… AN APPRAISAL ON THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
One of the utmost desires that every sincere believer should nurse is to overcome what limits them from loving the Father – i.e. the world; and the primary cost and avenue of doing so is through the leading of the Spirit (1Jn. 2:15/Rom. 8:14). Nothing is as unnatural to believers as this because prior to the birthing of the soul in truth (Jn. 3:5/1Pet. 1:22-23/Jam. 1:18), we were all previously led about by dumb civilized idols (1Cor. 12:2) via our fallen senses – and we didn’t lack proofs (results) to support it.
So coming into a season where heaven in mercy places a demand on us to lose control of our lives and depend on a God we don’t truly know to lead us with His word and Spirit through experiences that sets us at a disadvantage – carnally speaking, is what we call suffering but what God calls blessing! (Gen. 12:1-2)
Such is the season when various laws that we fetched from our former conversation (our background, upbringing, wrong exposures and experiences in life – Eph. 2:2/4:22) fight to stay alive, and God in mercy comes after them – at whatever cost! God in wisdom doesn’t spare our natural arrangement because the devil over centuries has mastered the use of it to limit us from changing state or from seeking things above.
This is when our false security (insecurity) and fear of tomorrow put a strong defense against such dealing that the gospel administers, and we find ourselves “wearing the same trouser with God”, waring with a man of war. So God uses this opportune time to draw our attention to a frank truth – “we are actually ashamed of the righteous demands that always accompanied the gospel of Christ” and that “we have what it takes to repeat the history of Esau” but for the preeminence of His Mercy.
- Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation (i.e. that saves the soul) to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
So on not a few occasion, when a believer is on course with the leading of the Spirit, the world and those who secretly love the world would narrowly look at him as being weak, slow, lazy, goalless, and irrelevant to his times; the same way those old faithfuls in Hebrew and every one that would live righteously would be perceived and persecuted. So when God comes to prune us of our unknown idols, worldly standards and definition of rights, we react with the use of the letters of scriptures, but blessed is he that loses out in that battle; that is helped from his unknown unwillingness to live by the power of God and is thereby liberated from being a lawful captive (Isa. 49:24/Lk. 4:18d) of the law of fear (Rom. 8:15a/Heb. 2:15) so he can someday become a glorious captive and prisoner of our Lord Christ Jesus – a king in the realm of the Spirit.
So before a believer comes in contact with what the likes of Paul contacted (i.e. the power in the gospel), he actually loved the world – knowingly or unknowingly, and his response to the leading of the Spirit which is a major prescription of the Faith of the Son is a life or death issue. The faith that a believer exercises before being exposed to the faith of Christ (if ever he does) could not withstand the world and its wisdom – though it could move mountains, heal the sick, raise the dead, just to mention a few. Much more of such exploits was expressed in the Old Testament when none could overcome the world.
This is the reason why there is something unique about the faith (life of power/dominion) unveiled in the New Testament, which our Lord Jesus desires would be given much more attention than it presently has. The eyes and ears of believers are falsely encumbered and satisfied with seeking the present at the expense of the kingdom Christ is offering us.
Men don’t want to endure the process that would turn their souls to become more precious than gold (Isa. 13:12/Job 22:22-24/Rev. 3:18a) and one of their subtle idols is their desire for results – that God promised would come as an addition (Matt. 6:33). When they get such with their human strength, it’s always at the expense of grace – at the expense of receiving the kingdom and its righteous judgments.
- Heb. 11:26-27 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
The gospel of Christ (i.e. God’s power to save a soul) is the spiritual foremost education designed for all souls. God communicated it to Jesus until he was fully captivated by it and became the Christ – separated him from sinners, made holy and harmless (Heb. 7:26). Our Lord Jesus in turn communicated it to Paul and captivated him by it. So when that gospel can’t captivate our hearts, we are simply telling God we are comfortable living in disobedience to His Son’s Faith.
The gospel of Christ empowers believers to live according to a life that is higher than corruption and superior to the wisdom driving this world; a life that is strictly inspired by things above, things beyond the hearing of the ears and the sight of natural eyes (Col. 3:1-2/Isa. 11:3b-c/2Cor. 4:18).
To end up denying the gospel of Christ is to deny Him of living by His Faith (Hab. 2:4/Rom. 1:17/Heb. 10:38/Gal. 2:20) wherein we are meant to become one with him (Eph. 4:13a/Heb. 2:11). It is to deny him the legal ground to declare us unto His Father and God as His people (Heb. 2:12/Rev. 3:5d/12/1Pet. 2:9d/Rev. 21:3). Our Lord Jesus has been visiting the earth (Lk. 18:8/2Tim. 4:8f/Heb. 9:28) for one purpose – to see if His Faith has become a conversation in men so he can indwell them (Eph. 3:17/Jn. 14:21) and prepare them to become an abode for His Father (Jn. 14:2-3/23).
- 2Cor. 6:9-10 (activities/workings of divine power – the gospel of Christ) As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
If we would inherit the same crown of righteousness that Paul made reference to in 2Tim. 4:8, then we would have to walk by the same spirit of faith like he did, endure the reproaches that accompanies Christ’s riches and appreciate in our inward (soul) state. We would walk in a way that we would trust God not just in words but indeed (1Jn. 3:18). Things that were once gain to us would be counted loss so we can win Christ, and thereby count some other unknown things as dung – because that is what they actually are in the light of the immortal and only wise God. (Phil 3:4-8)