Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. -Acts 8:35
Philip was an evangelist, he was willing and ready to open his mouth and to proclaim the good news, and the good news he preached was Jesus. He didn’t preach philosophy, psychology, theology, doctrine, or a three point message. He preached the person of Jesus Christ. His authority was Scripture; his message was Christ, and his power was the Holy Spirit working through a yielded vessel. He was in the middle of what God was most interested in, and He was preaching the person God most wants to glorify.
Jesus remains God’s living message to the world. He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the subject of foremost importance, the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. He is the message of God to a lost and sin-sick world. He is good news. He is redemption, the precious love and will of God in human flesh. Our message is a person; the most wonderful, perfect glorious, powerful and loving person: God in the flesh.
God wants the world to know about Jesus. He wants them to know that He is like Jesus. He wants to tell them about His love, His forgiveness, His goodwill towards men, His salvation from sin, His kindness, His grace, His life. He wants to tell them about Jesus. He wants to tell them that now is the day of salvation, for all who call on the name of Jesus. This is the message we have been entrusted with. This is the message that dwells within us: Christ the hope of glory.
The world is desperate and hopeless. People are confused and afraid. Their lives are filled with problems, hurts, and wounds. They need to be healed. They need to be forgiven. They need hope. They need peace. They need life. Jesus has those things, and he wants to give them to the world. This is the wonderful news we bring. This is the life-giving good news. We have a wonderful Jesus who stepped down out of eternity and into time. He took the body of an infant and became a servant of the world. He gave His life as a sacrifice. He entered human suffering. He was pressed on all sides by human need. He gave Himself to the sick, the dying, the lepers, the sinners, the prostitutes, the downtrodden, and the guilty because He loved them and because He took on Himself the sin and the suffering of us all. He laid His pristine glory aside and touched the diseased, the hideous, the tormented, and the defiled, and when He touched them, He took their suffering. And on the cross He took their sin and their punishment. The world doesn’t know this. They must know. They must be convinced of Christ’s beauty, His glory, His wonderful goodness, and His love for mankind. God wants to convince them. He has the power to convince them. He is waiting for willing vessels His Spirit can work through.
Jesus was a message to the world; He shows the world what God is like. He shows the world that God is love. He shows the world that He forgives them, that He offers them peace, that He offers them life, that He offers them grace. Humanity knows that it needs these things. The hearts of all men and women yearn for forgiveness; they yearn for love, for peace. They yearn for Jesus. They want to know that they can receive forgiveness. They want to know that they are loved by God. They want to know that they can have life. The good news is that they can. Jesus took their sin, their shame, their suffering and His arms are open to receive His creation and the desire of His heart. It sounds too good to be true, too good to believe, but Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to the earth to convince the world through His power. He has sent us, His children who are fully persuaded of the love of God and clothed with power from on high to demonstrate life to the world. May Christ be our message and our life.
Read the rest of the April 2012 Newsletter
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