What is the Gospel? According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the Gospel is embodied in these words: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 2:2 says, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
According to the Tyndale Bible Dictionary, edited by Walter A. Elwell, “The gospel is a witness to God’s grace. In offering his Son as a sacrifice for sins, God demonstrates his righteousness. That is, in the death of Jesus sins formerly ‘passed over’ become the object of God’s wrath and judgment. Yet in the very place where God deals justly and decisively with sins, he shows his grace to sinners. For the judgment against sin is focused not upon the sinners themselves but upon the One appointed to act on their behalf and to stand in their place. On this basis, sinners are freely pardoned. ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus’ toward the sinful is also in evidence, for he willingly bears their iniquities and suffers the consequences of their wrongdoing.”
TEXT: Matthew 5:31-32:
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
The Council of Aries stated in 314 AD, “As regards those who find their wives to be guilty of adultery, and who being Christian are, though young men, forbidden to marry, we decree that, so far as may be, counsel be given them not to take other wives, while their own, though guilty of adultery, are yet living.”
Those of us who are conscious of the divorce epidemic in the church and the world are likely to see it as a terrible result of society rejecting God’s laws and the traditional principles of marriage, family, and sexual chastity. We think of it as a relatively recent cultural phenomenon. But, commentators tell us that the situation was almost just as bad during the first century which is why Jesus’ teaching on the matter was deemed a “hard saying,” with His own disciples concluding (in their flesh, of course) that if a man could not divorce his wife for whatever reason he wanted, that it was better not to get married.
As we learned in our last message, Jesus does ALLOW for divorce when a spouse has committed adultery or engaged in sexual activity outside the marriage. Adultery is legitimate grounds for divorce because one partner has, in effect, already broken the marriage covenant. However, just because God ALLOWS something does not mean He APPROVES of it or RECOMMENDS it. God’s ideal is for nothing — not even adultery — to break apart the original pairing of a man and woman in marriage. What, then, would Christ recommend in the case of adultery?
Chuck Swindoll writes, “If you have a spouse guilty of adultery or other sexual immorality, you’re not commanded to walk away from that person. The goal in such marital relationships is reconciliation—always. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1: ‘If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.'”
In the case of adultery, it is easier for both parties to move toward divorce. Reconciliation is hard, and reconciliation in “a spirit of gentleness” is much harder. But that is what God desires. In fact, that is what God expects if both the husband and the wife are believers because they have an example of reconciliation in God Himself. Despite the adulterous and idolatrous behavior of the children of Israel, God repeatedly extended mercy to them and spared them His judgment. He kept saying, “Come and let us reason together.” And, despite the adulterous behavior of His human creation, God went through the difficult, painful process of sacrificing his only Son so that He could give us every opportunity to reconcile with Him. For those of us who have been reconciled in Christ, He expects us to pursue reconciliation in our marriages.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.