The Simple Gospel #27

#27 of the series, God Rescues Us From Our Messes (for 10-4-18)

God is merciful. God is love. He calls us out of the darkness into his wonderful light,” (I Pet. 2:9, LB) But those who are unwilling to surrender to the Lord will probably not experience him as mercy and love.
God’s overall purpose in judging and disciplining people is to rescue them from Satan’s trap and draw them into his own heart. He is willing and able to rescue those who cry out to him, and wants to teach us to trust him and walk in his way.
Isaiah proclaimed the simple gospel: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6-7, RSV).

This child to be born would be the actual Son of God. The Triune God, in mercy and love, agreed the Son would become a human to rescue us from sin, death, and the devil.

The Apostle Paul also preached about Jesus Christ and his crucifixion and resurrection,” (1 Cor.2:2).

Examples:

  • Rom.3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
  • Rom.6:23, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  • Eph. 2:8-9, “By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast.”

  • 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

  • Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.”

  • 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold the new has come.”

  • Rom. 6:6, “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.”

To people who are trying to justify their own actions and/or save themselves (by spiritual activity or intellectual accomplishments), this simple gospel is all foolishness. But Isaiah’s predictions of judgment did come to pass. His messages of God’s mercy for those who repent have endured through the ages. The child he predicted to be born of a virgin became our Redeemer and the “cornerstone” (Isa. 28:16-17) of the church. “In Jesus Christ, God has forever demonstrated his trustworthiness, his saving righteousness, and his justice”(Oswalt 326).

Scoffers reject the truth and make light of (mock or laugh at) it. In Isaiah’s day, they boasted about making a covenant with death, (28:15), but Isaiah said their covenant with death would be annulled, (v.18).

God gave us spiritual principles. We ignore them only to our detriment. His creation reflects his character of truth, integrity, love, and faithfulness. Living according to these standards is an act of glad submission to our Creator. It is certainly foolish not to trust a trustworthy God.

God alone is trustworthy. We can safely build on his foundation.

Judith Vander Wege

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