What is the Gospel? - Lesson 7
The Power of Your Salvation
The Power of Your Salvation
TH106-07: The Power of Your Salvation
I. Understanding the Gospel
A. The Importance of the Gospel
B. Defining the Gospel
C. Elements of the Gospel
II. The Power of Salvation
A. God's Sovereignty
B. Human Responsibility
C. The Role of Faith
III. The Process of Salvation
IV. Implications of the Gospel
A. Assurance of Salvation
B. Transformation of Lives
C. Impact on Relationships
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the gospel's significance, its historical context, essential components, and implications for Christian life and relationships.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you'll understand the importance of Creation, the biblical account in Genesis, the Fall's consequences, and the Gospel's role in restoring creation.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteBy studying this lesson, you learn about the biblical perspective on sin, its origins, effects on human nature and society, and the restorative power of the Gospel message.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain insight into God's faithfulness in both the Old and New Testaments, from covenant relationships with Israel to the fulfillment of promises in Jesus Christ, guiding your life and encouraging others.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain insight into Jesus as the Messiah, His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and the profound impact of His life and ministry on humanity's salvation.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain a thorough understanding of the atonement, its theories, biblical basis, and practical implications for personal salvation and spiritual growth.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteIn this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the Gospel, its power in salvation, and its implications in your life, emphasizing the balance between God's sovereignty and human responsibility.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you'll learn how the Gospel shapes all aspects of life, from personal relationships to societal issues, and fosters spiritual growth, ultimately guiding your approach to evangelism and social justice.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThis lesson equips you to recognize and address challenges to the gospel, including pluralism, relativism, and secularism, and offers biblical guidance for defending your faith.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you learn effective strategies for communicating the Gospel, addressing objections, and building bridges between your message and your audience.0% Complete
This course is designed to help believers reconsider their understanding of the Gospel. What is the Gospel? How is the Gospel related to the eternal plan of God? What does the Gospel mean to each believer today? Dr. Cortez answers these and other critical questions.
Dr. Marc Cortez
What is the Gospel?
The Power of Your Salvation
[00:00:01] The following lecture is provided by biblical training. More information is available at WW w dot Biblical training dot org. So, so far as you've been walking through the story of the gospel, we've reflected together on the fact that God established everything to accomplish his purposes. His purpose is that his glory might be revealed throughout creation. And to do that, he created his people, place them in the land to be a blessing throughout the land, to his glory forever. That was God's plan. And of course, we've talked together about what happened when God's people, Adam and Eve, rejected that plan, when they rejected God's purposes and decided to do things their own way, said, You know what? I think we have a better plan. I think we can do this more effectively if we decide for ourselves what we should do. And they brought about alienation between themselves and God and the devastating results that came out of that. And we've reflected together on God's faithfulness through it all throughout these devastating consequences. As sin spiraled into the destruction of Shalom, God remained faithful and continually and consistently promised his people that he would send one to redeem them. And we reflected together on the fact that he sent that one and that that one came with the blessings that God had promised. And we've reflected together on the fact that we rejected, despised and killed him. In our last lesson together, we really focused on the fact that even though we rejected, despise and killed the Messiah again, this is God's plan, This is God's story. And God was at work through it all and in the life and the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God was at work accomplishing some amazing things for His people.
[00:02:09] So in many ways we can think about this gospel story that we've created so far. Picture it like a police, picture it like a garden, as it were. It's a nice biblical imagery. We'll use it. A garden in which God has worked to create a people, a people with whom he has a restored relationship because he sent his son to die for their sins so that they might be redeemed and reconciled and healed and rescued. So within this garden, we have God's people and they've been restored to God. And in this place we have the blessings of God, God's rule, beginning to be realized of this Spirit at work and God's people, all of the blessings of the kingdom that we have reflected on together at work within this garden. So this garden in many ways is the Kingdom of God. And we've seen that God has built that garden for His people. And it's an amazing place. And as we've gotten to this point in our story, we've realized that there's a question that we haven't answered yet. How do you get into the garden? It sounds great. Sounds like there's some amazing stuff going on in there. But how do you get in? How do you come to participate in this amazing story? How do you come to participate really in the restoration of shalom in the glory of God? That's our task for this lesson is to try to reflect together on the fact that the good news is not about you, but it does include you. The good news is not about me, but it does include me. And God hasn't ignored us in all of this, even though he's the central character in this story. It's about him. But he wants to wrap us into this story so that we can be a part of what he is accomplishing.
[00:04:16] So what does it mean to see that the gospel is not about us, but it does include us? Well, the first thing we want to say is that we can enter into God's kingdom. See, the good news is that in all of this, God offers entrance to His kingdom, to everyone, to John. 1232. Jesus is reaching the end of his earthly life and He declares to the people around him says in I, when I am lifted up from the earth, when I'm crucified, when I'm lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all people to myself. First Timothy two for God. Paul declares that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Again, in Romans two, Paul wants us to know that God's kindness is seeking to draw people to repentance. God wants everyone to come and participate in the kingdom. There is a garden, as it were. God wants us to come into the garden. He wants us to experience the blessings of Shalom. So the first part of this we want to emphasize is that God wants everyone to enter into the kingdom. That's why Paul does call this the Gospel. The good news of your salvation. Ephesians 113 in him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, what is the word of truth? The gospel of your salvation. We use this verse early to talk about the fact that this story is not about us, because this is the only time the New Testament refers to the Gospel as the gospel of your salvation. Everywhere else, it's the Gospel of God or the Gospel of Jesus, or some other way of saying things. But Paul does want us to know that it is a good news.
[00:06:04] It is a story that includes us. It can be called The Good News of Your Salvation because God wants us to enter into His kingdom. So the good news is that He wants us to enter into his kingdom. The good news is that we can do this even though we are still sinners. Certainly we are still broken by sin. We have still fallen into a sinful state. We are still lost in our sin. We are still, as we talked about earlier, idolaters people who don't love God, but who love other things. And we are broken and messy and dirty. We are the kind of people who do whatever really whatever we want. And God wants that kind of person to step into his garden. You know, that's an amazing thing. I'm guessing that if I went home this evening and I found lurking outside my house my shalom, as it were, a broken, dirty, sinful person. Somebody who is blatantly and obviously involved in all sorts of behaviors that I find reprehensible. Somebody probably who's even making it very clear that they don't care that I find their behavior reprehensible. Somebody who maybe even flaunts their sin. I think that's the kind of person I'm going to invite into my house to fling my doors wide and say, Hey, you. Come on in. Come experience the benefits and the blessings of being inside my house can be with my family. Come hang out with my daughters. Come sit in my chair. Now and again, I say good thing I'm not God. Because that is precisely what God does. God precisely opens the door to his kingdom and declares to all of us outside, broken and dirty and sinful that we are. Come on in. I want you to be in my garden.
[00:08:16] I want you to hang out with my family. I want you to be a part of my plan. And that's the good news. The good news is that we can enter into God's kingdom because God has invited everyone to enter into his kingdom. And because we can enter into his kingdom, even though we are sinners. So God knows our brokenness, and he still calls us to himself. Remember? Romans five eight. God shows his love for us and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. It isn't. Hey, go clean yourself up. Go wash the dirt off, go fix your life, go through some self-help programs, go attend church for a while, memorize the Bible. Then I'll invite you into my kingdom too. While we were still sinners, while we were even enemies of God, Christ died for us and got invited us into His kingdom. That's amazingly good news. So the first thing we want to say and how is it that we are involved in this story? Well, we are involved because God says, Hey, you can enter my kingdom. The second thing we want to say that is tremendously great news in all of this is that entrance into God's kingdom is by grace through faith. Now, surely that's not the way we would do things if I had this really great place to hang out that had all sorts of nifty toys. Really, it was my vision of a fun place to hang out, and I knew that all sorts of people were going to want to come and be in this place. I tell you, I'm charging for it. I absolutely guarantee if I have someplace that everybody wants to come be, I'm charging for it and I'm going to make some money off of this.
[00:10:10] I'm going to make it a little bit demanding to get in. If there's a waiting line, there's a price that's involved. Surely insurance must be demanding if you're going to get into someplace really cool. That's how we view things. And boy, do we miss the ticket on this. Again, it's the idea that if I come home and find the the dirty, sinful person outside my door, I may be open to inviting that person inside someday after he or she has gotten their act together, feel that they're trustworthy. When he sits in my chair, he's not going to get it all dirty and. Sure you can come into my house, but there's going to be a checklist of things I need to see first. Entrance is demanding and what we lose sight of. The fact is that when God says You can come into my kingdom, he offers it as a gift. Not as a demand. A classic example of a group of people missing that entrance into God's kingdom as a gift rather than a demand comes when the people of Israel arrive at the promised land where they had been in slavery in Egypt. God leads them out of Egypt through the exodus, leads them out of their bondage, leads them up to the promised land. So all they have to do is look across and see there's the promised land and God had promised it to them. That's why we call it the Promised Land. God said that land will be yours. I'm giving it to you by the all powerful God of the universe who can do whatever he wants. I'm giving you that land. It's a gift. It's promised yours. Go and take it. Really? And all Israel had to do was look across and see the gift.
[00:11:59] And trust God for that gift and enter the promised land. But we never make things that simple. It's too easy. Surely you can't enter God's kingdom that quickly. It can't be all about gift. So God's people looked across to the promised land. And what did they see? Well, they didn't see gift. They saw task. They saw all of the people already living in the land who weren't going to just let them in. They thought, well, going have to fight against all those people and we're going to conquer those cities and we have to conquer those nations. And their armies are big and their men are tall and they're strong and they have swords and they have walls around their cities. Surely we can't just walk in there. Think of all the things that we have to do. Think of all of the boxes that we have to check all the tasks that must be accomplished. It's too big. We can't do it. And you know what? They were right because that wasn't the point at all. The point isn't can we do all of the tasks necessary to enter God's kingdom? Of course not. There's no way that we can bring about God's kingdom. It's God's kingdom. When Israel failed to appreciate was that God wanted them to enter the Promised Land as a gift. He was giving it to them and they couldn't see it. And all they could see with the tasks that they thought needed to be involved. And they turned around and they spent years wandering in the wilderness because they couldn't accept the fact that entering into God's kingdom is a gift. That's the way God operates. Remember, this story is about God. Salvation is from God. Salvation always comes as a gift.
[00:13:47] God gives us this picture of his kingdom, his garden, His Shalom says, I want you to have this here. It's a gift. And we make a fundamental mistake when we look at it. And all we see are the tasks we think are involved, all the checklists that we think we have to accomplish. And we begin to think, Wow, I would love to be in that kingdom and I sure will be able to do that as soon as I figured out how to live properly and discipline my life accordingly. As soon as I've dealt with this sinful behavior and that set of thoughts, as soon as I've reordered my family and reestablished all of the things that I think I need to do, then I'll be able to enter the kingdom. And we've missed the point. God wants us to have it as a gift. And that's why the Bible tells us that salvation is by grace. Act 2024 says, But I do not account in my life of any value nor precious to myself. If only I may finish my course. And the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus Christ to testify. Possible purpose is to testify to the Gospel. The good news of the grace that God makes available to us all. What is Grace and Will in a nutshell? Grace is simply when God does things for us that we don't deserve. Think back to when I called creation grace. Generally, we never deserved to be created. You can't really deserve to be created since you didn't exist before you were created. So all of us exist by grace. We didn't deserve it. The Bible says that salvation is by grace. You don't do anything to deserve it. How could a sinful fallen, broken, fractured, shattered humanity do anything to deserve salvation? Can't entering into God's kingdom is always about grace? And why is this good news? Well, because there's simply no other way it can be done.
[00:15:49] If we start adding up all of the things that need to be accomplished before Israel can enter into the promised land, it can't happen. In many ways, Israel is right. There were too many people in the promised land. Their armies were bigger. Their walls were too strong. Their armies would defeat them. When you look at the things that need to be accomplished to enter into Shalom, God's promised land, His kingdom. We can't. So the good news is it's a gift. God simply opens the doors and says, Come in if we have to merit, if we have to earn, if we have to deserve entrance into God's kingdom, we have a problem. The good news is that it's by grace. The Bible tells us that not only is it by grace, but it's through faith. That's what we get in Romans 116 When Paul says, for I am not ashamed of the gospel. And I think we're beginning to get a sense as we move through this course. On why is it that Paul is not ashamed of the gospel. Of course, it's because it's incredible, which is I'm not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes see, salvation is by grace. And it is through faith. It's through believing the promises of God, Galatians three eight and the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith. Preach the Gospel, because God wants us to know that everyone can come to this story of salvation through faith. Back in Romans 116, it was to everyone who believes here in Galatians three, it's both for Gentiles and for those who descend from Abraham. Gentile, if you're not familiar with it in the Bible, simply means not Jew.
[00:17:38] So here Paul wants us to understand that the Gospel is for both Jews and not Jews. Salvation is for everyone, and it's through faith. Now, of course, that leaves us with the question of what exactly is faith traditionally? In defining faith, people have broken it down into three key elements. First, faith has some aspect of understanding or knowledge, and we're believing something. When the Bible talks about belief or faith, it isn't simply a feeling, a sense of, I believe, for something. And oftentimes in our popular literature, movies, culture, we'll talk about, say, the power of just believing. That's not what the Bible has in mind at all. If the Bible has in mind that you believe something and there is content, there is knowledge that's involved, it makes a difference. If I'm believing that my teddy bear at home will save me, or if I'm believing that the Almighty Creator or God of the universe through his Son in the Christ Cross is saving me. That makes a difference. And there is knowledge involved. That's a part of faith. But it isn't all of faith. We make a mistake when we think that faith is all about what you know, and that simply isn't good enough. The Bible also talks about faith from the perspective of agreeing that what I know is true. It's what traditionally we have called assent. I'm assenting to the fact that not only does God exist, but I say yes to that. Not only does God say I have your best interests in mind, but I say yes to that. Not only do I say that God has a plan and a purpose and that He brought that to fruition through the cross. But I say yes to that. It's not just knowing that, but believing that it is true.
[00:19:45] So it's understanding and it's assent. And then the third piece that absolutely has to get in here is the issue of trust. So it isn't enough just to know that something is true if you don't also trust yourself enough to really put your life on the line for it, to trust the person telling you enough to really engage that person in relationship. So you have to know and accept it as true and trust. That is faith. It's a faith that says, Yes, God, I acknowledge that you exist. I say yes to your existence. I trust you. Those are the three pieces that the Bible has in mind when it talks about faith. So the Bible says that salvation is by grace. It is a gift that God gives us, even though we don't deserve it. It is through faith. It is through saying yes to God because I trust you, because I know you have my best interests in mind by grace through faith. Now, you may be wondering at this point, well, what about repentance? I hear repent and repentance language thrown around an awful lot. Jesus used repent language. Matthew 417 From that time, Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent for the kingdom of Heaven, is it? And Peter says the same thing. Act 238 Repent and be baptized. Every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ. What is this? Repent that the Bible thinks is so important in our response to the Gospel. Well, repentance quite simply comes from the the idea of turning around, changing course, changing direction. And it's really the opposite of what Adam and Eve did, or Adam and Eve when they were created. If you want to think of it visually, they were created facing God.
[00:22:02] It really oriented toward God, looking to God for direction, looking to God for life, looking to God for purpose, looking to God for meaning. Adam even were created looking at God. And you can describe the fall. One way to describe the fall is to say that they stopped looking at God and they turned around and they started looking somewhere else. And of course, where you go in your life has an awful lot to do with where you're looking. Ideally speaking, I've seen people try to walk in a direction without looking that way, and it generally doesn't go well. So the idea is that Adam and Eve were looking at God and were walking in that direction, and when they looked away from God, they began walking away from God. And we've seen what happens when people look away from God and walk away from God. Repentance is the idea that we turn our eyes back to God. We change our minds about who is going to drive the car. We change our minds about who's right. We change our minds about what's right, and we decide I'm going to focus my eyes on God. I'm going to seek my good from God. I'm going to look to God to really tell me what does it mean to be human? I'm going to turn my eyes back to God. Now it's important to realize that this repentance has to do with works. Repentance has to do with how we live our lives. Because remember how you walk follows where you're looking. So as I turn my eyes back to God, my life should follow. But the repentant act itself isn't a work. It isn't something that you do. It's a fundamental change of how you orient yourself.
[00:23:55] It's taking your eyes off of yourself and bringing your eyes up to God, saying, I'm going to seek my good from God alone. So repentance is a turning away from and a turning to to turning away from myself in my sin and my brokenness. And it's a turning to God saying I'm going to seek God in all of this. In many ways we can say that repentance is really just the flip side of faith to remember. If faith is understanding, assenting and trusting, if faith is saying Yes, God exists, it is true that God exists and I'm going to put my trust in the God who exists. Well, that is repentance, because that is turning my eyes away from myself and my sin and my brokenness. And it is turning my eyes to God and saying, I understand, I assent, I trust. So in many ways, saying repent is just another way of saying faith. I believe, I know I trust. I orient my life in that direction. By grace through faith. God has opened the doors to the kingdom and has invited all of us to come in as a gift of his wondrous love. So those are the first two things that we want to emphasize. We also want to emphasize that entrance into the kingdom brings the gifts of salvation. First Corinthians 1522 four is an Adam all day bondage to death, slavery. So also in Christ shall all be made alive. See, as we enter into the Kingdom, we experience the benefits of salvation because we have been brought together in Union with Christ. In Ephesians chapter two, I want to take time to read the whole chapter, but the whole chapter really unfolds for us. The glory of what it means to be in Union with Christ, for God to look at us as being joined to His Son and experiencing all the blessings of being connected to his son.
[00:26:12] So in Union with Christ, Jesus takes on our brokenness, our sin, our shame, our fallen. This our curse. And gives to us a new humanity. A righteous life. Life itself, glorification. It's what many theologians have called the glorious exchange he takes from us all that was true in our brokenness and gives to us all that should have been ours, but is now available to us only through the sun. It's like a grand wedding ceremony and where one of the two getting joined has all of the wealth and all of the glory and all of the benefits. And the other two comes as a broken beggar and yet entering into the marriage receives all of the glory and the honor and the blessings union with Christ as one of the blessings of entering into the Kingdom. Forgiveness. We've touched on forgiveness a couple of times in different sessions, and we know that when God seeks to redeem his people, one of the blessings that He makes available in the Kingdom through the sun is forgiveness. Ephesians one seven in him in Hymn Union with Christ, in Jesus, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. So in Union with the Son, we have forgiveness and union. With the son, we have peace and reconciliation. Thinking back again to the image of the cross. In that picture, the prodigal son that we used, the son kneeling before, the father receiving the embrace of the father. Peace, reconciliation in Jesus. We have that Romans 510 for if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son. God says, if you enter into the kingdom, one of the blessings that you receive is reconciliation.
[00:28:13] We receive adoption. God's saying to everyone, I want you to enter into my kingdom so that you can become a part of my family again. To see how radical this is, take it back to that picture of someone lurking outside my house and how I describe that person in their fallen s and their depravity and their evil. And now imagine me inviting that person into my house, not just to sit in my chair, but to be a part of my family. To be a part of my daughter's family. That's amazing. And it's what God says to us. Says, Come into my kingdom and be a part of my family. Being adopted child of God, stand alongside my own son so that I can look at you and declare you children of God. Jan 112 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. So he brought us into his family. And when you come into the family of God, you receive new life. Remember going all the way back to our first lesson together. Forgiveness is good. It's amazing to be forgiven of our sins, but God has more. One of the tremendous truths of God is that God almost always has more in store for us than we expect. God gives forgiveness, but he does more. He gives new life. So we have within us, we have the spirit pouring into us, the power of the resurrection. ROMANS 645 We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism means death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his in verse eight.
[00:30:15] Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. See, the truth is that we died with Christ on the cross. Christ, by His grace, allows us to participate in His death, that our sins might be removed, that we might be forgiven. But even more than that, Paul says, we participate in his resurrection. Then we might come to new life with Christ, that we might enter into the kingdom and live there the way God always intended for us to live. And along with that, the indwelling of the Spirit. Remember the promise from the Old Testament. God would pour out the Spirit. The promise from Jesus himself that He would bring the Spirit. We move on to the New Testament. We see one of the blessings of being in the Kingdom is that we ourselves receive the gift of the Spirit so that we receive new life. And the Bible can even talk about us as a new creation. Second Corinthians 517 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come because we have received the blessings of the kingdom, because we have received new life, because we have received the spirit being transformed, new life. So the blessings of the kingdom, the gifts of salvation that we receive includes a new life, a complete transformation of who we are. And then in the process, we receive a new community. Because remember, this isn't a story about just me as though I'm walking into an empty garden and I get to have relationship with God there. Again, that would be tremendous news, but God always has more. The garden is not empty. I'm walking into a garden filled with the people of God.
[00:32:12] The good news is that when I receive entrance to the kingdom, I'm becoming a part of a community. That is the church. See, the church is a part of the gospel because the church is where God is recreating his people. When we enter into the kingdom, we're entering into the church. First Corinthians 1213 four in one spirit. We were all baptized into one body. What is the spirit doing to create new life in us? The Spirit joins us together with all of those other members of God's people, joins us together with his church. Now, granted, we realize that our churches are not perfect. But it's still the people of God. It's still what God is at work in the world doing to accomplish his plans and his purposes. Remember, God bringing glory to Himself through His people in the land is a blessing everywhere. The good news is that we get to be a part of that. The good news is that I get to go to church on Sunday and I get to stand with the people of God and declare God's glory in creation. Because God allowed me entrance into the kingdom by grace through faith. And with that, we all receive a new mission. We're actually we receive an old mission to stand together as the people of God and bring glory to Him everywhere as his image bearers in creation. The good news in all of this is that the door to God's kingdom is open now. Second Corinthians 610 six two He says in a favorable time, I have listened to you and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold now is the favorable time. Behold now is the day of salvation. The door is open now.
[00:34:11] God wants and invites everyone to enter. The good news is that the gospel, though it is not about you. The gospel does include you because God and His grace and his mercy has chosen to open the door. It has invited you to come in and be a part of this family and experience the blessings that he has in store for you. And I don't know that the news can get much better about that than that. The gospel is not ultimately about you. The gospel is not ultimately about me. We want to consistently remind ourselves that this story is about God. God's purpose is in the beginning, God's actions now God's purposes. In the end. This is a story about God, and that is tremendously good news for us, because if this was a story about us, this story would be ending on a very bad note. The good news is about God, but God always has so much more in mind. And the good news is also that God has chosen to include us by grace through faith, as we come to believe in God and trust all that He has. Thank you for listening to this lecture. Brought to you by biblical training, dawg. Feel free to make copies of this lecture to give to others, but please do not charge for these copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit our website at W WW dot Biblical training dawg. There you will find the finest in evangelical teaching for use in the home and the church. And it is absolutely free. Our curriculum includes classes for new believers, lay education classes, and seminary level classes taught by some of the finest seminary teachers drawn from a wide range of evangelical traditions.