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“FOUR GREAT THINGS IN THE GOSPEL”

 

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BIBLE SCRIPTURES

 

(Matthew 7:27, Ephesians 2:4, Hebrews 13:20, Hebrews 2:3)

 

The Bible is a great book because it is the Word of God.  It deals with great issues because it is God’s message to mankind.  In the Bible we find the “Gospel”, God’s good news for mankind and a message of great importance.  Are you familiar with the Gospel, God’s message of great importance?  Your eternal well being depends on you hearing/reading and believing the Gospel of the grace of God.  There are at least “Four Great Elements” included in the Gospel of God with which you should become familiar. These include the following:

 

1.       (Matthew 7:27) - THERE WAS A GREAT FALL – Man’s fall was great.

2.     (Ephesians 2:4) – THERE IS A GREAT LOVE – God’s love is great.

3.     (Hebrews 13:20) – THERE IS A GREAT SHEPHERD – The Saviors person is great.

4.     (Hebrews 2:3) – THERE IS A GREAT SALVATION – The Saviors work is great.

 

1.       THERE WAS A GREAT FALL

 

Please read (Matthew 7: 24-29) to understand the context of this portion of the Word of God. . At the end of verse 27 we read the words “Great was the fall of it”.  This reminds us of “the fall of man”, the fall into sin by our first parents, Adam and Eve.

 

During the past century or so, the Biblical account of God’s creation of man and the subsequent “fall of man” has been challenged by the Darwinian theory of evolution.  This doctrine of man, of the evolutionist, says that man began at some primitive state.  It goes on to say, that man, by hereditary transmissions of slight variations, in successive generations, will arrive to great heights.  Man, by some inward force, and his own efforts, evolved from something very primitive and will continue to advance to great heights.  This theory is gaining popularity and more and more is being taught in the schools and colleges.  The theory of evolution does away with the Biblical doctrine of man’s creation and subsequent fall into sin.  Man’s unique relationship to God, and accountability to God, is rejected.

 

The doctrine of God, creationism, found in the Bible, teaches that man was created by God, to a high estate.  Man fell from his high estate when he sinned against God.  Among all of God’s creation, the creation of man stands unique.  Man is unique in his constitution (his creation) because of the following;

  • GOD GAVE MAN UNIQUENESS.  God said (Genesis 1:26) “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”.  We hear the deliberations of the Godhead (a divine deliberation) “Let us make man”.  It goes on to say in (Genesis 1:27) “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created He them”.  Notice in this verse, three times over, we find the word “created”.  It is a word that means “to bring into existence out of nothing”.  In answer to the doctrine of man and his theory of evolution, God says, three times over in one verse, that He created man, brought him into existence out of nothing.  Man was created on a “high plane” because God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”.  “Image” has to do with man’s position in that he represented God.  “Likeness” has to do with man’s nature in that he resembled God.
  • GOD GAVE MAN A MANDATE.   God said to man, (Genesis 1:28) “Let him have dominion – over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.  Man was given the highest place in God’s creation, dominion over every living thing.  But, something happened. 

 

Genesis (chapter 3) records man’s sin against God and man’s fall from his high estate in which God placed him.  Great was the fall”.  The penal consequences of sin are then recorded in the later part of chapter 3.  The guilty ones were;

 

  • Sentenced By God – There would be sorrow, suffering and death.  (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.
  • Clothed By God – (Genesis 3:21) “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them”.  The blood of an innocent victim was shed to provide a covering for their sin.  This was a foreshadowing of the greater sacrifice of the “Lamb of God”, the Lord Jesus Christ.  His precious blood would be shed, on the cross of Calvary, to provide for the believing sinner “the robe of righteousness and the garment of salvation”. 
  • Banished By God – When sin came in, man lost fellowship with God.  (Genesis 3:23) “The Lord God sent him forth from the garden – He drove out the man”.  (Isaiah 59:2) “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear”.

 

The fall of man was great.  It was catastrophic.  The effects of the entry of sin into the world were immediate, far-reaching and indescribably devastating.  It has been said that sin struck;

 

  • UPWARDS – Man was challenging the authority of God.  God said “Thou shalt not”.  Man said, “I shall”.
  • INWARDS – Man became alienated from God.  Spiritual death was immediate.  The physical body of man became subject to death.
  • DOWNWARDS – The Earth was brought under the curse of God.  The animal and vegetable creations were cursed and their nature changed.  Animals became aggressive.  The vegetable creations deteriorated and the Earth would only yield its fruit reluctantly.
  • FORWARDS – Sin struck through all the future ages of time, putting the whole of man’s posterity under the sentence of death.  It says in (Romans 5:12) “ As by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.  We read in, (1 Corinthians 15:22) “In Adam all die”. 

 

It is in the Bible that you can get the “knowledge of sin”.  Have you ever realized that you are the sinner for whom Christ died?  Have you ever considered that it was your sins that the Savior carried to the cross?  Whether you are Jew or Gentile, it matters not, because all have sinned”.  Notice the following verse’s, found in (Romans, chapter 3), which will confirm this;

 

·        (vs.10) “There is none righteous, no not one”.

·        (vs.11) “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God”.

·        (vs.12) “There is none that doeth good, no not one”.

·        (vs.23)”All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.

 

This is “God’s portrait of you, and every person.  Because we are all sinners by nature, we soon become sinners by practice.  Sin is any thought, word, deed, or attitude of heart and mind that displeases God.  God must visit His judgment upon sin and the sinner, if that person dies with his sins unforgiven.  In this portion of scripture in (Matthew 7:24-29) that we mentioned in the beginning, there is a warning about “foundations”.  Is your foundation upon the “rock” (which is Jesus Christ) or are you building upon “sand”?  Everyone is a “builder” in life.  We are all building as we go through life.  We are “building” a life for our self.  We may be “building” a family or a career.  We are “building” character as we go through life.  We are “building” our hopes for eternity.  In a literal building, the foundation is rarely seen.  It is the superstructure that is evident to the eye.  It is the same in “the building of life”.  It is only the outward things that can be seen with the eye.  We can see the outward lives of people but we cannot see their “foundation”, what they are depending upon for eternal life in Heaven.  It says in (verses 24 and 25) that it is a wise person who hears and believes the words of the Lord Jesus Christ (the Gospel).  This is likened to a person who built his house upon a rock so that when the storm came and beat upon the house it fell not because it was founded upon a rock.  Verses 26 and 27 describe a foolish person as one who hears/reads the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and does them not.  They reject God’s offer of salvation through acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  This is likened to a person who builds his house upon the sand.  When the storm came, the house fell and “great was the fall of it”.  Dear reader, what is your foundation?  What are you depending upon to get to heaven?  Are you a wise or foolish person?  It says in (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  When this time comes for you, will you be able to say “my foundation is on the rock, Jesus Christ”?  The hymn writer wrote;

 

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found

Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne

 

On Christ, the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

 

For man’s great fall, there is a great remedy.  It is “God’s Great Love”.

 

2.     THERE IS A GREAT LOVE

 

Please read (Ephesians 2:1-8).  After describing man’s fallen condition, course and conduct in the first three verses, we read in (Verse 4) “God is rich in mercy for HIS GREAT LOVE wherewith He loved us”.  Dear reader, I can say unto you, on the authority of the Word of God, that “God loves you”.  It says in (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”.  God does not want you to perish in your sins.  Because of that, and because He is a God of love, He proved His love for you by sending His Son into the world.  (John 3:16) “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  God’s love is great because of;

  • It’s Scope – “God so loved the world” … “that whosoever believeth”.  His love is extended to all of fallen mankind.  Every kindred, tribe. Tongue and nation.  It is true that ALL have sinned.  It is also true that ALL are loved by God.  His love has been extended even to you.
  • It’s Gift – “He gave His only begotten Son”.  (Romans 8:32) God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all”.  Heavens very best was given for even the very worst of sinners.  Have you received God’s gift or have you, up until now, rejected God’s wonderful gift? 
  • It’s Reward – “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  Salvation is the reward of those who believe the message of the Gospel.  God says that He will save those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as their very own personal Savior.  Have you believed on Him?  Are you saved? Those who will not believe in Him will perish in their sins. 

We see here in (Ephesians 2:4) that in spite of our condition, in spite of our course, in spite of our conduct, God who is rich in mercy, loved us with a great love.  Will you continue to spurn the love of God?  Man’s great fall resulted in the display of God’s great love.  God’s great love gave us a great Shepherd.

 

3.     THERE IS A GREAT SHEPHERD

 

It says in (Hebrews 13:20)”The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant”.  The Lord Jesus Christ is called the “great shepherd of the sheep”.  When we consider the Savior in His “shepherd character”, we must also consider what God has to say about the sinner in his “sheep character”.  The Psalmist said in (Psalm 119:176)”I have gone astray like a lost sheep.  Have you ever made such a confession to God?  Have you ever repented of your sins and by a definite act of faith received Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior?  It says in (Isaiah 53:6)“All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all”.  God says that if you’re not saved, you have gone astray from Him, like a lost sheep.  Because of that, God laid on His Beloved Son the iniquity of us all.  The “Great Shepherd” is called the “Good Shepherd” because He said in, (John 10:11)”I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep”.  This is what He did for you dear reader, He gave His life.  There on Calvary’s cross He laid down His life for straying sheep like you and me.  It says of Him in, (Philippians 2:8) “He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  AS A RESULT:

 

·        He suffered at the hands of man.

o       He was betrayed, blindfolded and beaten.  (Isaiah 52:14)”His visage was so marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men”.  His countenance/appearance was degraded and disfigured so that He was beyond recognition.

o       We were straying sheep, but He could say (Isaiah 50:5, 6)”I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.  I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, I hid not my face from shame and spitting”.  It says of him (Philippians 2:8) “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.

o       A Roman scourge laid open His back as a plowed field.  A crown of thorns was pressed upon His brow, a purple robe was placed upon Him, and they bowed the knee before Him.  This was all done to mock His Kingship.

o       When they finished their indignities and insults they led Him outside the city “to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him” (Luke 23:33).  They hammered the nails into His hands and feet and lifted Him up on a wooden cross.  (Acts 10:39) “Him they slew and hanged on a tree”.

 

·        He suffered at the hands of God

o       (Matthew 27:45) “From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour”.  The Lord Jesus had been suffering on the cross for three hours when a supernatural darkness came over all the land.  It was then that the divine wrath of a holy and righteous God was poured out upon His beloved Son.  We read the following in (Isaiah 53):

o       (Isaiah 53:6) “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.  Dear reader, He was bearing your heavy load of sins on the cross.  Have you ever really thought about this, that it was your sins that He carried to the cross?  Have you ever considered what Jesus did for you personally?  It says in (Isaiah 53:4) “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”.

o       (Isaiah 53:10) “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief, when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin”.  The judicial stroke of God fell upon God’s Shepherd.  It says in (Zechariah 13:7) “Awake, O sword against my Shepherd and against the man that is my fellow (my equal), smite the shepherd”, and the sheep shall be scattered”. The “sword of divine justice” smote the Savior in those three hours of darkness.  (Hebrews 2:9) “By the grace of God He tasted death for every man”.  He tasted death for you dear reader.  It was for your sins that He died on that cross.  Have you, until now, rebuffed His great love for you and rejected His person and His sacrifice on the cross for your sins?

 

The “smitten Shepherd” is a “Great Shepherd”.  Remember our scripture verse, (Hebrews 13:20) “The God of peace, that brought again from the dead, our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep”.  Yes He died.  Yes He was buried.  But, on the third day He was resurrected.  (Romans 4:25) “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the “heart” of the gospel message.  It says in, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, he was buried, he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.  Man’s great fall resulted in the display of God’s great love.  God’s great love was displayed in the giving of His great Shepherd.  God’s great Shepherd, by the offering of Himself on Calvary’s cross, has provided for mankind a great salvation. 

 

4.     THERE IS A GREAT SALVATION

 

It says in (Hebrews 2:3) “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation”?   It is a question with only one answer.  There is no escape from the wrath and judgment of a holy God if you die in your sins.  God has provided salvation for you through the cross work of His beloved Son.  God provided a Savior so that you might be saved.  You need to be saved because God must punish sin and the sinner.  God is a holy and righteous Being and therefore hates sin in any shape or form, and must punish it.  It says of God (Habakkuk 1:13) “He is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon iniquity”.  God has made these solemn declarations in His Word.  (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  (Ezekiel 18:20) “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”.  Just as the law of this land must righteously punish the lawbreaker, so God must visit His judgment upon the sinner that dies with his sins unforgiven.  Have you, up until this time, neglected God’s Great Salvation?  If you have, and this describes you, now is the time to get right with God.  Come to Him just as you are.  Tell Him you are a guilty sinner.  Tell Him you are a lost sinner.  Tell Him you are a helpless sinner.  Tell Him you are a hell-deserving sinner.  Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross, bore (or carried) all your sins in His own body and died and rose again to put them away.  Accept the Lord Jesus Christ, by a definite act of faith, to be your Savior and Lord.

 

 Dear reader, in closing let me remind you that you are traveling the “highway of life” passing through time on the way to an endless eternity to be spent in either heaven or hell.  In light of eternity your time here is not only brief but it is uncertain.  It says in, (James 4:14) “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor (a mist, a puff of smoke) that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”.  Have you made preparation for eternity?  It says in, (Amos 4:12) “Prepare to meet thy God”.  Are YOU prepared for this meeting?  Now that you have read this message you have come to a “crossroads” on your life’s journey.  Which way will you go?  What decision will you make?  Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s offer of salvation?  Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him to be your Lord and Savior?  It says in, (John 3:18) “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”.  It’s your decision and your responsibility.

 

Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Will you be a believer or a non-believer?  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.

 

Christian Messenger