Home > Good Hope Young Adult Ministry, kingdom of God > Dying to Live Free: Day One — The Gospel

Dying to Live Free: Day One — The Gospel

dying-2-live-free_fr

 

Here’s what I’m thinking, kinfolk:

Paul begins to write a letter to some people he has never even met — the Christians in Rome.  He greets them and lets them know what his letter is going to be about in these few words (Romans 1:16,17):

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel,

for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,

            the Jew first and also to the Greek.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;

as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

 

The word Gospel translates the Greek evangelion, which is another way for saying  ‘good news’, was so full of power that Paul was not ashamed to share it.  In the Old Testament the gospel is the message of the coming kingly rule of God. (Pss. 20:10; 68:11; 96:2;Is. 40:9; 41:27; 61:1).  They, Israel, were waiting for a King to come and save them.  In the New Testament, Jesus brings in the Kingdom (Mark 1:14,15), and through his life, death, and resurrection, He makes membership in the kingdom available for anybody who would trust him.  Paul’s so excited about this good news and the power contained in it to save people from Satan’s kingdom.  And for most of the letter, Paul tells us why this news is so good and how this righteousness of God is available to anybody, no matter how unrighteous they maybe.  NO MATTER HOW MUCH DIRT I’VE DONE, GOD DECLARES ME HOLY!!!!

 

All of this got me to thinking about the time that I was sitting in a class about the gospel.  After the teacher finished describing what the gospel was, somebody in the class asked, “Well sir,  I hear what you are saying, but what is so GOOD about the good news?”  This news is supposed to be exciting and people have been waiting for this since the beginning of time.  People have NEEDED it from the beginning of time. However, it was a question that got me thinking about what the Bible said about it and then it got me thinking about my own life.  Why was this good news to me?  Was this on the same level of winning a million dollars?  Or marrying Angela Bassett?  Or taking over the world?  I had to do some serious soul-searching and life evaluating.  

I’m curious, why is this news so good in your own life?

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  1. Erica Soltero
    January 16, 2009 at 1:55 am

    When the love, righteousness and sovereignty of Jesus truly sinks in, it is life changing! Because of the good news I am constantly falling in love and gaining more and more respect for the God we serve. From day one he counted me holy! I continually fail to measure up when it comes to being a pure person who lives by the law, but God calls me a saint, He continues to provide, He continues to shelter, He continues to guide, He continues to bless! I’m amazed by His unconditional love! Like I said it increases my love for Him, it makes me wanna serve Him, it makes me wanna love OTHERS!

  2. January 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Man, that’s what happens to me. Its the love that I feel when I hear the good news that sticks out to me. I think Paul tries to convey that in Romans 5:5 when he says that God’s love is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. I am continuing to meditate on that one.

  3. January 17, 2009 at 5:18 am

    I love the fact that God is faithful to me, even when I’m faithless. I am in awe by His unconditional love. So often, I stray away from His perfect design/will for my life. But He still loves me and calls me His own. That amazing grace and mercy is a gift to us all!
    I also feel that it is Good News that I have someone who is looking after me, loving me, and taking care of my needs. So often, the stresses of living is so overwhelming. But when I factor in my belief in God, I find the strength to thrive, even in the midst of a crisis. And I find peace in nowing that all of these struggles that we experience in this life will pass. And one day, we’ll go to meet Him, and the struggle will be over. (That’s the only thing I find appealing about death. **smile**) He shonuff takes the sting out of death!

    BTW: Angela Bassett? Ain’t she a little old for you? LOL!

    AB

  4. January 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    She’s trying to get her groove back!

  5. January 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    @esolt — Was that something that you slowly came into — loving others? Or was that something you came into rather quickly?

  6. January 18, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    @angie — A little challenge, if the good news is so good, why are so many professed Christians joyless?

  7. January 19, 2009 at 12:21 am

    “Why are so many professed Christians joyless?”

    Boy, that question is LOADED. I’ll try my best to answer it. I think that it may be different for different people. Below is a list of some of the reasons. Perhaps it’s one or more of these reasons for certain people.

    1. Many professed believers are really not believers. They’ve been cultured to profess an idiology that is not supported with a measure of faith that can serve as a foundation for their belief systems.
    There are many, many Christians that do not pray, do not read the word, do not see God’s answers as a reasonable response to the problems they face. In private, many believe God’s principles to be irrelevant, unfair, and not beneficial. So, they cannot find joy in something that they lack the faith to believe can actually provide them with joy.

    2. We have been cultured to see our faith in God as a “reward system”. If we believe this much, then… If we believe this long, then… If we sacrifice this much, then… If I give this much, then… If I pray this much, then…. If I pray this loud, then…. If I fast this long, then… If I go to church this often, then….
    Often times, preachers convey a message to the people that God rewards are faithfulness. So, when someone makes sacrifices and/or gives in the name of Christ, but does not quickly see a return, sorrow spills from the heart. When what we are hoping for does not manifest, we grow weary, sad, disappointed, and sometimes angry with God and/or man.
    We should strive to be like Paul, who was a servant to God and His people, whether he was “rewarded” in this world or not. The scripture that comes to mind is the one in Phillipians 4. “I’ve learned to be content in all things.” (You know the scripture, I’m sure.)

    We should resist having sex before marriage, because God said so. Not because we think that our abstanence will produce a reward, like a mate.
    We should be committed to paying our tithes and offering, because God said so. And not because we think that a mysterious check is going show up in our mailbox.
    Know what I mean?

    Yes, I know that there are promises made by God to His people. But we need to follow the example of Job, who stayed committed to God, even when the promises seemed to be distant or absent. That’s what real faith is about. Trusting God, even when you can’t trace Him.
    (I ain’t there yet. LOL! Pray for a sista!)

    3. People are really hurting. They’re in pain. And even though they have found salvation to free them from eternal damnation, they have not tapped into the freedom, the benefits, the power that Jesus provided for those that believed to manage their daily lives while on Earth.
    I’ve been meditating on James 1 in the last month. That is a heavy chapter of scripture. If you sit down and meditate on what that scripture is saying, it will shonuff provide a person that is facing challenges and hardship with some solace and strength to face the challenge. You begin to better understand why God allows certain hardships and traisl to come. Often people see a trial as a punishment. But we need to see these challenges as opportunities to mature and to further develop our faith in our God.

    I’ll stop here. I have a rambling spirit at times. Plus, I think I wrote way too much. Like I told you, I can be verbose at times. Especially in my writing… So, forgive me.
    But you placed the challenge before me. And I’m a girl that loves a good challenge. **smile**
    Plus, this challenge really made me have to think about my walk and how I apply my faith. I’m a professed Christian who struggles with maintaining joy. **true confession**

    What do you think of the above? Agree or disagree? Any more reasons in your mind? Reply and let me know.

    In His hand,
    AB

    P.S. I love discussions like this. Thanks for the platform.

    • January 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

      I agree wholeheartedly, especially with understanding what trials are for the believer. Trials do bring us closer to him and we are to boast about them and glory in them. Romans 5:3-5. You are so right about the reward. God’s greatest reward to us, is himself, which he promised to never take away.

      I think another reason we don’t have joy is because we don’t walk in true fellowship with other believers. When we hurt they should hurt. When we triumph, they should triumph. When we need to be checked, they should check us. We don’t really have that type of community and without it, the journey becomes a lot of lone wolfs out there getting knocked around by the enemy.

  8. January 19, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    OMG, I thought about this when I was writing my answer. However, I forgot it. Blame it on the two numbers, 3 and 0. You’ll see when you get there…. *wink*

    When I was thinking about that joyless believer thing, the scriptures that you posted in your one year summary came to mind. I call them the “one another” scriptures. So often, we don’t support, pray for, be kind to, and love one another. I think if we did that more, we would be stronger as a community and person of faith.

    Yes, the HolySpirit has kept me strong in the midst of awful trials and hardships. The HolySpirit that lives in me, and the HolySpirit that lives in my beloved friends… My friends have been there for me, talked to me, comforted me, counseled me, prayed for me, believed in me, encouraged me, and even loaned me money, . Without their support, I don’t know if I would’ve made it out of the trials with minimal damage, the way I did so many times.
    I have great friends!

    But with that being said, I think we must factor in how many people don’t inform members int he community of faith that they are “going through”. How can someone support you, pray for you, encourage you, if they don’t know that you are facing a hardship or a challenge.

    People often keep their issues to themselves because they don’t want to be embarrassed, persecuted, judged, talked about, and misunderstood. And sometimes that concern/fear is stopping them from getting the support they need.

    AB

  9. January 20, 2009 at 9:44 am

    That last paragraph is real talk. People don’t want to be accountable to other people and it hurts their walk and their joy. People need to hear more often that they need each other to survive.

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