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THE CORE MESSAGE Январь 31, 2011

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Blogs, Библейские уроки-Bible lessons, Библия говорит - Bible Speaks, Брощюры, Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, eMagazines, Today's Devotional.
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JOHN GRACE MINISTRIES

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures» (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

«For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes» (Romans 1:16).

«And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in trembling. My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God» (I Corinthians 2:1-5).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the core message!! We do not have to dress it up, nor enhance it in order to draw souls to God. The Gospel itself is «the power of God unto salvation». It has self-inherent power to convict men of their sins, and awaken them to receive faith unto salvation.

When the Gospel first began to invade the world through the apostles’ preaching, lives were radically changed. So much so that the religious leaders of the day cried out,»These who have turned the world upside down have come here too» (Acts 17:6). Their fear, motivated by satan himself, induced them to seek various methods to disrupt and/or annihilate this «Jesus cult», and their «controversial» message. Soon, men rose up to oppose the apostles, to malign their character, undermine their authority, and introduce subtle differences so as to change the Gospel being preached.

This angered Paul, as well as troubling his heart over those to whom he preached the Gospel. «I fear», he wrote, «that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it» (II Corinthians 11:2-4).

Paul’s fears were not unfounded. This very thing occurred with the believers in Galatia. Paul wrote, «I marvel that you are so quickly turned away from Him Who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ» (1:6-7).

Sadly, today is no different than then. I fear we also too easily «put up with it», allowing perversions of the blessed Gospel to flourish and spread uncontended. Some of us have been so taken with the cogent persuasions of those who peddle these false gospels, that we fail to notice that we’re being fed lies and heresies. Paul warned Timothy (and so us thereby) that «in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared as with a hot iron» (I Timothy 4:1-2). We are a generation adrift. We have allowed the core message to become lost and diluted, even exchanged for a more «favorable» message. We have been manipulated by the wiles and philosophies of immoral men, who have taken their traditions over the Word of God. We are warned to «beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ» (Colossians 2:8). Their success is due in large part to inattention to the truth (Hebrews 2:1), and our willingness to heed silver-tongued preachers who are really devils in disguise.

Paul once preached in this same way. His most popular sermon (in Athens, on Mar’s Hill) was a masterpiece. Yet, it met with utter failure. Why? Paul tried to reason with these men, appealing to them on the basis of human wisdom. The message, while spectacular to the mind, never reached their spirits. Paul left there utterly depressed and left to wonder. This experience left an indelible mark on Paul, and forever changed the way he would share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Entering Corinth, weak and aggrieved, he vowed to never preach using human wisdom again. He would preach the core message of the Gospel, and let that do the work of convicting and redeeming. He would just relay the message and allow God’s Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Despite what anyone may tell you, the Gospel of Jesus is very simple. It is the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. By His death He atoned for sin. By His burial ,He buried our past forever, and by His resurrection, conquered death and hell completely. Moreover, He took us with Him. We have been united with Him in both His death and in His resurrection (read Romans 6:1-11). The core message is that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to newness of life. Sin has been dealt with and His Spirit has been given to us, empowering us to live righteously. This is the core message!! Let us not be moved away from it. Rather (in the words of St. Paul), «As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving» (Colossians 2:6-7).

And again, «These things command and teach…give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…Meditate on these things; give yourself completely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine (the core message). Continue in them, for in doing so you will save both yourself and those who hear you» (I Timothy 4:11-16).

Thank you!

~John Grace~

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