This is the first part of my “review” of the Gospel; the vlog was a bit long so cut it down some. Even still, this vlog is longer than I’d like – I promise I will work on that! Since the Gospel is so important, there will be more info provided before I get into the “meat” of this topic.
Recently, I saw this meme on Facebook and, as part of the LGBT community, it hurt me. But more than that, knowing it was from a family member who has known me most of my life and (I thought) had seen the fruits of my relationship with Jesus, being “told” I was not a Christian broke my heart. I wish I could say that I didn’t turn that hurt into anger, but I rode that rollercoaster as well. But in the days following seeing that meme, other aspects of the message it portrayed bothered me as well. And today I want to share with you some thoughts, not to defend my position in Christ so much as to defend the Gospel…..and to encourage you as you traverse your faith with the present climate too often presented to LGBTQAI+ today.
Before I get started, I also want to emphasize that these are my beliefs based on my years of reading the Word and having a relationship with Christ. As such, I will not demand or insist that MY views are right, though I hold that very strongly. In that vein, I pray that others who hold different views act accordingly and do not insist on their own way, which should be avoided as per 1 Cor 13. My beliefs, which are constantly being refined by the Holy Spirit, are to guide my life……not yours. Your beliefs are to guide your life, not mine – though I don’t mind sharing thoughts and speaking with others who have different views. Also, at the end of this post is a link to a document that I referenced for this post and I encourage you to check it out.
This segment is to first establish what THE GOSPEL means to me, and to share my understanding of its definition based on the Bible. It is foundational for establishing our position in Christ and no discussion can really move on until you, my readers, know the foundation I am coming from.
The Gospel means “good news”; it allows us to have a loving, meaningful relationship with God. It also assures us that ALL who believe in the saving work of Jesus will spend eternity with Him in heaven. The Bible is clear that we all have sinned and therefore are not qualified to enter into heaven.
Romans 3:23 says “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Ephesians 2:5 says, “…..we were dead in our trespasses….”
Because of our sin, we were separated from God because He cannot abide sin – sin created an unbreakable barrier for each of us. I don’t dispute this at all – our sin definitely put us in a place where we could not enter into a meaningful relationship with God and certainly caused us to not be able to go to heaven. For thousands of years, people tried to address the sin in their lives by trying to be better; they tried to follow the Ten Commandments, went to church (or temple), tried to love their neighbors, prayed, got baptized……even today our lists are long in our own attempts to become holy. But the fact is, 100% of our own efforts do not get the job done.
Isaiah 64:6 says, “….all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment”
Our efforts don’t do much – it is like mopping the floor with a muddy rag. Our efforts may be absolutely sincere, but they have never worked and never will. Our efforts will never erase the sin in our lives or break the barrier that keeps us from God.
That’s where Jesus came in, as described in the good news of the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
It is only because of the death and resurrection of Jesus that the barrier created by our sin has been broken. He alone provided a means for us to have a relationship with God and the ability to enter heaven (or be saved). This is a hugely important concept, because it gives credit where credit is due. And because of this action, all sin (past, present, and future) was placed onto Christ. All the guilt and punishment caused by our sins were imputed on Christ and he bore all of it in our place.
Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Jesus literally was punished for our sin (past, present, and future); the wrath of God was poured out on Christ as He hung on the cross and finally died.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
Matthew 27:46 says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus’ death paid for our sin COMPLETELY. God’s justice was completely satisfied, removing sin’s stain once and for all.
Isaiah 53:10-11 says, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”
John 19:30 says, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
The phrase “It is finished” was actually an expression used in Rome in the time of Christ when a debt had been paid in full. When Jesus shouted this just before He died, He was indicating that He had made a perfect, complete and final payment for sin.
Here is the link to the article I referenced in this post.