Friday, October 11, 2013

The Christian Message

Next in Interrupted Series - Christian Hope, Christian Calling, Christian Response, Christian Reward.

Definition:  the message we (Christians) have Received
                 the message we are to Pass On

One one hand, message covers a lot of ground!  Examples:  the Bible, Revelation:  We believe God has revealed Himself to us.
On the other hand, "Christian Message" often (traditionally) refers to the core parts/the primary essentials of the message.  IE:  THE GOSPEL

Bridge Illustration:    
                            (Animation from

Illustration leads to the "Gospel" - which is the core.  Comes from (old English) god spel (good tale, story --> news)

We know the gospel has 2 sides:
     Bad news - sinners/separated/without remedy (hope)
     Good news - IN Christ, can find Redemption/Reconciliation/Restoration

This is the message we have Received.
This is the message we are to Pass On.

This is not a message we have contrived, made up, or has evolved over the years.

I.  The Message We've Received (handed to us)
Received From God -->Apostles-->Us - Eph. 2:19-20

Not like the telephone game, where passed from one to another to another to another and finally to you - see how message differs from what originally said.
But, because of a plethora of texts - we have thousands of manuscripts going right back to the apostles -
the message is passed from the Apostles directly to you (through translator)

II.  The Message we are to Pass On.
Examples:  1 Cor. 15:1-4  1 John 1:1, 5 - directly from Christ Himself

So, why so hesitant to proclaim? pass it on??
Because the message is:
1)  Offensive includes alienation/exclusivity/judgment, etc.
2)  Invasive:  intrudes into private life (heart/soul)
3)  Confrontational:  = a challenge with expectation of resistance!!
4)  Ancient - often considered primitive/old fashioned/out-dated

The Gospel IS offensive (not that you should be)
The Holy Spirit IS invasive and confrontational - so be careful
The Message IS ancient --- BUT, it is NOT out-dated.  As relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.  Nothing meets the needs of man like the Gospel Message.  Rom. 1:16

There IS no other way for man to be saved except through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

this = the message we have received and are to pass on!

III  The Message Entrusted to us.
2 Tim. 2:2 - committed to our care/keeping

As Stewards .... we've no right to:
1)  Alter the message, whether we think offensive or not.
2) Withhold the message - have an obligation to share.
3)  Reduce the message - water it down to make more appealing
Example:  Love of God is essential to the Gospel BUT = 1/2 the Gospel)
Doesn't mean we mush share the whole gospel every time we share the Love of Christ, But to be complete/effective, we must share the whole story.  Rom. 1:16 (again)

How, when, opportunity to share left to the individual - all have different gifts and different ways.

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