Only half of the Gospel

It sounds like a strange statement that we may only be preaching, teaching or practicing half of the Gospel. Let me give you a short quiz to help you see what I mean….
When we go to the communion table we have two items on that table, the wine and the bread. The wine represents the blood of Christ and the bread represents His body. The blood of Christ washes us clean from sin but…. what does His body do?
This is a question that I have found that most pastors can’t answer. Some folks may say that by His stripes we are healed and I would say that it’s close but no proverbial cigar. The word healed in the Greek means the bringing together of two pieces making whole again. So in that sense they would be right. You see Jesus’s body brings reconciliation. He is reconciling us to God through His flesh.

Hebrews 10:20 (NKJV)
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

Here, Jesus’s flesh is related to a veil that we pass through. That veil is what separated us from God’s presence, in the temple. The Holy of Holies. A veil that was torn from top to bottom that separated men from God’s presence….

Matthew 27:50-53 (NKJV)
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

So Jesus broke through the divide that kept us from a living relationship with God. In the beginning, God created us to walk and talk with Him in the garden He created for us. Adam walked and talked with God in the garden until we took on sinful nature. God turned His back on us, not because he was angry but for our sake he separated Himself from us so the His mere presence wouldn’t destroy us. God’s holiness is light and we have become darkness. Just like turning on the light in a dark room God’s presence would destroy us like light destroys darkness. So now, though His son Jesus we are enabled to again be in His presence through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s thought the spiritual baptism that we are “born again” into a new and eternal life. God isn’t telling Us that we “better do what He says or He’ll send us to hell for destruction, He’s telling us that we are already heading into destruction but He provided a new way into eternal life. The Lord loves us more than we could ever imagine and has made the way for us.

Folks often argue about salvation being something you have to work for while others say that you can’t earn salvation because it’s free. The truth is that they are both right. You see, through the blood of Christ our debt has been fully paid for and can’t be earned but it’s our relationship with God that we have to work on. Whether a brief meeting of someone new or my own children, a relationship has been started and it takes work to maintain that relationship. If I drift away from my wife or children that relationship becomes lost because i will no longer know them and they will no longer know me because we both have changed. We can stray from God and lose that relationship if we don’t maintain that relationship. The way we maintain our relationship with God is through obedience to the spirit. If we stop (or slowly over time) obeying the Lord then we are in danger of losing our relationship with Him.

John 15:1-4 (NKJV)
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Peter also said that God judges our works. 1 Peter 1:17 (NKJV) “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;”
Does This mean that we do earn our salvation through works? No, it means that if we are walking with the Lord in truth that our fruit will make our relationship with God through Jesus evident. We need to look into the spiritual mirror that reflects who we truly are and not just who we want to claim we are. We are saved not by our will but His and we have to live our lives humbly for His sake not ours. Live for the spiritual Kingdom not the world.

John Aeby

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