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Are You Connected?
Many people pay extreme attention to process of being CONNECTED. We say, "That politician seems well-connected to the voters." Or, "It's great to be connected to the internet---so much information." Sadly, "He was indicted for being connected to organized crime." How about this one, "Wow! A home run! The batter really connected with that pitch."
Connected: associated, attached, linked, related.
Whenever the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth was preached or shared, there were distinct examples of being 'connected.' Connectedness was obvious in many Scriptures.
"Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Lyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." Rom 15:19 kjv. "Is not My Word like fire," declares the Lord, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" Jer 23:29. niv. Visible and invisible results were always connected to the 'preaching' of the gospel.
"Only let your conversation (conduct, behavior, manner of living) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whither I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel..." Phil 1:27 kjv.
The Christian way of living is always connected to the presentation of the gospel of Christ.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Rom 1:16. kjv. 'Unashamedness' is connected to salvation unfolding within the gospel of Christ.
"And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the 'blessing' of the gospel of Christ. Rom 15:29 kjv. Blessings: the overflowing joys and kindnesses proceeding usward from the very heart of God Himself.
Blessings are directly connected to the gospel of Christ.
"We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials." niv. Spiritual strength and spiritual encouragement are definitely connected to the gospel of Christ.
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the LIGHT of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Cor 4:3,4. "You are all sons of the LIGHT and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness...let us be alert and self-controlled." 1 Thess 5:5,6b. niv. Connected to the gospel of Christ---is SPIRITUAL LIGHT.
"You will be rich in every so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through every occasion, and through your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God . Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and your genosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Cor 9:11-13. niv. God's BIG heart wants to be connected to our BIG hearts.
Note: the phrase "gospel of Christ" occurs only 12 times in the New Testament, 7 above. This document "keys' on those seven references.
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Leon, this is a good article.