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Come Follow Me
Come Follow Me

 And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. ~ Matthew 10:7-8 NASB

I am back in these red letters one more time.

Here’s the thing – as you go – preach the kingdom of heaven and demonstrate the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus does not say debate the kingdom of God!

Preach it.

Demonstrate it.

Oh – and don’t be stingy with it. [Tweet This]

Freely you have received, freely give.

As my mentor used to tell me all the time:

Don’t debate, demonstrate.

Ben NelsonBe light today.

Ben

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

1)    The gospel was preached
2)    The gospel was received
3)    Those who receive stand
4)    Those who receive are saved
5)    Those who receive hold fast

The past 2 days we have looked at the first three implications of the gospel in the Church of Corinth. Today we will finish up with the last two.

Those who receive are saved

I grew up in and around Church all my life. This word “saved” has always been part of my vocabulary. At a very young age I asked Jesus to save me

When I was a kid and even into my twenties, the meaning of the word “saved” was pretty simply rescued from a future burning in hell.

I grew up in a generation of evangelism that focused heavily on the punishment of unbelievers. They for sure understood what Jude was talking about when he said,

 save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. ~ Jude:23

Then I started to study this word “saved” and found it to be one of the most fascinating and compelling words in scripture.

The Greek word here is ‘sozo’ and its meaning are very similar to that of the Hebrew word ‘shalom.’ I know when you hear the word shalom, you may be thinking peace – especially since it is used as a day to day greeting, it can lose its meaning pretty quickly. But the simplest and most profound definition I have heard for shalom is ‘whole – complete – nothing broken and nothing missing.’ I love that!

Sozo is like that. It is not simply that when you enter a covenant relationship with Jesus that He saves you from hell (and He does) but He also makes you whole.

In the gospels this word, sozo, is translated, saved, healed, delivered, and made whole.

I love the phrase the writer to the Hebrews uses:

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. ~ Hebrews 7:25

So then – those who receive Him, who come to Him, He saves to the uttermost! Hallelujah!

Those who receive hold fast

So what does it mean to hold fast? Is this some kind of work of the flesh Paul is foisting on us? I don’t think so. No deed of the flesh can hold us or attach us to that which was given to us supernaturally.

Picture this:

There is an jumbo jet  - let’s call it a concord jet – one of those supersonic babies from the 90’s. It is flying across the pond headed to France. God has a plan to get you to France for a meeting He wants you to attend. So He reaches out of heaven (picture a giant Mickey Mouse glove) delicately picks you up by the collar and places you on the jet – not in but on. Then He tells you, “Ok, it is My will that you go to Paris and preach at Notre Dame. I have gotten you on the plane, all you have to do is hold on till you land in Paris. It should only be 3 hours.”

Hold On, We're almost there!

Yeah – no – I am pretty sure that in this strictly supernatural journey we are on there is no amount of our own holding on that will keep up on the plane. Jesus holds us!

So what are we holding fast?

He is talking about holding on to the truth - to the gospel – contending for the faith – holding what is true, and letting everything else go.

When I say holding the truth – there is an element of protecting it, but I believe the bigger job is protecting ourselves from the lies. Even lies like – you have to hold on to Jesus or you’ll end up in hell.

If we could hold on, we would not have needed Jesus to die and rise and present His precious blood to the Father.

Next we will look at the gospel in its simplest form.

Ben NelsonCome back Monday

See you then.

Tomorrow there are some great questions to toss around – don’t miss it.

Ben

Words in Red Gospel of Matthew (4)
Words in Red Gospel of Matthew (4) (Photo credit: Lex Photographic)

It's hard to believe i have actually come to the end of the Sermon on the Mount. It has been a year now. I started blogging on June 9th 2012, and started with the Beatitudes. I did take a few detours along the way, but I have been living in this wonderful sermon for a full year now.

Before I move on, someone once pointed out to me a verse in Matthew 4 just preceding this wonderful sermon, where Matthew lays out his plan.

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. ~ Matthew 4:23

My friend pointed out to me that this verse acts as an outline to the next five chapters.

For three chapters we will see His teaching ministry in full swing. I believe that Jesus taught the sermon on the mount in one time and in one place, but I also think it was more or less His 'manifesto' so to speak. It sums up much of what He will teach over the course of His ministry.

The following two chapters, 8 and 9, focus on HIs ministry around Galilee healing, delivering, and just saving in general. There are some thrilling and profound miracles we see in these next two chapters.

Matthew uses this pattern of teaching and healing ministry as his outline, but we will find that Jesus used it as his main M.O. Not always but often he would teach and then heal. The teaching ministry makes a place for the healing ministry.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17

In fact, my favorite pattern for ministry is Worship, which draws the presence of God (a greater manifestation of the presence of God - I get that the Spirit is always with the believer) ministry in the word, and then interactive hands on ministry with those with specific needs. I am totally OK if you want to mix it up a bit though.

BenThanks for coming by.

See you soon.

Ben

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