#WeAreEmmanuel Values / 04. #WeAreEmmanuel 4 Everything Changes Except The Gospel Pt1

04. #WeAreEmmanuel 4 Everything Changes Except The Gospel Pt1

Originally recorded on Sunday 28th January 2018. Visit http://weareemmanuel.com for more content. Speaker: Joel Virgo

This preach titled ‘Everything Changes Except The Gospel’, draws from a letter written by Paul to a church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 3:9-20.

The word ‘gospel’ may be a familiar word to us but can still lack meaning to many of us. What do we refer to when we say ‘Gospel’? Well, The Gospel is very simply the great declaration of Jesus, the Son of God coming to earth to die and rise again to save sinners and calling the nations to turn to him in trust. This preach addresses that this message of Good News must be the foundation of a healthy church, as well as in our own personal lives.

Through general observation of any form of construction, it is known that the better the foundation the further it will last. Therefore, it’s worth considering what is at the foundation of our lives and the church. In 1 Corinthians 3:9-20, Paul writes about the foundations of a church in Corinth he had set up and how they are tested at later stages. As the text goes on, it is apparent that Paul writes with a note of caution. In verse 10 he says ‘Let each one take care how he builds upon it’. An illustration of this would be when places where there are earth trimmers get construction work done, they’re very careful to set up foundation very wisely. If building companies don’t do all the due diligence they possibly can to protect in the situation of earth quakes, they can be in trouble because they aren’t paying attention to the risks further down the line. To build something that looks good in its day is one thing, but to build something that stands up on the evil day is when you see how good the foundations are and if it was built on the right material.

The reality is that every church will be through trials which will test what is at the heart of that church and what they have established as foundational non-negotiables that will not change. Paul writes that the only foundation the church should have is The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Any other foundation will show itself at a later stage when that church hits the wall and fails in a fundamental way.

The reality is that church history and church life can somehow have various foundations that seem to be put in place as alternatives to the foundation of The Gospel. We can do this very easily. Some of them perhaps may seem obvious to us. For example, we can build foundations on community. Community is good in the sense that God made it and loves it and its good for people to be in it. However, if this is your primary foundation, you will hit problems when struggles come the ultimate decisions made will be on what is best for the community rather than what God has told us to do. The way this works out practically is when churches build around democracy in making decisions based from a vote from the congregation is the best thing to do. This is a good system of government compared to the other ones that have been bad in the secular sphere. Democracy is understandably a good idea and needed in allot of places. However, if democracy was the basis of the decision on whether Moses would lead the people of Israel into the promise land, it would have never happened. This is because at every point where it mattered, the people were against what God was saying. God had to keep leading them through Moses into what was good for them. God often leads his people in ways we don’t expect or understand. So, to build on community without The Gospel being the centre, there will be no purpose or adventure and we will not be doing what God has called us to. This same principle applies to other foundations such as Personalities, Reaction, Ministries, Social Justice, Tradition, Therapy and Moralism. These things can be good in themselves but when it replaces the foundation of The Gospel – there is a serious problem.

The fact it is possible to get it wrong, means we should investigate what our foundations are built on. The reason why we can slip into making the wrong foundation is because as humans we are incessant builders. We tend to construct not just out of necessity but often out of some form of justification of our lives. There are examples where even when we build things for God out of good motive, they our hearts tend to twist them into becoming more about us than God. God says if you do not repent it will be bad for us, yet we react in a way placing the thing we have built before God. If a church’s foundation is something other than The Gospel, they should be terrified because Jesus is the only appropriate foundation. God chose to build his church on Christ, who was rejected by men (Psalms 118:22). We tend to reject him because he doesn’t appeal to our pride. The very step of going to church is saying we need mercy. When it comes to the foundation of our lives, we must ask what is the God that has power in it? We want and must build according to The Gospel.

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