I normally share a few links with a few comments. Here’s a few links and a short sermon.
When we confess Jesus as Lord, via The Gospel Coalition. This is one of those posts I wish I had written.
Here is a whole collection of verses and quotes on Thanksgiving. Christians should be all about Thanksgiving.
Harvey Turner at The Resurgence writes You Are Not Jesus. He claims that the gospel is good news, and news must be proclaimed. You cannot, therefore, live the gospel or be the gospel, a premise which troubles me greatly.
Yes, the gospel is good news. But when we are transformed by his redeeming power old things pass away and we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). It is no longer we that live but he lives in us (Gal 2:20). Our goal is to conform to the image of Christ, who himself was the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). We are filled with the indwelling Holy Spirit, and are commissioned to carry the gospel to a lost and dying world. I am not Jesus, but if I give a cup of water to the least of his children Jesus says it’s as if I gave water to him. We, the church, are the body of Christ and he becomes the head of the body. Jesus says his believers become one with him just as he and the Father are one. We are grafted into the family of God through a glorious adoption.
We do not earn our salvation by works, but when we yield to the Spirit and do good works that is good news. When we dig a well in a developing nation, bring food and medicine to the hungry and needy, when we share the gospel message with those in spiritual need, we are fulfilling the Great Commission. Jesus empowered his disciples to teach and preach, but also to perform great works (Mark 6:7, 13). James said to be a doer of the word, not hearers only (James 1:22-23). In the next chapter he says “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15-16)
Telling the gospel story is expected of all believers. We are to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Actions speak louder than words. The Pharisees were full of words (they think they will be known for their much speaking). Our giving and going is also good news to people in need. We are blessed in order to bless others. I am not Jesus, but we are the body of Christ. If Christ is the head, and our actions are directed by the Spirit, then we do in fact share the gospel with and without words. Consider these words of Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:13-16 ESV)