4/10/17 - Pastor Young
At the beginning of our series "The Gospel of Jesus According to Luke", we found an introduction from the writer which gave us an idea of the type of journey we were embarking on. Luke told us that he sought to write "an orderly account" of Jesus. His purpose was to share the facts about the life of Jesus, and to show that the claims made about Him are trustworthy.
It is a good time for us to revisit our purpose also in undertaking this teaching series. The series title "The Gospel of Jesus According to Luke" always had a subtitle: "Lost and Found in Jesus Christ". This is indicative of not only the fallen state of man, and the need for redemption that can only come from Jesus; it is also reflective of our desire for you to be constantly reminded of the good news of God's Son, who came to save us, and to be renewed in Him.
Therefore it is good that we take time now to look at the gospel, and for our hearts to be awestruck all over again, for our spirits to cry out and for our mouths to praise Him.
This past Sunday we saw the death of Jesus on the cross. As Pastor Tim preached to us from Luke 23, he also mentioned several other key passages that help in our understanding of the gospel:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:14-17)
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:12-18)
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
These passages serve to remind us of God's good plan of salvation. His Son Jesus suffered and died, as we saw on Sunday, taking our punishment and condemnation so that we might be pardoned. Our sins were atoned for by Jesus as He took the wrath that was stored up for us, and gave His righteousness to us who believe.
We, who failed to keep God's law and are therefore guilty and deserving of death; and Jesus, alone in His righteousness and perfection, undeserving of death... it all comes together at the cross, and this scandalous exchange is perhaps most simply represented by the thief hung justifiably alongside Him.
We are amazed all over again as we are reminded of the gospel. We are strengthened in our faith, again and again, for we are told again and again that there is now no condemnation for us who trust Him. We have everlasting joy in Christ!
The mercy and grace that pour out of Luke 23 are astounding. They are the heartbeat of the passion that we share, and they remain at the core of us as we draw close to the end.
May it be that the gospel of Jesus comes alive for you once again as you read, and as you pray, and as you live out this wonderful gift, sharing your love with the family of God and bringing glory to His name!
Praying refreshment and regeneration for you,