We currently live in a super-hero obsessed culture and it can often affect the way we think about sharing the message of Jesus. We can fall into the trap of thinking the apostles are like ‘super-Christians’ and sharing Jesus is for other ‘super-Christians’, [pastors, trained-evangelists, extroverts, people gifted in talking and sharing]. We often think “I’m ordinary, I’m unimpressive, I’m unequipped, I can’t do it, Jesus can’t be expecting anything from me”. But according to Acts 1:1-11, Jesus is the real hero of the book of Acts. We don’t need to be super or a hero, but just need to be used by Him.
In this message, Ryan Smith explores the vital question of ‘What is the Gospel?’ from 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.
In Habakkuk 1:1-11, the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk was unafraid to let God know of his complaint. The world of his day was full of evil, and what was God doing about it? His apparent inactivity was a concern to the prophet. However God had an answer for the prophet that he was not expecting. God was not inactive at all, but was raising up a people who would come and dominate that part of the world bring His swift judgement. This was not only a shock to Habakkuk, but also to people today. How can God just let evil and injustice rule? The answer is that He isn’t and He won’t. In fact he sent His Son Jesus to suffer the graetest injustice of all by dying in the place of sinners. The world continues as it is for now, but when Jesus returns, and not until then, everything will be put right.
Luke 24:13-35 tells of two men who were sad and downcast because they were hoping that Jesus was the one to redeem Israel. But Jesus was handed over to the rulers and crucified. With his death, they lost their hope. But Jesus drew near to them and helped them to see that the plan has always been that the promised Christ must suffer and die, and then enter his glory. All of Scripture points to this, and rather than being the end of hope, His death was the exact opposite and His resurrection from the dead only confirmed the certainty of that hope because He triumphed over death as the risen Lord. Now, in the midst of all the troubles of this life, even with the news of our own impending death, we can know hope, if we come to the one who has died for our sin and risen as our Lord. (no audio available)
Ryan Smith spoke from Romans 5:12-21 about Jesus, Adam and us. Adam’s ‘one small step’ in the garden had giant consequences for all mankind falling into sin. Jesus is a man like Adam, but where Adam fell, Jesus is righteous and his death pays for all mankind. So while all are sinners by Adam (and by choice), we are righteous by faith in Christ.