What is the meaning of the gospel?

The meaning of the gospel, the good news, is that Jesus Christ has finished the work of forgiveness. Because of the gospel, you are a forgiven person.

We heard the gospel message and we responded with faith: we believed in, relied on and put our trust in the gospel. Immediately, we were made into a new creation. We were born again!

We have not only received a second birth, but we have also been given a new identity. Our new identity is that of a forgiven person.

It is uncommon for a believer to understand this in the beginning of their new life with Jesus. Most of us spent years wandering in the wilderness of “works” trying to get forgiven. We spent years asking Him to forgive us; we continually repented and rededicated ourselves to a life of obedience.

But hopefully, by now, you have been set free from the legalistic way of life and have been set free from a religious mindset. Hopefully you have left behind the ‘wandering in the wilderness’ and have come to lie down in the green pastures of the Promised Land of Rest.

The book of Hebrews talks about this promised rest. The author tells us that there remains a rest, a Sabbath rest, for the people of God.

“For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God."

Hebrews 4:8,9

This rest occurs when we stop trying to get forgiven. You will find rest when you let go of that cursed life of wandering in circles in the wilderness of religion, of legalism, of Churchianity, of works-righteousness, or whatever you want to call it!

We enter His rest when we come to understand the true meaning of the gospel: that we are forgiven people.

Trust that Jesus has finished His work through His death, His burial and His resurrection: through the gospel. The work is finished, and He is RESTING!

Since God is resting, we may enter His rest as well.

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Hebrews 4:10

P.S.: for more on this topic of forgiveness, please listen to this excellent audio series by Aaron Budjen of Living God Ministries.

What is the unpardonable sin?

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What is the unpardonable sin?  What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?  I believe it is the sin of unbelief.

The writer of the book of Hebrews explains that there are two ways to commit the sin of unbelief.  The first way is to reject the mercy of the living God. The second way is for a believer to reject the promise of rest.

Writing to his Hebrew brothers and sisters, the anonymous author pleads with them to believe in Jesus as their Messiah.

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

The author illustrates this with the story of the Hebrews who refused to enter the Promised Land.  Their sin of unbelief prevented them from entering into the land of Israel, and instead they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.

 “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19

God promised them the land of Israel, and they did not believe that He could deliver on His promise.  That’s a hefty sin!  The author of Hebrews explains that their unbelief was an act of disobedience.

 “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” Hebrews 3:18-19

The unbelief of the Israelites was a foreshadowing, and the reality is the sin of rejecting the gospel.  To reject the free gift of salvation that is being offered to you today is essentially to tell God, “I don’t believe you.  You are not trustworthy.”  Again, a very hefty sin. 

We need to believe in the gospel and be saved because we all have sin and we all are spiritually dead (whether Jew or Gentile).  Believing in the gospel message allows us to enter the true promised rest. We rest from our works of self-righteousness, and we trust that God has done all of the work Himself.

And that is where the second “sin of unbelief” comes in.  In chapter four, the author of Hebrews switches his audience and begins to talk to believers.  Hebrews 4 is often titled, “The Believer’s Rest.”

“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any of you may seem to have come short of it.”  Hebrews 4:1

As a born-again believer, if we fail to enter His rest, we have failed to believe in the complete forgiveness of sins.  In other words, we are still trying to do work that will make us holy and righteous and good.

Hebrews chapter four explains this in detail.

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:10-11

The land of Israel was a land of rest because all of the homes were already built, the vineyards were planted, the roads were cleared and the wells were dug.  The land of the New Covenant is a land of rest for us today because all of the work has already been done.  Obedience has been accomplished:  God Himself came to earth and obeyed the Law of Moses.  Forgiveness has been given:  God died on our behalf, so the debt has been paid in full.   Salvation is being offered:  He redeemed and justified us through His complete forgiveness of sins, and He now offers the gift of life — His Holy Spirit — through His work of resurrecting from the dead.

The great Bob George used to emphasize that the gospel is defined in 1 Corinthians 15, and that it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We can add nothing to the gospel, and if we do we will be led astray into false doctrines.

If you are an unbeliever, we plead with you to believe in the gospel.

If you are a believer, we plead with you to give up trying to “work for God,” trying to “serve God,” and simply to REST.

We must believe completely that the only thing we can trust in today, tomorrow and next week is his death, burial and resurrection.

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Click here for an excellent verse-by-verse Bible Study on the book of Hebrews.  Aaron Budjen, a Hebrew himself, has made all of his messages available for free at his website, http://www.LivingGodMinistries.net

 

June 6, 2018  11:11 AM

 

Outside of Churchianity

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What is the law of the Spirit of life? And how is it different from the law of sin and death? Paul mentions these two opposing laws in his letter to the Romans.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

The path to freedom is going to be different for each individual born-again believer, so all I can do is share my story. For me, after spending 15 years wandering in the wilderness of Churchianity, the Lord God Himself set me free to enter the Promised Land of Rest.

He made me free by slowly and gently leading me away from a life focused on “works.” He made me free by stripping me of my belief system that was based on rules and regulations.

Imagine one of those really irritating Christians who is all about, “you have to do this, and you shouldn’t do that!” Yeah. That was me.

But then my husband quit church.

I had spent years waiting for him to repent and obey, so when he gave up altogether, I had to completely let go of my hope of one day having the perfect Christian family.

It seemed so devastating to me at the time — church attendance was the “First Commandment” in my denomination (which was a non-denominational church) — but it was actually one of the best things that ever happened to me.  His quitting church led me to quit church, and it was only then that I could see that I had made church attendance an idol.  And that idol worship kept me separated from God in my mind.

I quit church in 2004, and by 2006 most of the ‘law of sin and death’ had been removed.  By teaching me the truth, the Lord was able to get rid of the falsehoods that were keeping me in the wilderness.  But there was one ‘law’ that I was still holding on to tenaciously!  I still believed that we “have to ask forgiveness for our sins.” . . . Thanks to AM Radio and an excellent grace teacher (Bob George!), in 2007 the Lord was finally able to gently remove that one last requirement.

From that point on, I no longer had a Christian To-Do List. I realized that there was simply nothing left for me to do. I then began to live my life in a totally different way.

How was my Christian life different?  I began living day by day simply trusting Him to lead me and guide me.  The unrealistic expectations that I put on our three kids slipped away, and I began to relax and allow them to be themselves.  I also began to give my husband grace, and stopped trying to change him into a repentant and obedient ‘godly man.’  I stopped believing that I could “serve God” (as if He needed anything from me!  Acts 17:25), and I began resting in the the work He has already done for me.

In essence, I began living by the law of the Spirit of life. And I stopped living by the law of sin and death.

Here in the Promised Land of Rest, outside of Churchianity, I am able to live every day with Jesus — who is Life — worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

It’s a wonderful life.

February 24, 2016