At Cornerstone, we’ve begun a six part series in our Adult Sunday School class, using Matthias Media’s Six Steps to Talking About Jesus. Session Two was about understanding the gospel. We need to know what the gospel is, what are it’s basic component “parts” in order to communicate the gospel message to someone else. It was a very helpful review for most, I’m sure, yet still a “new” presentation. They use Ephesians 2.1–10 and four R’s:
Rebellion – all of us have rebelled against God, our Creator, and are guilty and under judgment.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1–3 ESV)
Rescue – God, out of His mercy and love, has given us His Son Jesus to deliver us from this sentence of death.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” (Ephesians 2:4–5 ESV)
Resurrection – When Christ died, we died too – by faith in Him; when He rose from the dead, by faith, so did we.
“so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7 ESV)
Reward – God’s gives us marvelous gifts: faith to believe, grace by which we’re saved, and great things to be done for Him.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10 ESV)
How do I know when I’m really understanding the gospel?
When it seems too good to be true.
Read the rest and stand amazed that He saved you (and me).
I was born in central Iowa, raised in a godly home with two first generation Christian parents. The Evangelical Free Church of Madrid, Iowa was where I heard the teaching of the Word of God all my “growing up” years. There were some of the most dear and faithful servants of our Lord serving there, who will never be known around the world, but will hear (or, as is the case for some already, have heard) their Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
When I was between the ages of 12 & 13, I attended Bible camp at Twin Lakesin northwest Iowa. Pastor Don Stover (another of those saints who has entered God’s rest) was telling us the story of Pilgrim’s Progress using blacklight flannel graph (really cool high-tech in 1970!). When Christian gets to the foot of the cross and his burden of sin rolls away into the empty tomb, God had me. I was gloriously converted to Jesus Christ, my Savior.
God’s call to the ministry was a long, gradual process through which He used many people to lead me and confirm within me His will to be a minister. He also used one or two key people to bring me to the doctrines of grace. I had been in ministry for about 6 years when the light of these truths were shown so brightly to me. I trust that I have grown in my understanding of them and have caused others to rejoice in the absolute free sovereign grace of our God.
I have been married for 29 years and have three children.I have earned a B.A. from Trinity College (now Trinity International University)in Biblical Studies, and later earneda MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, have served four Evangelical Free churches since 1986, and am currently the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN since 1997.
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