Category Archives: Sharing the Good News

Christ Paid For Our Sins

Introduction

Finally, some good news – Jesus paid you sin debt! Today, we’ll look at the price that God paid to redeem your soul.

Scripture Reading

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:6-8)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1Co 15:3-4)

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isa 53:4-6)

Christ Died for the Ungodly

As we’ve seen, we were all in trouble. We were sinners under the just condemnation of a holy God. On our own, there was nothing we could do to save ourselves. God revealed His love for us by giving His Son for us. He didn’t wait for sinners to clean up their act. Christ died for sinners to make them saints.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1Jo 4:9-10)

Christ’s sacrifice was not a last minute reaction to man’s sin. As Paul reminded the Corinthians, it was “according to the Scriptures.” Centuries before Paul wrote that, Isaiah predicted the coming of One who would bear our briefs, carry our sorrows, and be wounded for our transgressions. Imagine this – “the LORD … laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus Christ bore the punishment for all the sins of all the people in all the world in every time.

What About You?

  • Have you trust Jesus Christ, who gave His life for you, as your Savior?
  • Are you telling others the good news about the One who loved them enough to give His life to be their Savior?

Saved By Faith

Introduction

As we saw yesterday, Christ paid the price for our sins. Today, we’ll see what it takes for us to benefit from His sacrifice.

Scripture Reading

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:9-10)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:13)

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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. (Joh 3:14-18)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

Calling on the Name of the Lord

It’s wonderful that Jesus Christ has paid the price for all our sins, but that alone is not enough to save us. If it were, everyone would be saved. It’s clear from the Bible, though, that not everyone is not saved. So what’s missing? Unbelief, an absence of faith, is what separates the lost from the saved.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (Joh 3:36)

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Heb 4:1-2)

Believe … Have Eternal Life

What would eternal life be worth to you if you could buy it? How much money would you pay to avoid going to Hell? How hard would you work if you could earn a place in Heaven by your good deeds? If it were possible, you’d give all that you had to save you eternal soul. And God has the right establish any requirements He wants to gain His favor.

So what does God require? What payment does He demand for the forgiveness of our sins and a place in Heaven? He requires that we admit that we are sinners in need of what Christ did for us. We must believe that Christ’s sacrifice completely paid sin’s penalty. We must receive Christ personally as our Savior. We either believe on Christ and have eternal life, or reject Christ and remain under the wrath of God.

God made the plan of salvation so simple that a child could believe it and receive it. He made it so simple that anyone from any circumstance or background could believe and be saved.

What About You?

  • Have you trusted Christ as your Savior?
  • Have you asked others to trust Christ personally?

He Saves Us

Introduction

We’ll close out the week by considering how God responds to those who put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of their sins.

Scripture Reading

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:12-13)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (Joh 5:24)

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:40)

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (Joh 20:31)

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:8-9)

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1Jo 5:11-13)

Saved

God saves believers. He rescues us from our sins and the penalty for those sins. We escape His condemnation by faith. He delivers us from the permanency of death by faith. It can’t win over us, but God raises believers from the dead. He rescues them from an eternity in hell.

Everlasting, Eternal Life

Not only does God save believers from something, He also saves them to something. He gives belivers eternal life. Life that never ends. We tap in to the unending life of God Himself by faith. Forgiveness of sins, the friendship of God and a future in Heaven are just some of the blessings of God to those who put their trust in Christ as their Savior.

What About You?

  • Are you enjoying the benefits God gives to believers?
  • Are you telling others about Christ so they can share in these blessings?

Being a Good Parent

Introduction

We’re going to wrap up our study of Sharing the Good News this week by looking at what it takes to be a good spiritual parent.

Scripture Reading

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. (1Co 4:14-17)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. (1Ti 1:1-2)

To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Tit 1:4)

Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: (Phm 1:9-10)

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Gal 4:19)

Many Teachers, One Parent

Throughout his writings, Paul spoke of those he has led to Christ as his spiritual children. He warned the Corinthians as his “beloved sons.” He wrote to Timothy and Titus as “my own son.” Paul obviously had a sense of relationship to and responsibility for his spiritual offspring.

Paul’s attitude is quite a contrast to those who think their only job is to get a lost soul to pray the sinner’s prayer. They consider their job over when someone receives Jesus Christ as their Savior. That’s as foolish as thinking your job is over when your child is born in the hospital. As every parent knows, that’s not the end of your work, it’s just the beginning. Others help in the process, but you are most responsible for the welfare of your children, physically and spiritually.

Helping in Every Way

All of the Bible passages you read today were written by a concerned spiritual father to his children in the faith. Paul warned, beseeched, and offered himself as an example for the Corinthians. He sent Timothy to help them when he couldn’t be there himself. We wrote letters to Timothy and Titus, telling them how to do what God had called them to do. He addressed problems in their lives and challenged them to be all that God called them to be. When Paul led Onesimus, the runaway slave, to Christ, he wrote to his master, Philemon, to restore and improve their broken relationship. Though he led many Galatians to Christ, he said, “I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” He want to lead them to Christ and make them like Christ.

You know relationship and responsibility for others is not easy. It takes work and it can drain you physically and emotionally. But this is the pattern of parenting the Bible gives us. We are called to make disciples (Mat 28:18-20), not just converts. It’s better to win a soul than to not win a soul. It’s best to make a disciple.

What About You?

  • Are you a disciple, a learner-follower of Christ, or a convert?
  • Do you disciple those you win to Christ, or abandon them like spiritual orphans?

Saved and Baptized

Introduction

Part of good spiritual parenting is getting your children off to a good start. Baptism is a wonderful first step in the Christian life, and you should encourage those you lead to Christ to take this step.

Scripture Reading

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Mat 28:18-19)

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Act 2:37-41)

Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Act 10:47-48)

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. (Act 16:14-15)

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. (Act 16:29-33)

Baptism – A First Act of Obedience

Notice that all the folks in the passages you read today had two things in common. First, they responded in faith to the the preaching of the gospel. Second, they were baptized soon after they were saved. Their baptist was an outward, public demonstration of the faith in their hearts.

Taking that first step is, hopefully, the starting part of a lifetime of obedience. As a parent, it’s a great way to teach your spiritual children how to walk with God.

What About You?

  • Have you been baptized since you were saved?
  • Do you encourage those who trust Christ to follow Him in baptism?

Added to the Church

Introduction

Good parents encourage their spiritual children become part of a Bible-preaching local church.

Scripture Reading

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:18-20)

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Act 2:37-41)

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:24-25)

Teaching Them

One of the most important jobs God has given the church is to train saints to follow the Savior. Notice that Christ’s command to teach follows His command to baptize. When you read in the book of Acts, you find the same pattern. People are saved, baptized, added to the church, and taught. Believers become part of Christ’s body the moment they are saved. The church they are added to after baptism is a local church. Then thy are taught to follow the teachings of Christ.

Not Forsaking the Assembling

Gathering with God’s people is an important ingredient of spiritual growth. We meet together to encourage each other and help each grow in love and good works. New Christians should be encourage to take part consistently in the assembly. (And, of course, setting a good example is one of the best ways to encourage others.)

What About You?

  • Do you consistently asemble with God’s people?
  • Do you encourage others to be faithful to church services?

Discipled and Prayed For

Introduction

Being a good spiritual parent takes more than getting folks in the baptistry and the pew. It demands person attention – prayer and a godly example.

Scripture Reading

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Phi 1:3-11)

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1Co 11:1)

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Phi 4:9)

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. (2Ti 3:10-11)

In Every Prayer of Mine for You

The Scripture reading from Philippians is one example of Paul’s prayers for the saints. The phrase “upon every rememberance of you” indicates that he thought of them often. He didn’t just lead folks to Christ and forget about them. As he said, “I have you in my heart.” He prayed for their spiritual growth and holiness.

Be Followers of Me

Paul taught his disciples. He prayed for them. But more than that, he set a godly example for them to follow. He encouraged them to follow him as he was following Christ. He encouraged the Philippians to do the things they had seen in him. Paul reminded Timothy of the example he set for him. Paul understood that a good example is one of the most power ways you can help and influence others.

What About You?

  • Are you praying for those you have led to Christ? Are they in your heart?
  • Are you setting an example that you can encourage you spiritual children to follow?

Difficulties and Delights of Making Disciples

Introduction

We’ll finish this series on Sharing the Good News by considering the burdens and blessings of spiritual parenting.

Scripture Reading

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. (Gal 4:19-20)

But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy. (1Th 2:17-20)

The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3Jo 1:1-4)

Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. (Phi 4:1)

I Travail in Birth Again

Paul experienced the pangs of his children’s growth pains. He longed for them to be like Christ. He was emotionally invested into their lives. This is one of the hard parts about making disciples. You have to care. It’s messy, it’s time-consuming, it can be disappointing and discouraging. That’s one of the reasons so few Christians make disciples.

No Greater Joy

Paul called the Thessalonian believers his, “glory and joy.” John said, “I have no greater joy han to hear that my children walk in truth.” It’s a thrill to see those you have led to Christ take their first steps – baptism and church membership. It’s rewarding to see follow them walk with the Lord and grow in grace. And what matches the thrill of learning that you’re a spiritual grandparent?

Paul had a long-term view of spiritual parenting. He knew that the toil and the tears it cost him in this world would be well worth it when Christ returned. He knew that his disciples would be his his hope, his joy, his crown of rejoicing “in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming.”

The wealth we accumulate, the buildings we build, our inventions and accomplishments – all of it will perish. The one thing we can take with us to Heaven are the people we have led to Christ and the Christians we have influenced for good. They are jewels – eternal treasures. To lay up this heavenly treasure, you must share the good news.

What About You?

  • Are you laying up treasure in Heaven?
  • Are you a good spiritual parent?

Looking Ahead

Next week, Progressive Devotions will present a one week series by Nathan Gardner. Then we’re off to Louisville for a week of vacation: 30th anniversary celebration, wife’s birthday, visiting new grandson, etc. After that, we’ll begin a series on prayer.