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The Entirety of the Gospel
by Lawrence Walkup 
02/07/14
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THE ENTIRETY OF THE GOSPEL

by Lawrence Walkup

Jesus Christ gave his life for you, (and also for the entire unbelieving world)

in order to give his life to you, (only to those who have recieved him)

in order to live his life through you. (where the victorious life is lived and where the abundant life is lived)

The reason why most Christians don't live in the blue, is because they are not taught this. They are taught at best only up to the point where Jesus gives his life to you (the green). Therefore there is no victorious life lived nor an abundant life lived. I would say most Christians don't really believe Jesus lives inside of them. This is evidenced by the fact that churches feel a need at times, to take their congregation up into the mountains in order to get closer to God, as they put it. If God lives inside of you, how is he going to get any closer than what he already is? The retreat really ends up being nothing more than a three day emotional hype session. Emotions within the church have become a substitute for what is lacking in not understanding the entirety of the Gospel. Only half a Gospel is taught within the church today. Up to the cross is what is taught and not after the cross, which is the most important.

Look at Rom 5: 10. 'The whole world has been reconciled to God through the death of his Son, but how much more shall we be saved through his life.' Life is the issue. Without an understanding of the blue, the church can only produce religious people. I would rather be lost, than be religious. I only mean this in a practical sense. I can be a born again Christian, that has become religious, but I still have salvation. And because God will finish the work he began in me, he will deal with me eventually down the road at some point. He will do what he has to in order to form Christ in me. Even if it involves the extreme of being left behind to overcome the Great Tribulation. No thank you, I want to be raptured out of here. 

How do we as Christians go from the green to the blue? We do not live in the blue because we are not taught the blue. Where is the teaching in the scriptures that supports the fact Jesus should be living his life through us? The first thing we need to do is ask ourselves, 'what is it that makes sense?' 'What is it that seems logical?' Besides being a deposit guarantee for our entrance into heaven, what other purpose would Jesus have for occupying our bodies, if it wasn't for the fact he desires to live through them. That makes all the sense in the world.

What was Jesus' life like when he walked on the earth? Isn't he (the Son of Man) our example of what a man is supposed to be like? Wasn't his life a perfect illustration to us, of what God the Father had always intended how a man should live? And so how did Jesus live? He said of himself he could nothing by himself; 'he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does'. (John 5:19) That sounds to me like God the Father is living through the Son. Jesus is simply trusting the Father to do this. Jesus is giving us an example  of what he wants to now do through us, since he lives inside of us as born again Christians . We too are to simply trust him that he will do this. That is the message he is sending us. I want you to trust me as I trusted the Father. But here is the catch: It is really hard for us to do this. Jesus did it perfectly. We have a hard time doing this because our minds have to be renewed on a continual basis from our old belief systems, we are still holding on to whether we realize it or not.

Jesus said of us we have little faith. It seems to me the more I grow as a Christian, the more I realize how much I don't believe, how much I don't trust. Here is an example of another man who was able to trust God perfectly (but only at certain times in his life). David was so young and small. First his older brothers ridiculed him for even being at the scene. King Saul offered David armor to wear, but it was so big, it just got in his way. Imagine it in your mind. Here is this scrawny little shepard boy, almost begging King Saul to let him go out there and take on this giant of a man, between eight and nine feet tall. Just think of the courage and the great faith of David. He knew his God. He knew without a doubt in his mind that God would come through for him. Read the rest of the story of what David says to Goliath in 1 Sam 17: 45-47.

Besides having great faith, David also had great sins in his life. David, a mere man like you and I had impregnated the wife of one of his thirty mighty men, as they were called. He tried to cover it up by insisting to Uriah to go home and take leave to be with his wife. David was hoping Uriah would have sex with her, so Uriah would have been the one who got her pregnant, covering up what David had done. However, all of David's men loved David. They were always faithful and loyal to him. Uriah insisted to David he could not take special privileges the rest of the men could not take. David had Uriah placed in the front lines where the fighting was the worst to insure his death. Even after this great sin that David had committed, there was still forgiveness awaiting him from God as long as he came to terms with his sin. The baby that Bathsheba (the wife of Uriah) had, did not survive. The next son Bathsheba had, when David took her as his wife was Solomon. Solomon became the next king after David and became known as the wisest and richest man that ever lived.  I don't know what this story does for you, but what it does for me is it gives me great encouragement that there is not only hope, but there is great hope for me.

This is a story about you and I. People are still the same today as they were back then. No matter where we are in our lives right now, let us all be encouraged, let us do what David did and pick ourselves right back up and start again exercising faith in God. It is true we have forgiveness in God and we can immediately start exercising faith again; but let us also keep in mind and not forget that whatsoever a man sows, that will he reap. If one sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will he reap destruction. David received forgiveness and mercy from God, And even though David is the only one in Scripture that is referred to by God as a 'man after his own heart', he never escaped reaping what he sowed. Go back and read about the life of David in 1 Sam. and 2 Sam. You will love David (who is a type and shadow of Jesus) for his great faith and courage. And because he completely wins you over, you have that much more sorrow for him, for all he suffered from his sins.

Another example of Jesus laying out a pattern for us to follow, is in John 14: 10-11. 'Rather it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.' Here you have God the Father living in the body of Jesus, and God the Father is doing his work, through the body of Jesus. Now that Jesus lives in us, he is to do his work through our bodies. Look at what the Apostle Paul states in Gal. 2: 20. Paul has not actually been crucified physically, but he sees himself as if he had. He says of himself he no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. Paul is still in his body, but he puts his faith in Him who is also in his body. Not only is he stating by faith, I'm going to let Him live through me instead of me, but also by faith he knows He will. God doesn't overtake our bodies like we are some kind of robots and have no say in the matter. In fact it is of an utmost importance to God that we do have a say in the matter.

We have been given free will. How could there be such a thing as love for God, if we didn't have free will. God wants us to love him freely, or it wouldn't be love. It is our free choice of putting faith in God that is our love for God. It says in Hebrews without faith it is impossible to please God. So now we know what pleases God (faith in Him). And the reason why it pleases Him, is because it is a demonstration of our love for Him.  Paul says to himself, I know that God lives in me, and because I still possess free choice, I know I also live in me. It is very important to God I have free choice, because that is a mechanism that proves my love for Him. I have free choice to reject the God that lives in me, or I have free choice to put faith in the God that lives in me. Because I know God will, and because I know God wants to, I voluntarily choose to let Him live through my body, instead of me. The way that I put this thing into operation is to simply trust Him that He will. And then I just sit back and watch the results unfold. Watch the results unfold in my dealings with people, and in my dealings with circumstances.

Another example from Jesus as he speaks to Peter in reference to the things of God vs. the things of men, is found in Matt. 16: 23-25. After stating to Peter and then continuing on with the rest of the disciples he says: 'For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it'. Spiritually speaking we have already lost our life to God completely, as we are already seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus. However down here on earth in the physical as we still live in time, we are in the process of losing our lives. And the way we lose our lives is through the process of our minds being renewed. When I say our minds are being renewed, that means that we are not going to think like we used to. We are going to think differently.

This is very important because the scriptures tell us in Proverbs 23: 7, 'so as a man thinks within his heart, so is he.' In other words you are going to act accordingly to how you think. Don't tell me you didn't first think about your lustful thoughts, that in turn produced lustful feelings, that in turn caused you to act upon those feelings. Go to Eph. 2: 1-3 and see all that our minds are being renewed from. This is a very good description of the things of men, and of the things of our own life we want to lose, the things we want our minds to be renewed from. Our whole relationship with God is based on belief in him (faith). But where do you think our belief mechanism tends to lean? We don't even know what spirit is. But we sure know what our physical experiences here on earth are. We sure remember gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. We sure have a great understanding of what it means to follow the ways of this world. We didn't acquire all our pre-christian experiences in one day. They happened over a lifetime. And they are more real to us, than that which is real to us in the spiritual which we have to accept by faith (something we don't see).

Here is a way that you can tell your mind is being renewed: The more you see yourself and your circumstances as God sees them, the more your mind is being renewed. How does God see me and my circumstances? We have to go into the Scriptures and find out how God sees me, and how he sees my circumstances. The church has failed in teaching us the entirety of the Gospel? God intented for us to live victoriously and abundantly according to what the Scriptures teach, and not according to what man teaches. It is the Holy Spirit within you who is to guide you into all truth. He is your teacher. And remember as God had always intended it to be. It is through and only through the Holy Spirit that we know truth from error.

We want our minds to be renewed, and what renews our mind is truth. Jesus said of God's Word: 'Thy word is truth'. Jesus also said 'the truth will set you free'. Set us free from what? We already know that. We are going to be set free from what it said in Eph. 2: 1-3. We are going to have our mind renewed from that. We are going to lose that aspect of our life (the flesh) that is going to fight tooth and nail to hang on, fight tooth and nail to survive. 'For the sinful nature (the flesh) desires what is contrary to the Spirit' (Gal. 5: 17). The Christian life is not hard to live; it is IMPOSSIBLE to live. That is why, it is Christ in you, who is to live it.

If we live the Christian life without Christ, what is it we become? We become religious. If we live the Christian life without Christ, what is it we produce? We produce nothing. Look at john 15: 5. It says that 'apart from Christ we can do nothing'. Of all the Scriptures we have looked at so far, as to support this notion Christ should be living His life through us; it is these few verses here in John 15 that are the most solidifying. They give us a perfect illustration of how the Christian life should be lived. As Christians, if there is no fruit in our lives, then who are we kidding. If there is no fruit, then why even bother. Look at verses 1-5. This is a passage about Christians bearing fruit.

As Christians who live on this earth, we are either going to bear the fruit of the Spirit, or we are going to bear the works of the flesh (Gal. 5: 16-23). In these verses in John 15, Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches attached to the vine. Depending on which translation you are using, the word attached is very significant. It can also be the the word abide or the word remain. The word means: our choosing to make that decision in our mind we are going to trust Jesus. That is what it means to exercise faith. Verse four says: 'IF you abide in me'. Do you see the importance of the word if? That is something we have to choose to do. We are not forced to do it. We freely have to choose to do stay attached to the vine. As branches attached to the vine, where is the life of the branch really coming from? If the branch was cut from the vine, there would be no more life in it. The life of the branch is in the vine. The vine is the one that does all the work. It is doing the producing of the fruit. We are simply the branches bearing the fruit. No matter what kind of great works we may think we are doing, if we are doing these works apart from Christ, they count for nothing. Think of all the religious activity going on out there in the Christian world counting for nothing. Just watch Christian television. 

The way we can determine for ourselves that our minds are being renewed, is when we see ourselves and our circumstances as God sees them. How does God see a born again Christian and his circumstances? In order to learn how God views us, we first have to understand what all we have recieved at the moment we recieved Christ. What came with the package deal upon receiving Christ? What are all the things we have in Him? And again something the church has failed to teach. To some it is more important to teach tradition, rather than to teach what it plainly states in the Scriptures. Of all the things we have recieved from being in Christ; the central issue is forgiveness.

This is extremely important because it is this issue that has crippled Christians, has kept them bound up, has kept them from growing, and most importantly, has kept them from experiencing the love of God for far to long now. Christians have failed to see that God does not deal with us on the issue of our sins anymore. In regard to our sins (past, present, and future) they have been put behind the back of God, never to see them again. Now God deals with us on the issue of life. It is when we come to understand this fully, the focus of our Christian Life will then be placed upon Christ where it belongs, rather than upon ourselves.

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If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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