The Gospel

The Gospel

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making Known the Manifold Wisdom of God

The church is given the humbling and privileged task of making known the manifold wisdom of God to the world. This wisdom is rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ as both savior and King. He took upon himself our judgment on the cross and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility; first between each of us and God and second between each other.

The wall of hostility is broken between you and God when your sins are atoned for. This happens as a repentant sinner is identified with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus through faith. God now longer sees us as we were, but now sees us as his son - perfect. It is not our righteousness but the righteousness of Christ that God is pleased with.

When our relationship with God is made right, he then begins to restore and make new our relationships with others. In Christ, there is no longer Jew or Greek; slave or free. We are either in Christ or we are not.

The church makes this wisdom known by proclaiming in worship the name Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We continue to make it known by sharing the good news of the gospel through evangelism. We show the outworking of the gospel in our churches by equipping and edifying other believers in the gospel that they might grow in their walk with Christ. We further show the love of Christ by encouraging one another to pursue righteousness and to confront sin that is present in our lives. Lastly, we encounter God in prayer, asking him to continue to bring about the unfolding of his plan and the glorification of Jesus Christ through the church.

May this be our goal as believers and as a church!

Monday, August 9, 2010


In our regular preaching ministry at Bethel we have been studying through Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus. The first three chapters are rich and full of many, wonderful theological truths. There is one common thread that flows through those many verses: Jesus Christ, in his death, burial and resurrection, brings a people that are separated and at enmity with God and each other together. He tears down the walls. He opens the means of relationship, both vertically and horizontally. Ephesians 2 says that we are built up, Jews and Gentiles, into the dwelling place for God.

This has great implications for each of us as followers of Jesus. We don't unity for unity's sake. We do not pursue uniformity ignoring diversity. We pursue unity because of a common confession - Jesus is Lord. We celebrate diversity within our unity because God is the Father of us all. In Christ we are now one - brothers and sisters. Unity is essential for those who know Christ. He prayed for our unity in the gospels. He died for our unity on the cross. His Spirit is empowering us for unity right now. Why - to bring him glory.

This week, as you think about the relationships you have with those in your church, try and identify areas that you have broken down unity and built up walls with others. Have you not extended forgiveness to someone who has wronged you? Have you refused to repent when it was your mistake? Have you allowed a careless word of gossip, falsehood or slander to tear down others? Unity and intimate relationships can take a life time to build and it only takes one moment to tear it all down.

Jesus is intent on making peace and unity; tearing down walls; and building relationships. The devil is focused on creating hostility, putting up walls, tearing down relationships and bringing disunity and chaos to our relationships.

Are you in the habit of building...or destroying?

The Outpost - Bible Preaching (Brooke Taylor)