There are many tools to help us do the work of the Evangelist.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5
Gospel tools are designed to expose what we are hoping in and what we are relying upon not only for this life but also for eternity. There is a lot of conversation in the market place today about the issues of life and death. Some think, oh there can’t just be one true religion. There can’t be just one way to pay the debt of our sin. Others don’t think that the Bible has any trustworthy answers. At the same time, the academy would like us to think that science has disproved Christianity. Sadly, the conversation about life after death and the controversy over solutions will never end this side of eternity. Chistopher Hitchens, the English-American journalist is an atheist. His battle with esophageal cancer has not softened his opinion of the gospel. In essence he said, the thought of a human vicariously atoning for my sin is white noise. Despite this the book of Hebrews endures as a reliable response for struggling hearts. Hebrews 10:32-39 define the book’s purpose.
But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
In the author’s sermon, Hebrews 10 is a high point in his overall argument that addresses the issues of doubt and concerns about redemptive means. The exhortation to the Hebrews throughout the epistle is persuasive. The problem of sin and the need to satisfy the righteous expectations of a holy God cannot be dealt with through or by sinful ways and means. Religious laws and regulations are incomplete and can never bring perfection. The sincere and the fervent repetition of a religious ordinance by an ordained clergy will never remove the guilt of your sin. In fact, all this repetition and all this work is just a reminder of your sin. Mere human or animal blood will never pay the debt of your sin.
So what do we do? Do we raise the white flag of surrender to the voices in the market place? Our only hope is the eternal Christ who took on flesh and blood in obedience to the Father.
Rom 1:3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh
2 Cor 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
1 Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
His obedient act made us holy.
- Throughout all of His earthly life, Christ was actively obedient to the Word and will of the Father.
- The positive merits of Christ active obedience were counted to me/us and for me/us.
- Philippians 3:9 — and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
- 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 — But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
- These texts demonstrate that Christ did more than just die and forgive sin, He became our righteousness before God.
His one and only sacrifice of Himself was effective and final.
- The suffering and the death of Christ for us is sometimes called His passive obedience.
- What? Was Christ passive in His sacrifice for our sins?
- John 10:18 indicates that He laid down His life for us.
- Passive in the sense that He willingly took the penalty of our sin and paid the debt of our sin.
He paid the debt of our sin and brought us into a relationship with Himself, the Holy God.
- All of us, believers and unbelievers, have a relationship with God.
- The unbeliever’s relationship is that of one who is guilty and defiant before a just judge.
- All of us know God and suppress our knowledge of God
Rom 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
- Eph 2:1-9 indicates that we are children of wrath dead in our trespasses and sins.
- The Gospel offers us a different relationship with God based on Christ
- Christ reconciles us to God – Rom 5:8-11
- Christ justifies us – Rom 5:1
In this different relationship, He has given us the Spirit, He has put His Word in our hearts, He is making us holy, He has given us hope, and He has made it possible for us to draw near to Him in intimate fellowship.
Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Jn 7:39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
1 Pet 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Jms 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
The songwriter said it well for all of us.
Wonderful merciful Savior
Precious redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb, the Lamb of God, could rescue the souls of men, Oh You rescue the souls of men.
O sacred Head now wounded we love and adore you for such a sure and reliable means of redemption.