Components of the Gospel, Continued…

By Karen Polich

“In your own faith, how firmly established and steadfast are you? Are you deeply rooted or easily moved?” – Kevin Linthicum

Colossians 1:13-23

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Last week Pastor Kevin Linthicum started his two-part sermon series on the Gospel, and shared the components that sin is a reality. There is a penalty for sin and the penalty must be paid. The remaining components bring the great news that leads to eternal salvation.

The penalty was paid by Christ. (Romans 5:8, Romans 5:10) One of the greatest challenges in sharing the gospel is the reality that a person even needs to be saved. What if they are happy where they are? We have the joyful expectation that comes only from the sanctification of Christ as Lord in our hearts. This is the account we give for the hope in us.

Salvation is a free gift. (Ephesians 2:6-8, Romans 3:24-26, Titus 3:5) It is truly free.

You and I need to accept this free gift. (John 1:12, John 6:37, 1 John 5:11-12) When the gift is extended, we have to receive it.

Who have you shared the gospel message with recently? It should be an outpouring of our hearts when Jesus has been given authority in our lives. As a follower of Christ, we should be ready to offer an account for the hope in us. Guard against spiritual apathy. When we become indifferent to the lost, we need to take a hard look into our own hearts.

While the way is narrow, (Matthew 7:13-14), a choice can be made to turn from the broad path and enter through the narrow gate. Sharing the message of Christ doesn’t mean forcing acceptance of such a gift. It should be done with gentleness and patience. Be available for God to use you. He will do the work of the heart.

Listen to the podcast here.






Back to School

By Bethany Bentley

Full disclosure, I do not go to school, I’m in online school. But all summer, Pastor Ty Haguewood was talking to the students about how we were going to reach our communities for Christ. During youth group we split up into school groups and talked about how we were going to take the Gospel to our city, to our schools. Now the time has come. We’re back to school.

Nobody enjoys going back to school, it’s stressful and hard. Starting over at a new high school in junior year is hard. Starting high school at one school while all your middle school friends are at another school is hard. Starting college classes after not being in a classroom for the first time in three years is hard. But soon enough the stress will die and everyone will get used to it all again, like every year.

But as the stress dies down and everyone gets used to school again, let me say this: don’t. Don’t get used to it. Don’t go through the motions again. Don’t sit inside your own little bubble in every class. Don’t sit alone at lunch like you do every year. Don’t get stuck in a rut, like we all do every single year.

Don’t sit silently; let’s be as excited about the Gospel on Monday mornings as we are on Sundays and Wednesday nights. Let’s say we’re going to bring friends to church and then actually do it. Let’s really go sit with that one kid at lunch and share the Gospel with them. Let’s say we’ll go live and breathe and speak the Gospel to our classmates and actually do it.

More than that let’s share the gospel with our friend that we’ve grown up with, that we know is still living in their sins. That friend that we are so terrified of losing; of having them reject us if we share the Gospel. It’s scary. Facing rejection is scary. It’s said over and over and over again in church, fear shouldn’t stand in the way of evangelism, and that’s true.

Here are three things to remember:
1. Sometimes fear gets in the way of sharing the Gospel.
2. You are not an utter failure when fear does get in the way.
3. Don’t become weary.

When you can’t physically make yourself go sit with someone or open your mouth to talk, you are not a failure. Yes, it’s important to share the gospel in our schools, but in those times when we are just too scared to talk, we can pray. We can sit and pray and talk to God and ask for the courage to speak, or for Him to be glorified while someone else speaks.

Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Don’t become weary. In those moments when we feel like we’ve poured out so much of ourselves into others that there couldn’t possibly be anything left to give, turn to God. Turn to the Word. Don’t just tell others to pray and read the Bible, do it yourself. You can’t pour out into others if you’re not being poured into. That’s why we have church programs and small groups to recharge and come back to the Gospel.

At the end of the day, every single one of us needs the Gospel. The Gospel is not just for the lost. We all need to be reminded that the God who created the universe saved us and loves us. So let’s take that love to our schools.

Bethany Bentley lives in Albuquerque, NM with her parents and younger brother. She is a member of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church and attends school online. Bethany is an accomplished photographer and her work has been published in Albuquerque Magazine.