- “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” – 1 Corinthians 1:30 KJV
- “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” – Romans 12:5 (KJV)
- “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” – Ephesians 3:17 (KJV)
Good Morning CLMNWA Family, I am excited to have an opportunity to start a must read teaching series titled “The Gospel According To Paul” written and posted to You Version by John MacArthur. It is essential that we have a clear understanding of the Gospel and what it was that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection did for those of us that are whosoevers that have called upon the name of the Lord, and why it’s necessary for non-believers to become whosoever’s that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
I’m going back to the old way of writing these messages just for this teaching series, and there will be 5 messages in this series.
I think it’s a good idea to give John MacArthur’s introduction to this devotional to help us to get a better idea of where we’re going with not only this message, but this series as well. So, here it is:
“No matter which gospel text we turn to, that same question arises. Indeed, it is impossible to understand the gospel at all without first considering the quandary of human fallenness—and candidly acknowledging all the seemingly impossible barriers sin puts between God and the sinner.” – John MacArthur
Today’s message answers the most important question we all need to know the answer to: “How Can We Be Right With God?”
As always, believe with me that the Holy Ghost will make my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer, writing only of the oracles of God with bold, clear, powerful unction that can only come through the supernatural anointing of the Holy Ghost. Let’s also believe and ask that the Holy Ghost would give us all ears to hear, and hearts that will receive and respond to what He’s about to speak to us not only through this message, but this entire series…and most of all that we would encounter Jesus along the way.
How Can We Be Right With God?
It’s a question that I don’t hear asked very often anymore, but it’s the most important question any of us will ever answer in our lives. The answer to this question carries with it grave consequences for getting the answer wrong, and amazingly beautiful consequences for getting it right.
This question, of course, mirrors another question that has slowly been erased from the church: What are you going to do about Jesus?
This series is also going to answer another very important question as it relates to the last things Jesus told us to do before He ascended into Heaven.
He said to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Paul and Peter both talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and this series is actually going to teach us the Gospel through the revelation of it that Paul had, and that to me is of vital importance because it’s with that revelation that Paul wrote two-thirds of the New Testament.
The gospel some times made him friends, but often it got him thrown in to prison because what Paul was teaching wasn’t the popular thing to say back then…and it’s kind of fitting that like he said what he preached and wrote is also not very popular with the world today. In fact, there are places today where preaching the Gospel can get you thrown into prison, and executed today just like it did back in Paul’s day.
So, let’s get into this message, and find out what the gospel is and how it is that we can be right with God.
“If we’re all guilty before God, without any excuse for our sin, how will anyone stand in the judgment? If works of righteousness cannot atone for our evil deeds, how could any sinner ever be saved from the guilt and bondage of sin? If God demands utter perfection and we are already irreparably imperfect, what hope is there for us? Indeed, He expressly says He “will not justify the wicked”; so does that mean our doom is already sealed? How could a just God justify the ungodly?” – John MacArthur
There’s no question that the Bible makes it clear that there is a God, that there is a way to have a relationship with this God, if we accept this relationship with God there will be wondrous results, if we reject Him there will be horrendous results, and God gave us His Word for the sole purpose of telling us that He wants this relationship with all of us…but there is only one way to have it…and that way is through Jesus Christ.
The Bible is a love story, but it’s also a written warning from God that we all need to be right with God because it will have very serious eternal consequences.
There’s also no question that every one of us (thanks to Adam) enters the world already a sinner. Yes, it’s true that before children reach that “age of accountability” should they perish they are ushered into Heaven, but the fact is we are all born into this world already guilty before God. But, the good news (the Gospel) tells us that we can, indeed be made right with God, and there is a way to be saved from spending all of eternity separated from Him. There is a way that cannot be earned, that cannot be bought, that cannot be worked for…and that way is by hearing the Gospel and then believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that what Jesus did on the Cross was for you.
That’s the first and most important step of the Christian walk…believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord just as I have done many years ago.
How then could a just God justify the ungodly?
“Sound gospel answers to those questions go decidedly against the mainstream of popular opinion. Every belief system ever concocted by the human mind answers those crucial questions wrongly. In one way or another, all this world’s religions (and all the major political ideologies and social theories, for that matter) teach that people need to earn righteousness for themselves through some kind of merit system.” – John MacArthur
Before we answer what will work I believe we should talk for a bit about what won’t work.
For example, with God there are no participation trophies, and that means we cannot inherit eternal life because our grandparents or parents were saved, we can’t be saved because we go to church, we can’t be saved because we’re good people, and we can’t be saved at all by our own merits. There is absolutely nothing within our own efforts or merits or pocketbooks that will get us right with God.
I’m well aware of the fact that there are preachers out there today that no longer preach the gospel because it’s unpopular, and let me just say that those preachers will be held accountable to God for leading His people astray.
Religious affiliation won’t work. Being a volunteer at the soup kitchen is a noble thing to do, but that’s not going to make you right with God. There’s no ideology or theology or system outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will bring you to a place were you are right and justified before a HOLY God.
As John MacArthur states ALL of the world systems, theologies, religions, and all that teach that man can achieve righteousness via his own methods is wrong, and while it may sound better than what’s actually written in the Bible…there is, there has, and there always will be ONE Way…and that way to righteousness is through Jesus.
“One of the most crystal-clear teachings of the Bible is that no one gains God’s favor by self-effort—least of all those who self-identify as righteous. True believers are united with Christ “through faith,” and therefore they too are “in Christ.” God accepts them and blesses them on that basis. That is how He “justifies the ungodly.” – John MacArthur
Listen. Anyone that’s followed Christlike Ministries NWA for any length of time knows that one of my absolute favorite verses in the entire Bible is John 14:6, and the reason I love it so much is because of it’s blunt, honest truth that there’s only ONE Way to achieve this right standing before God, and it’s through the Cross which is preached when we preach the Gospel.
The Gospel in a nutshell is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NKJV), but in reality the entirety of Paul’s teaching from Acts through Philemon really goes in-depth of what Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection was about…and why the only way to be saved is by believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths Jesus Christ as our Lord.
Paul takes the time to really explain to us why and how being a whosoever that’s called upon the name of the Lord really is the only way. It explains why Peter said there’s no other name given by which men must be saved. It explains why all religions and all gods aren’t the same, and that there really isn’t multiple ways to be right with God. There is, as Jesus stated One and only One Way…and that way is through Him.
I believe John MacArthur helps to sum this up as well, and it’s with this final point by him that we will close today’s message.
The very One who gave the law that condemns us also supplies the righteousness needed to save us. And that is the only merit we need to have a right standing before Him.
You see, there’s a reason Jesus is the central theme though out the Bible.
From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is about this plan that God had before the foundations of the earth of having a relationship with His greatest creation…us. Of all the beings that He created WE are the apple of His eye…His greatest pride and joy, but as we know from the Bible there’s a god in this world that doesn’t want us to have this relationship with God.
So, he came to Eve in the form of a serpent…and…well…the very place we’re at right now is the result of the first Adam’s disobedience.
See, we’re all guilty before God because of Adam’s disobedience, but the good news is that we can all be made right before God because of the last Adam’s obedience. It’s because Jesus came, lived a perfectly sinless life, died upon the cross, was buried, and rose again to purchase our righteousness with His innocent blood that we are made to be in right-standing with God.
That’s why the only way to be right with God is for Christ to be in us and for us to be in Him…because when God looks at all of us whosoevers that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved…He doesn’t see us, He doesn’t see our sin…He sees the shed blood of His precious Son.
As Mr. MacArthur states…the One who gave us the law is the One that supplies the very righteousness we need to be saved and given this right-standing before a holy and just God that demands perfection. The perfection that God demands isn’t attainable by our own efforts or merits…in only comes by being in Christ, and I’m sure we’ll talk more about that in coming messages.
For now, however, let’s wrap this message up here, and get ready to enjoy the weekend. Thank y’all for joining me as we walk through this teaching series that I believe is of the utmost importance, and I hope you’ll join me again for message two of this series: “The Essential Elements of the Message”.
Until then, have a wonderful 4th of July weekend, be safe, have fun, be responsible, and of course thank you all as always for your prayers, patience and support.
Dear Father God, I know that there is nothing that I could do to merit my salvation or to gain Your forgiveness and thank You that You have offered me the free gift of salvation, simply by trusting in the Lord Jesus as my Savior. Thank You that Jesus chose to pay the full price for my sin and that You have accepted His death on the cross. Thank You that He was willing to shed His blood at Calvary, and die on my behalf. Thank You that by His death and resurrection He has washed away all the sin in my life and has cleansed my stained and guilty heart, making it clean and pure.. and as white as snow. Thank You for this wonderful free gift of Salvation and the knowledge that there is nothing left for me to do except to believe in Him as Lord. Thank You that I have not only been forgiven and cleansed of all my sin but He has also covered me in His own perfect righteousness and given me eternal life, with a special place reserved for me in heaven.. for all eternity. There are no words that can express my love and gratitude for this amazing free gift of grace – and all I can say is thank You – thank You father God for Your amazing love and grace – in Jesus name I pray, Amen
Final Word From Pastor B
As a reminder, I am still selling the book “7 Hebrew Words for Praise”, and you can get your copy here: https://www.createspace.com/6896095. Getting this book is a great way to get yourself a copy of Christlike Ministries NWA’s most popular teaching series, and you can also help keep the ministry online. If you would like to give directly to the ministry without receiving a book you can go to https://www.paypal.me/christministnwa, and please know that all funds that come into the ministry go towards ministry expenses (electric bill, internet bill etc.).
If you are on Facebook and would like to connect with Christlike Ministries NWA there you can do so by going to https://www.facebook.com/ChristlikeMinistriesNWA/, and you can send me a direct friend request by going to https://www.facebook.com/CLMNWAPastorB.
We’re going to be starting another series tomorrow over on the Christlike Ministries NWA Facebook Page exclusively for my Facebook audience. That series is going to be titled: “Who God Is?”, and it will also be a 5 message series. If you want to be able to read the messages in that series you’ll have to either friend me or like the Facebook page. Those links have already been provided in the paragraph above this one. So, please make sure that if you’re on Facebook you connect with me and the ministry there. We are inching closer to the 500 fan mark, and I’m hoping in the very near future to start promoting my page.
God has led me to simplify what I’m doing online in order to obtain better balance in my life, and so I’ll be going back to the days when I had just the one blog and my Facebook page.
So, that’s enough for today. Thank you all for your prayers, patience and support. I’m always humbled and very thankful for all of you that make Christlike Ministries NWA possible. Thank you for all of the follows, likes, comments, messages, and more. I want y’all to know that every one of you being a part of the CLMNWA Family encourages me, and that I’m very aware that there isn’t a Christlike Ministries NWA Family without you. I love and appreciate you…and I pray and thank God for you all.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and please join me back here for the second message of this series, and on Facebook tomorrow for the opening message of my new series there. Until then may God bless every one of us with immeasurable grace, mercy, and love…and may we encounter Him in greater ways that will leave us changed and transformed for ever.
Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B