There are so many different ways the Gospel of Jesus Christ is wonderful. The Gospel of Jesus Christ puts us into a new family. A family that has a perfect Father who loves His children with an everlasting love. His family has the brightest of all futures. We are more than just brothers and sisters united under the precious blood of Jesus, we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Paul wrote: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17). Being in the family of God is a wonderful aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Another wonderful aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is grace. The Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be achieved by works, behavior or desiring without absorbing the context. Knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a complete work of God is humbling to our flesh but filling to our soul. “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16). Our wills are so corrupt with sin that we cannot rightly choose anything good for the right reason; and no matter how hard or fast we run, we can never pass over the finish line of perfection. The Gospel of Jesus Christ puts the work into the hands of God to redeem His people from their sin. Our will to choose God is made perfect in the riches of God’s mercy, and our ability to finish our race is complete in the race Jesus ran.
A third wonderful aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the assurances that we are saved. Salvation is not a guessing game. I never have to guess whether or not I am saved. The Bible gives assurances validating the confession made was authentic and saving. There are some out there who believe the only thing salvation does is save us from Hell. Salvation does save us from Hell but praise the Lord, salvation goes much deeper than saving us from Hell. God’s grace delivers us from the power of sin. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a powerful event that takes place in our lives that will forever change us. As Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power that changes us from who we were to who we will become. I am thrilled to know that through the power of God I can conquer sin and give assurances validating my salvation.
What are these assurances that validate our salvation? John gives us insight into these assurances through his first epistle. This month, we will examine the first assurance he gives the church at Ephesus (The audience to this epistle). The first assurance validating my salvation is my desire to fellowship with God and God’s people.
1 John 1:3-4
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
Several years ago, I met a relative of mine on a street corner. As I preached the Gospel to him, he told me that he was saved. I followed up by asking him where he went to church. He responded by saying: “I don’t have to go to church to be saved.” He was sort of right. A person does not have to go to church to be saved; however, a person who is saved will desire to go to church. A person who claims to be saved but has no interest in going to church rejects the concept of fellowshipping with God’s people, which is a validation of grace. Salvation creates within us the desire to fellowship with God’s people.
Over the last 29 years of serving the Lord, I have run across many people who claimed to be saved but had no desire to fellowship with God’s people. They would rather fellowship with lost people than saved people. They give many reasons for not wanting to fellowship with God’s people. Perhaps the leading excuse is they do not want to fellowship with hypocrites. Yet, in their reason for not fellowshipping with saved people, they are demonstrating their own hypocrisy in fellowshipping with lost people. How do I know that God saved me? I love fellowshipping with saved people and in doing this, fellowshipping with God!