Experiencing the Power of the Gospel
Part 3―Biblical Doctrines in the Light of the Gospel
Part 4―Last Day Events (Eschatology)
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Webster's Dictionary defines basis as:
Basis – something on which something else is established or based on.
In God’s universe, love is the basis of life. And the opposite of love—selfishness, or sin—is the basis of death. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love....
So, our new definition can be appropriately rewritten for this context as:
Basis – God's Love on which our salvation is established or based upon. Not on on what you can do, but rather what He has already done “in Christ.” What does the bible say about this?
Eph 2 (v. 4) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,...(v. 7) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,...
But, people are afraid of God........WHY??
It is Satan's constant effort to misrepresent the character of God,…he causes them to cherish false conceptions of God so that they regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love. The cruelty inherent in his own character is attributed to the Creator....Thus the minds of men are blinded, and Satan secures them as his agents to war against God.
So, what does the bible say about this false conception of God?
John 3 (v. 16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Why is that so hard for us to accept?
It is Satan's work to fill men's hearts with doubt. He leads them to look upon God as a stern judge. He tempts them to sin, and then to regard themselves as too vile to approach their heavenly Father….
What does the bible say about this judgment?
John 5 (v. 22) For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son....
....so the Father judges no one....
John 12 (v. 47) And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
....and Jesus doesn't judge us either....
John 16 (v. 13) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth....(v. 8) And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
(Verse 9) of sin, because they do not believe in Me....(v. 11) of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
The ruler of this world is the devil!!
....and so the Holy Spirit does not judge us either....
Well if nobody from the Godhead judges us, how on earth are we judged?
Acts 13 (v. 46)....It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold we turn to the Gentiles.
Since you reject it, you judge yourselves!! Reject what?
That all men were redeemed in Christ, but only those that believe, will be saved. Believe what? That Christ was a perfect & complete redeemer, and you can't add to it, nor can you improve on it.
The gospel preached, has always been about what Christ has done for us; and it is all about Christ's: Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection, that gives power to the gospel.
Rom 4 (v. 5) But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.
This is the only way that anybody in this world can ever become righteous: first admit that he is ungodly; then believe that God justifies, counts righteous, the ungodly, and he is righteous with the very righteousness of God.
Everybody in the world is ungodly. “Ungodly” means “unlike God.” And it is written, “All have sinned and come short of the glory [the goodness, the character] of God.” ….the truth is that everybody, in everything, has come short of being like God. For “they are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom 3:9-18).
Thus, strange as it may sound to many, the only qualification, and the only preparation, for justification is for a person to acknowledge that he is ungodly. Then, having such qualification, having made such preparation, all that is required of him to obtain justification, full, free, and sure, is to believe that God justifies him, the ungodly one.
When you learn that your performance, in good works and law keeping, cannot add to your salvation, then you can be truly free to serve Him.
Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls.
Salvation is God’s free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ’s sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul.
Genuine justification by faith always produces works; these works don’t save you, but are the evidence & proof that you are abiding in Christ.
The problem is, that our legalistic "self" wants to earn a "part" in our own salvation, and then enjoy a "part" of the credit.
Gal 5 (v. 4) You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Is that a good thing? To be estranged from Christ?
Ezk 14 (v. 5) that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.
No it is not a good thing, and I believe that the bible is very clear on this point.
The reason why many find the christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so fickle, so variable, is that they try to attach themselves to Christ without first detaching themselves from their cherished idols.
1. Mark Finley, (1995). Beyond Orion’s Gates, p.128, Hart Research Center.
2. E.G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.22, par.1
3. Savior of the world Bible Course, (2000). Lesson 2, “The Love of God.”
4. E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p.569, par.1
5. E.G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.356, par.2
6. Jones & Waggoner. (1995). Lessons on Faith, p.25, (sermon by A.T. Jones, RH 7 Feb 1899). TEACH Services, Inc.
7. E.G. White, Selected Messages (book 3), p.199, par.3
8. Dan Augsburger, (2009). The Branch and the Vine (sermons by Frank B. Phillips), p.26, Booklet.
Image #1: Jill Konrath, (n.d.). Building a foundation of trust. Retrieved from https://www.jillkonrath.com/sales-blog/bid/110357/3-Sales-Strategies-to-Build-Trust-WhenYour-Prospects-Don-t-Believe-You
Image #2: Righteousness is Love ministries, (2013). Character of God v.s. satan. Retrieved from http://righteousnessislove.org/truth-in-love/truth-about-media/exposing-the-entertainment-industry
Image #3: Author Unknown, (n.d.). God's voice v.s. satan's voice. Retrieved from http://smalltowngirlbeckygraham.blogspot.com/2013/03/gods-voice-vs-satans-voice.html
Image #4: Wayne Dyer, (n.d.). Brainy Quote. Retrieved from https://abundancemoneymatters.com/
Image #5: John Piper, (n.d.). Quote about our deeds. Retrieved from https://quotefancy.com/quote/844694/John-Piper-Our-deeds-are-not-the-basis-of-our-salvation-they-are-the-evidence-of-our
Image #6: Timothy Keller, (2013). Counterfeit Gods. Retrieved from http://thoughtfortheweek-jeff.blogspot.com/2013/05/