing God by staying humble, when in-fact I was actually practicing false-humility.

Today in this study, we are going to be examining this common misconception and wrong belief of remaining sin-conscious, and how Jesus Christ has actually set us free from this bondage; free to be truly humble by exalting Christ instead of our own efforts.