The Gospel February 26, 2013 – Posted in: Uncategorized

The following is the gospel presented in a creative way, that you may only be so familiar with.

Most of us know the gospel as “Jesus died for our sins.” But this is the good news telling us of this Jesus, who died for our sins, who He really is according to the scriptures.

(Hint, He’s not just some small Galilean man, nor never really was.)

I have two conversation type questions which I’ll state here, and repeat at the end.

1. Do you know the Gospel in such a way, that you could be immersed in it, and it in you, eating and drinking it in, for the rest of your life ?

2. Could you convey the gospel in such a way, that one’s chief response would be the desire for baptism and/or communion?

 

p.s. I realize the formatting is a little different, each section or set of lines is meant to be thought provoking, and I thought it would read better spaced out, almost more like a poem or psalm, rather than a condensed paragraph. (At any rate, I hope you are encouraged by this.)

 

 

 

The Good News of Jesus Christ

 

Try to imagine a time before “time” existed.

Try to imagine a space before “space” existed.

 

Before the beginning, God was all there was.

 

God was all in all.

 

Christ was the Father’s greatest joy.

The Father could pour out His All – all of His Glory and Love, to the Son.

The Son would receive it perfectly, and pour it all back.

Perfect Love, between them by the Spirit.

This is Christ before creation.

 

During this time, the Trinity took counsel and decided a purpose to be hidden in Christ.

That purpose was to expand the Love and fellowship they were having with each other.

They decided to create our world and humanity, to house, embody, express and share the very same fellowship among the Father, Son and Spirit.

 

And so they created through Christ.

 

Creation was done by Christ, through Christ, for Christ.

 

Consequently, all of creation has His imprint upon it.

All of creation speaks of Christ to us.

 

Christ upholds all of creation by the power of His word.

Every galaxy and every atom is upheld currently by Christ.

He is the chief steward and manager of all of creation.

 

 

Christ is the image of the invisible God.

God is the invisible God – except for Christ.

 

Christ is God’s image.

 

The fullness of all of who God is, was pleased to dwell in Christ, and does to this day.

 

When Christ came to earth, He clarified to people what God is like.

 

Is God kind? Does He care for the poor and troubled? Does He care about what’s right? Does He cover people’s shame? Does He give mercy?

 

Does He like the religious to oppress?

 

Christ showed the answer to all these questions and more.

 

Christ also showed us what mankind is supposed to be like.

 

Christ showed us that we are to live by an indwelling Lord and an indwelling Life.

 

Christ fulfilled all of what we see in the old testament.

Not just a few prophecies, but all of the OT.

Anything you see in the OT – Christ is the substance of that.

Every structure, character, plot, place and theme gets it final summation in Christ.

 

Christ reconciled the entire created world on the cross.

 

Both the heavenly realm and the earthly realms, have started to fall back to Him, the original steward, through His making peace by the shedding of blood on the cross.

 

A small, but very significant, part of this reconciliation, includes your sin, shame and guilt – which He paid in full, for all of time.

 

On the cross He also put to death the religious and worldly systems – those misguided ways of doing things.

He even put to death, death itself, on the cross.

 

 

Christ brought forth the church, as part of the mystery which was hidden in Him, as purposed before the beginning.

Now the church, in which there is no economic, gender, or special religious class – but Christ is unified as all in all – this church – is to house God’s Life, Glory and Love, as it was purposed back before the beginning.

 

The Father is putting all in subjection to Christ, and Christ will hand it all over to the Father, like before the beginning, but in an expanded more full expression than ever before.

 

This church is coming to resemble Christ’s body – which is the image of God.

Christ is one with this church, as its true head.

He is bringing about a more rich and full expression of this church and thus His Kingdom on the earth, and in the heavenlies.

One day, His peace will utterly reign on the earth and in heaven there will be a wedding feast.

The purpose of housing and embodying God’s fellowship is on track and becoming more of a reality.

 

 

 

In Christ, all of these things have already happened.

As astonishing as this sounds, it’s true.

 

Christ stands outside of time.

 

Time is part of His creation, which He upholds.

In His mind and heart, He can see that He has already finished His works.

He created our world by determining it in His mind and heart and speaking it to be.

If He speaks to Himself, it’s as good as done – it’s just that some things haven’t happened to us yet.

 

For what He determined in His mind and heart, no one can thwart. Even if He determined  things before He created our world.

In Christ, it is all already finished.

What is already finished to Christ, is now subjected to creation and time – our experience.

 

— This Christ, who was the Father’s All before the beginning, who created everything and upholds it buy the word of His power, who showed us what God is like, and what man could be, who showed dominion on the earth over God’s enemies, who reconciled the earthly and heavenly realm through the cross, including full payment for our sin, putting to death the religious and worldly systems, putting to death, death itself, — this Christ  who brought forth the church – which was purposed in Him before the beginning, who is one with the church as its true heavenly head connected to His body on earth, yet destined for a more full expression, in the earthly and heavenly realms, — this Christ in whom all things have already happened, who created time and upholds all things to this day….this Christ …..

 

 

 

 

 

—-This Christ lives in you.

This Christ is our life.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, we have the joy and privilege, to live by His indwelling Life.

To receive, share and reciprocate the outpouring of the Father, His blessing, in Christ, through Christ, and as Christ. He’s the means and the ends of the blessing, for He is the blessing.

 

Christ has become for us our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, sanctification and redemption.

 

We are intelligent, separate, and right…in that Christ is these things.

 

Christ is our life.

 

Jesus said He did nothing on His own, but lived by the Father.

He prayed for us, that He would be in us the same way, that we would live by His Life.

 

The way to live by the indwelling life of Christ is by loving.

 

We mainly love God by loving others.

 

Love seeks to meet the need of the other.

 

As you sense the need of the other, you will sense the response that’s needed  – and it will be met by the indwelling life of Christ through you. This often is comprised of little things and natural seeming empathy.  (It may not often look or feel very spiritual.)

Tending to the need of the other is often discerned in the moment, according to how you would want to be treated in that moment.

 

As you learn to love throughout your life, you will learn that when you are alone, God is the ‘Other’ and His ‘need’ can be tended to as well. (Technically God has no real needs, but words fall short of describing some of the experience of living by the indwelling life of Christ.)

 

 

 

Question: What is our response to all of this?

Answer: Be baptized, eat and drink it in.

 

Be baptized, meaning be immersed into the reality of Christ and His indwelling life as described above.

Have this reality immersed in you.

 

Die (in a symbolic watery grave) to all that is not of this.

Be washed and cleansed to arise (as if from the grave) to walk in newness of life.

Bury your old self and reckon it dead, and be renewed, by putting on your new self.

The self that knows the vast reality of Christ.  The self that lives by His indwelling life, that loves the other, by meeting their need.

 The self that simply does the next thing in Love.

 

Whether you need to go through the physical act of baptism, or if you just need to “be baptized” as a state of being, a state of mind,  (making good on your previous baptism) either way – Be baptized.

 

 

Eat and Drink this is all in.

Christ, all of Him, is to be remembered as if we were eating and drinking Him in.

We eat so that we can be healthy and live.

We drink to be refreshed and live.

 

We eat and drink, so that we can love.

 

When we are weary, we need to eat. When we are dry and thirsty, we need to drink.

When there is a job to do, we make sure we are all well nourished beforehand.

When there is cause for leisure or celebration, we usually eat and drink.

 

All of this is to be taken in, as sustenance and intoxication.

 

In conclusion and in as often as you do it – do it in remembrance of Him.

Forum/Conversation Questions

1. Do you know the Gospel in such a way that you could be immersed in it, and it in you, eating and drinking it in, for the rest of your life ?

2. Could you convey the gospel in such a way, that one’s chief response would be the desire for baptism and/or communion?