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Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Truth Shall Make You ...........

It is time for the Church to wake up and realize that God is true and His Word is true. We cannot bring release to the post-modern mind by rejecting the very truth that will free them. We cannot bring freedom when we distort God’s method of reaching the lost (and yes I said “lost”…they really are lost.) Scripture is God’s voice speaking to us about the method and the methodology.  You see the ultimate issue is once again, biblical authority! The drift away from biblical preaching to a social gospel message is ultimately a rejection of God’s authority…a rejection of His voice in Scripture.I am well aware of the good intentions; I am well aware of the enormous problems socially, politically, and sociologically for people in this deeply sinful and corrupt world. But we do not replace the gospel with a false gospel in the hope that salvation will come by social ministry. The gospel must always be preeminent because without biblical preaching no one can be saved. We can feed the poor but still be eternally lost. “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 1:3). Love is, first of all, truthful. We “speak the truth in love.” God tells us the truth because He loves us. The gospel is a message first….a message of the good news of God’s offer of forgiveness and His grace to us as undeserving sinners. I must never replace that message with a works-righteousness message, no matter how good my intentions may be. We preach the message first.

So what is the second approach? It is the biblical method of proclaiming the gospel and seeing God transform lives as sins are repented of and deep changes are made in the hearts of people. With the fearless preaching of the gospel comes loving acts and social ministry. Indeed, James informs that faith without works is dead; we see the reality of our faith in the good we do in providing for the tangible needs of those in the body of Christ. We cannot have love if we see a brother in need and do nothing for him. True religion is to take care of the widows and orphans. Jesus preached the message of grace and forgiveness and healed and cast out demons and fed people as signs of His ministry and to point people to the fact that only God can save us. It is God who opens the eyes of the blind physically, but who calls us all to a first priority, to have our spiritual eyes opened by truth.Jesus came to preach the message and to send out His Apostles to do the same. He empowered them by His Spirit with signs and wonders to convince people that the message was indeed from God.The biblical purpose of the gospel is that souls would be redeemed and that in the community of faith God’s kingdom would be seen in the transformed lives of the repentant. An outflow of that are the good deeds that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

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