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Gospel 101 – An Apostolic Introduction, Part 3: A Gospel to be Received

December 3, 2007

hc541.jpg(The following is completely and accurately excerpted from HeartCry Missionary Society’s Magazine, Issue 54 pgs. 8-13)

For the Gospel to function as the Gospel, it must be received by the hearer. Receiving the Gospel is not just possessing it but embracing it with firm faith and trust. Brothers and sisters, implore your friends, family, strangers, and all sinners to receive the Gospel. It is a supernatural work of God and His Holy Spirit. For man, who in his natural state hates God and declares war on Him by his rebellion and infinite offense to God, to love God and come to find his full joy and satisfaction in Jesus Christ is a miracle. It is by receiving this Good News message that men are saved and converted to life everlasting. Brothers and sisters, continue to receive this Gospel and implore others to receive it!

——————the following is excerpted from HeartCry’s 54th Edition———-

A Gospel to Be Received

… which also you received,
I Corinthians 15:1

For men to be saved, the Gospel must be received. Yet, what
does it mean to “receive” the Gospel? There is nothing extraordinary
about the word “received” in English or biblical Greek, but
in the context of the Gospel, it becomes
quite extraordinary, and one of the most
radical words in Scripture.

First, when two things are contrary
or diametrically opposed to one another,
to receive the one is to reject the other.
Since there is no affinity or friendship
between the Gospel and the world, to “receive”
the Gospel is to “reject” the world.
In this is demonstrated just how radical
the act of receiving the Gospel can be. To
receive and follow the Gospel call is to
reject all that can be seen with the eye and
held in the hand, in exchange for what
cannot be seen. It is to reject personal
autonomy, the right to self-government,
in order to enslave oneself to a “messiah”
who died two thousand years ago as an
enemy of the state and a blasphemer. It
is to reject the majority and its views, in order to join oneself to a
berated and seemingly insignificant minority called the Church. It
is to risk everything in this one and only life in the belief that this
impaled prophet is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Secondly, for a man to “receive the Gospel” is for Him to trust
exclusively in the person and work of Jesus Christ as the only way
of right standing before God. It is a common maxim that to trust in
anything exclusively is dangerous, or at best, a very unwise thing to
do. A man is considered careless to not have a backup plan, to not
have an alternative escape route, to not diversify his investments,
or to put all his eggs in the same basket and burn bridges behind
him. Yet, this is the very thing that is done by the man who receives
Jesus Christ. The Christian faith is exclusive. To truly receive Christ
is to throw off every other hope in every other thing, but Christ
alone. It is for this reason that the Apostle Paul declares that the
Christian is of all men most to be pitied, if Christ is a hoax.5 To
receive the Gospel is not merely to pray a prayer asking Jesus to
come into one’s heart, but it is to put away the world and embrace
the fullness of the claims of Christ.

To “receive the Gospel” is to open one’s life to the Lordship of
Jesus Christ. This is quite different from the plea of contemporary
evangelism that directs men to “make Jesus Lord” of their lives.
What we must understand is that Jesus IS the Lord of every man.
The Scriptures declare that God has made Him both Lord and
Christ.6 He has installed His King upon His holy mountain and
scoffs at those who would rebel against Him.7 God does not call
men to make Jesus Lord, but to live in absolute submission to the
Lord He has made.

The man who receives the Gospel, and with it, Jesus as Lord,
does a very dangerous and sensible thing. It is dangerous in a
Narnian8 sort of way. After all, He is not a tame Lion, and He is
certainly not safe. He has the right to ask anything of those who
call Him Lord, but He is good, and worthy of joyful trust. Those
who do not understand the danger of the Gospel call have heard
it only faintly. The same Jesus, who calls the weary to Himself,9
may also ask of them everything, and send them forth to lose their
lives for His sake10 in this dark and fallen world.

To receive the Gospel and Jesus as Lord is also a sensible
thing to do. What could be more reasonable than to follow the omnipotent
Creator and Sustainer of the universe, who has loved His
people with an eternal love, redeemed
them with His own blood, and demonstrated
uncompromising commitment to
every promise He has made? Even if He
were not this way, and all this goodness
was not in Him, it would still be most
sensible to follow Him for who can resist
His will? It is for these reasons and
countless more, the Apostle urges us
“to present our bodies a living and holy
sacrifice, acceptable to God”, and calls
it our spiritual or “reasonable service of

To “receive the Gospel” is for the world
and self to be dethroned and for Christ
to become our new epicenter! He becomes
the source, the purpose, the goal,
and the motivation of all that we are and
do. When a man receives the Gospel, his
entire life begins to be lived out in a different context, and that
context is Christ. Although the outward signs at the moment of true
conversion may be less than dramatic, the gradual effects will be
monumental. Like a pebble cast in the center of a lake, the ripple
effect of the Gospel will eventually reach the full circumference
of the believer’s life and touch every shore.

Finally, to “receive the Gospel” is to take it as the very source
and sustenance of one’s life. Christ cannot be received as “a part”
of one’s life or as an addition to all the other good things that one
already possesses without Him. He is not some minor accessory
that dresses up our life and makes it better. In receiving the Gospel,
He becomes our life. In John 6:53, Jesus taught, “Truly, truly, I say
to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His
blood, you have no life in yourselves.” In Psalm 34:8, David cries
out, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” What could make it
clearer? To receive Christ into our lives is for Him to become for
us not only a necessary meal that sustains us, but also an exquisite
meal in which we delight.

5 I Corinthians 15:19
6 Acts 2:36
7 Psalm 2:4-6
8 A reference to The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
9 Matthew 11:28
10 Matthew 10:16, 39
11 Romans 12:1

From → Gospel

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