I have been sharing with you the messages that I have been preaching to a local youth group on the subject of holiness.
These are the notes from the third message in the series.
Our text for this sermon comes from Romans 1:16.
Humans are good at fabricating stories. Sometimes we call them lies. A child is a master at lying. The funny thing is because of sin, you do not have to teach a child to lie. What is in them just naturally comes out.
Matthew 15:18-19. What comes out of the heart defiles a person.
Michael Jordan illustration.
Michael Jordan is the best basketball player in the world. I can tell you that he played for the Chicago Bulls and the best team they ever had consisted of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and John Stockton. I can tell you when Michael Jordan played for the United States Olympic Team. I can tell you when he retired. He picked up baseball and played baseball for a short time. Jordan went back to basketball and played for the Wizards.
I can tell you that Michael Jordan loves cars and owns a couple lamborghinis. I can tell you that he also loves racing. But there is a problem.
I know about Michael Jordan.
I don’t know Michael Jordan.
I have never had coffee with Michael Jordan. He has never been to my house. He has never called or texted me. We are not friends on Facebook and he does not follow me on Twitter. He does not invite me to lunch and he has never been to my son’s birthday party.
See. Michael Jordan and I are not friends.
Some people know Jesus the way I know Michael Jordan.
If you just know about Jesus, then you don’t know Jesus.
You cannot share the gospel if you have never experienced the power of the gospel. You can’t be unashamed of the gospel if you do not know of what you are to be unashamed. If you are saved, and you are passionately chasing after Jesus and cultivating a relationship with Him, you have experienced the gospel. You cannot share what you do not know.
So, what is the gospel?
The gospel is in its very essence, the best message that a person could ever hear. The gospel by definition is good news.
What is this good news?
When God created the world, everything was perfect. It was just as He wanted. God then created man and named him Adam. Adam and his wife, Eve, made a bad decision to ignore God’s instructions and rebel against him. From that point on, man has never stopped trying to achieve salvation on his own apart from God.
Here is the problem with that. People are wearing themselves out striving and reaching and working to try and earn their own righteousness when it is impossible. The Bible says in Romans, no one seeks after God.
Jeremiah was correct when he said the heart is evil and desperately sick. Because of this your motives apart from Jesus are usually selfish.
You cannot earn your own redemption.
The Bible says in Hebrews that redemption can only come through a blood sacrifice.
Jesus is that blood sacrifice.
Because of Jesus and his death on the cross, there is forgiveness of sins. Because of His resurrection, you can walk in the freedom that He gives through the Holy Spirit. You can have total redemption through Jesus. Jesus is Lord and Savior. Jesus is Everything.
Life apart from Jesus is no life at all.