First Things First, Clarifying the Gospel
I Love My Church
As Christ followers we need to clarify our relationship with our local church. Here at Concord, we believe church is not like a product you buy or a service you use. Church is not like choosing a grocery store or a car brand. We don’t choose church based on how it satisfies our immediate urges. Rather we believe that Church is a gathering of people on mission with the message of the Gospel. So, if we are to be successful in this mission of sharing this message, we must refuse to be simply consumers of the church. On the contrary, we must consistently see ourselves as contributors. We must settle with the fact that we are saved to serve. We are not here to sit and soak, but to step up and step out. So, we are inviting you to not just like church- but to love it! Because by loving the church you are doing two very critical activities in the Kingdom of God. You are loving God and loving others. And, according to Jesus, these are the two greatest commands we can follow.
Title: First Things First, Clarifying the Gospel
Main Verse: Col 1:19-20, (see also 1 Cor. 15:1-6)
Our best expression of Loving God, is by loving His Church and loving other people toward the church.
First: The Gospel is of first importance (1 Cor. 15:1-6)
Nothing in church life is more important than this message.
Key Thought: Before we can be on mission to love God and love others, we must reexamine the basic principles of the Gospel message. We must never get tired of this message, but relearn it, re-embrace it and then live it out. It must remain as, according to Paul, “of first importance.”
Why do we need this reminder? Because like the Church at Colossae, we are often pushed off our Gospel center by other ideologies and cultural forces. So, Paul reminds us that Jesus and his Gospel are central to who we are and what we do.
Paul’s goal in his letter to the Colossians:
- Encourage them to grow in their understanding of the Gospel (1:9-10)
- Counteract the outside forces and teachings (Mystical Polytheism, Strict Observance of the Law)
All churches need a reminder of the centrality of the Gospel because other forces are constantly trying to push us off this center.
- The Gospel is from Jesus Christ, the only one who can save
- Has the identity of God
- He is the creator
- Creation is through him and for him
- He is the head of the church,
- The church is his body
Takeaway – your connection with Jesus is expressed through the body. So, if you feel disconnected to Jesus, examine your relationship with the church
- The Gospel is through Jesus’ body (1:20-22)
- Its Jesus perfect body dying that brings us into a right relationship with God.
- What are the results? We are reconciled back to God
- Reconciled (ἀποκαταλλάσσω), a political term used to describe the healing of relations between two warring nations
- Do you understand the Gospel?
- Have you received the Gospel?
- Are you firm in the Gospel?