16 August 2020
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Don't Trade Away the Gospel

Don’t trade away the Gospel

Scripture Passage:

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

 

So what I want to do today is talk about the Gospel! Because there is nothing else in all the earth that merits as much focus from us, then God’s amazing sovereign plan and power of salvation through Christ. All that to say, it’s always worth it to spend time dwelling on the Gospel over and over and over again, it never changes or loses its potency in our lives.

 

ITS VALUE

 

  • It’s worth everything

So in talking about the Gospel this morning, what I want to look at first, is how valuable it is.

1. The Gospel is of Great worth. Right, we know that. But it’s so easy to lose the intensity of its value on the shelves of our minds. We just read our scripture passage a little bit ago, but let’s just look at it together again, as we delve into the bible to examine some verses that talk about the worth of the Gospel. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. And of course, this is not the only place in the scripture that testifies to the worth of the Gospel! We see it over and over again in the Scripture! So I want to show you two more places I see in scripture that talk about this idea.

2. Jesus once again testifies to the severity of its value again in Luke 14:26: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. The word there for hate in the greek is μισεῖ (misei) and it means to detest or to love less, or esteem less, so we could read that as (etc)  And a little later on in verse 33 he continues and says. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

Once again we see the gospel, we see Christ as being worth giving up everything and even necessary to give up or to renounce everything we have, for the sake of the Gospel! Everything, even down to our own family is not worth it compared to the Gospel. And that’s hard to wrap our heads around, but put a pin in that and keep that in your head and we’ll revisit that in a moment.

3. Again, in Philippians 3 we see Paul speaking in the same way, he says, :7But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”

Everything! Once again the word everything is used. Once again we see paul echoing the words of Christ, he says he considers everything as garbage or refuse or the word there is sometimes used for dung. Nothing compares to the surpassing worth of Christ. He’s worth Everything we could ever have or earn or have earned. You could own the whole Galaxy, you could be a galactic emperor, and knowing Christ would still be worth more. The Gospel of Christ is worth everything.

  • So, why?

So it’s been stated, the Gospel is worth everything, the scripture is clear about that. But why? And I love asking why to the scripture because so often the answer is there. In fact, in scripture it says this: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. The answers are so often there in scripture, and it’s always amazing to see them! So now we ask the question, Why is the Gospel worth everything, it’s been stated as such, but why?

We could actually spend week after week looking at the reasons why its worth everything. But we have only a sub point to talk about it today, so I’ll show you three reasons why, and then tell you three reasons why the gospel is worth everything. And I encourage you to never stop looking in the scripture for why the gospel is worth everything because they appear all over.

1. Only Power of Salvation Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

There’s nothing else that can save us! Nothing, without Christ’s death we are utterly hopeless. We see this plastered throughout the scripture. Without Christ’s sacrifice, we are on a hellbound race. In Job, he says this as a testament to the gap between man and God “Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.” And again in Romans paul quotes the old testament and says, “No one is righteous, No not one!” The gap is immense! Going on in Romans 3 there’s a verse most people know, For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God There’s the gap! But it continues! Verse 24, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

There is not one single other thing in the entire universe that justifies us in the eyes of God, other than the free gift of the Gospel in Christ Jesus. Nothing else. It is the one way! That one thing alone testified immensely to its value. But there’s more2

2. The ability to love fully 1 John 4:10 and 19 | This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. |  We love because he first loved us.

We cannot love fully until we know how God loved us. Or to rephrase that- We cannot love fully without the Gospel. Because we cannot love fully without letting the person we are loving know about the Gospel. Remember just a bit ago, we saw In luke where Jesus was saying that we must detest EVERYTHING for the sake of following him, even those we love. Well its because we cannot love anyone totally fully unless we have the Gospel, unless we know the value of the Gospel and have the burning unstoppable desire to tell them about the greatest and most amazing and satisfying thing that could ever be for them! We don’t love anyone! If we are content to see them running a hellbound race towards eternal destruction, we are not loving the same way God loves us. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. |  We love because he first loved us.

The Gospel enables us, opens our hearts to love others, our spouses, our children, our friends, our enemies in the greatest way possible. Nothing else can do that, nothing. And it’s hard, a lot of the time, but thankfully, the gospel does more for as well.

3. Strength to do and endure everything Philippians 4:13 |  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

In Philippians here, Paul is talking about how he can live in every kind of situation and be perfectly content because no matter what comes his way he can do and accomplish everything God wants him to do because Christ strengthens him!

4. Eternal Joy and Pleasures forever! Psalm 16:11 | You make known to me the path of life;  in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

5. Rest Matthew 11:28 | Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

6. Completely UNSHAKEABLE HOPE! Romans 5:5 | and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

And we could go on and on, There are so many reasons the Gospel is of the highest possible value and reasons why it can do what nothing else can do!

 

SO DON’T TRADE IT AWAY

 

So now we get to what I wanted to share with you today. We’ve looked at the gospel being worth everything and looked at why it’s so valuable. So I want to say this, to myself, and to everyone: Don’t trade away the Gospel.

The scripture is so clear! There is no other Gospel other than the one shown to us by God in the scripture! In Galatians, it says this right here:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

There’s a huge severity here in what Paul is saying! There is no other true Gospel! It even says if anyone, no matter who it is, comes to you with a Fake, worthless Gospel, it says let them be accursed, for they are dragging you down to death! Just think about that! This testifies to just how much we do not want to trade away the True, Precious, Valuable Gospel of christ for anything else! Because nothing else is the Gospel at all!

We would all see it as crazy if the man from the parable in the field were to trade this treasure he just got for something relatively insignificant, like a bowl of soup, or teddy bear.

But that’s just it, It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trading away the Gospel for a “Lesser Gospel” or a “fake Gospel”. I wanna talk about what that can look like.

  • Don’t trade away the Truth of the Gospel 

There are…an abundance of ways, we can trade away the Gospel… But I want to talk about two ways that it is very easy to trade away the truth of the Gospel.

1.  Don’t trade away the Gospel, for one that has no right and wrongs

I guarantee it, that you have seen this! Perhaps it has been part of your life, perhaps you have seen it in those around you – family or friends. It’s the Idea of, “Gods a loving God, Surely he would want me to enjoy life, and he would respect my decisions, he would want me to do whatever I wanted because he’s a loving God.” Here’s the thing though. It’s not worth it, and it’s not as satisfying, and it’s not the truth. Because the truth is played out in the bible, when we ignore it, we ignore the truth.

So I want to show you where in scripture it talks about this. So let’s turn to Romans 6:15-18.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Sin, regardless of whether we or anyone believes its sin or not, leads to death! Sin isn’t a pleasure that leads to life! Christ came, died, and in an amazing act of Grace, justified us from our sin, and set us free from it so that through Him we would produce the fruit of Righteousness. He did not come to make sin, an OK thing to do. Because sins only natural outcome is death, it’s a deadly, sickening chain that wants to drag you kicking and screaming to hell! What’s more, God isn’t lying when he says he knows what’s best for us! All throughout the new testament it says, you are FREE from sin, so we don’t have to sin, so that we may live! Jesus puts it: have life and have it abundantly.

I want to show you one more place when God talks about this in scripture, turn with me to Revelation 3:

17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Don’t Trade away the Truth of the Gospel for a “gospel” that has no right and wrong, and cannot satisfy you, and only wants to enslave you.

2.  Don’t trade away the Gospel for one that cannot save us

Maybe we don’t fall for the trap of slavery to sin. But we fall for the trap of feeling we are beyond the power God to save. Don’t trade away the Gospel for a “Gospel” that cannot save you. We know the feeling, “I’ve messed up so bad that I just can’t be forgiven by God, or I can accept his forgiveness.” Guilt can wreak havoc.But let me be frank. This IS NOT HUMILITY. This is a lie. A lie that says God is not powerful enough to save us, that the Gospel, that Christ’s Sacrifice, was not enough to redeem us. THIS IS A LIE! THE GOSPEL IS ENOUGH! CHRIST IS ENOUGH!

I want to show you two places in scripture. I see this, let’s look at two places. Hebrews 10:10-12 and Romans 8:33-39

10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

 

Who shall bring any charge against us? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Christ is more than enough to save us, and there is nothing that can stop God’s love. So don’t trade away the Truth of the Gospel for a “gospel” that cannot save you.

  • Don’t trade away the Peace and Satisfaction of the Gospel to find it elsewhere

Much in the same way, we do not want to trade away the peace and satisfaction of the Gospel to find it elsewhere! Perhaps this is easier, at least I find this to be true for myself. It’s easy to not trade away the truth of the Gospel, but easy look for all my peace and satisfaction in something else. Maybe it’s how secure my job is, do I have steady work right now. Do I have money, did I make my fortune working hard. Do I own a nice house, have a place of my own, maybe one with land. Maybe it’s: Am I married? Do I have children? Do I have a lot of friends around me? Is the current world state exactly what I want? Can I do what I want to do right now?  Perhaps it is easier to believe the truth of the Gospel but find all of our peace, all our hope, all our satisfaction, in these things around us. The American Dream or any other earthly situation and lot in life is not the Gospel of Christ. And cannot bring you eternal peace and satisfaction! Situations, houses, barns, spouses, children, work or things, are not a gauge of how much God loves us! Jesus Spoke this Parable

15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Our lives do not consist of what we own. Things Burn Down! People die, money is lost, everything is fickle! And one day we will all stand before the Judgement seat of God Almighty in heaven. And everything we have ever had or owned will be gone forever, and God won’t be more or less gracious to you if you had one or a million houses. Everything in life will eventually be gone, some sooner then later, thus they can not bring eternal and unshakeable peace!

But the peace that comes from the gospel says that if we call upon the name Jesus, no matter what, who we are, were, had, had not, we will stand before the Throne of God in heaven and he will look at Christ for all our Justification! And he will look at our faithfulness, not our stuff, and say- we all know it, we’ve heard it before- he’ll say: “Well done, good and faithful servant,” Faithful, whether it’s with a little or a medium or a lot we had. If we have the Gospel, we can have an unshakeable peace, it even says its peace that passes all understanding. It is good to enjoy and give thanks to God for what we have, but we do not want to find all our peace and satisfaction in something temporary and changeable. We do not want trade away the peace and satisfaction of the Gospel to get it from elsewhere which can only prove to be sinking sand!

 

SO WHAT NOW?

 

So what now, it’s so easy to trade away the most valuable thing in the world. It’s so easy to trade away the Gospel! And I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m guilty of it, many times. So what now. Here’s what I’ll say, Savor the Gospel. Saturate your life, with the Gospel.  When you are tasting and experiencing the best and greatest food, you’re not likely to spit it out in favor of last month’s leftovers! When I am savoring and experiencing the truth and power of the Gospel, I don’t want to trade it away! Right at the beginning, we looked at how Paul is exhorting us, to dwell on the right things! And we can see how the Gospel fits that list perfectly. And so we can see we want to savor the Gospel over and over and over again! And this is scriptural in fact. In Deuteronomy, it says, “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul”

In Isaiah 59 it says this: my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.”

 

The words of God, do not lose their potency! They are the same, so savor them, experience them again and again!

We can do the fastest Blitz through the Gospel and we can see it’s Amazing now, even when we heard it all before!

Luke 2:9-14 Do I think about Peace on earth, and goodwill towards men, because of God coming to earth? Or do I think and complain about the current lack of peace in the world and political state?* | Luke 15:21-24  Do I think about the lavish gifts of God in my life through the power of the Gospel or do I think about what I have and have not* | Luke 23:42-46 | Luke 24:1- 6 Do I think about how rotten and terrible I am, and how I can never fix anything in my life, do I dwell on my hopelessness, or I think about how God loved me so much that he died on that cross to redeem my hopelessness and what’s more on the third day he WASN’T in that tomb! He rose to life to break all possible chains death and hell could have on Him, and he now sits at the right hand of God pointing to me saying “that one is mine, I justify him” Do I think about that?  Matthew 28:20 Do I think about how alone I am, and how I have to find something that can fill the void, or do I think about how Christ promises to never leave for until the end of time. Do I dwell on that, on the power, truth, and peace of the Gospel?

We do not want to trade away the Gospel, We want to savor it, saturate ourselves in it, over and over, because it never changes and never loses its potency.