There is no one right formula for preaching the Gospel, but there is only one Gospel message. In this lesson we want to make sure that we understand the content of the message we are called to proclaim to every creature. We will cover the three main aspects of God’s message to mankind:
- The Problem
- The Solution
- The Response
Each individual and situation is different, so we might not always emphasize each of these aspects to the same degree. But until someone has heard each of these points they have not heard the whole counsel of God. In the following lessons we will learn which aspects of the message we should emphasize in the various circumstances we face; but for now we merely want to make sure we understand all the ingredients contained in the biblical message of salvation. Continue reading
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil- mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
In order to know how to lead people to Christ we need to know where we are leading them from. Many preachers today believe people can come to Christ if the evangelist merely emphasizes the depth of God’s love while ignoring the depth of people’s sin. This is the reason many people in the Church are actually not born again. A faulty understanding of the way one comes to salvation and what Christ saves us from has led many people into a false assurance of eternal life. They sincerely believe they are going to heaven though they are actually still on the road to hell. Continue reading
Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
Then Jesus replied, “I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way.”
1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
Salvation is the work of God and not men, but we are called to play a role in the salvation of others. We are called to be coworkers with God. But it must be understood that He is the leader and He is the one that gets glory for the accomplished work. Apart from God working through His Holy Spirit to lead people to salvation in Christ all our efforts would be in vain. Since men are hardened in their sins, only God can break through their defenses and humble their proud, rebellious hearts. So if we intend on being successful in the winning of souls we better understand the nature of how God draws people to salvation. Continue reading
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent…
In the last lesson we looked at convicting grace. People’s love for sin blinds them until God comes to open their eyes to the danger and depth of their sin. When the Holy Spirit shines his spotlight on their sin and reveals to them the future consequences of that sin, sin becomes less attractive to them in light of God’s holy wrath. They then begin looking for a way to escape from their sin and its consequences.
When the light of God shines on a sinner’s soul he becomes aware that he is altogether corrupt. He begins to regret not just what he has done but even who he is. Paul calls this condition “godly sorrow” and says that it is the natural precursor to repentance (2 Cor. 7:9-10). Continue reading
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me.
Convicting grace makes sin repulsive to the sinner, but it makes Christ attractive to him. As God convinces a person of the depth and consequences of their sin they feel compelled to get as far from it as they can. At the same time he convinces them that Christ and his righteousness is the only place they can run to in order to escape the wrath of God and the bondage of sin. By grace, God pushes people away from sin and into the arms of the Savior. God doesn’t come to the lost in their darkness just to convince them that they are sinners on their way to hell. He focuses on their sin so that he can point them to the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Continue reading
She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.
In these lessons we want to discuss the process of sanctification by which believers are transformed day by day into the image of God’s Son. We will discuss the theological understanding of sanctification and the practical outworking of sanctification in the life of the disciple. And in closing we will discuss how to lead others as they “walk out their salvation.” Our goal is to understand the process by which God transforms a life so that we can be effective co-laborers with Him in this process. Continue reading
Sanctification or Sanctification
In one sense justification is sanctification. When Christ pardons our sins we are set apart for him. As it says in Hebrews 10:10, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” In justification we are positionally sanctified; that is, we are set apart for God. But there is another sense in which sanctification is used in the New Testament. In other passages we note that sanctification is a process of change that is experienced in the life of the believer. We see this experiential sanctification in passages like Romans 6:22, “But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life!” Continue reading