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Reformation Church of Elizabeth
Pastor Kevin Swanson  |  Elizabeth, Colorado
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The Gospel
PERMANENT NOTICE
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
BLOG ON: SERMON A Virtuous Woman Who Can Find?
Reformation Church of Elizabeth
Kevin Swanson
The Gospel

The word “Gospel” is bandied about a great deal, and I’m not sure that everybody knows what it means in a Christian context. Since the Gospel is the "good news," I think it is important that people know the essence of that good news!

In the broader sense of the word, the gospel is the Word of God revealed in Old and New Testaments (1 Pet. 1:25, Heb. 4:2). It is the fear of God, and man's obligation to live for His glory and worship. It is to proclaim the judgment of God on the nations (Rev. 14:6,7).

But in the more narrow and proximate sense, the gospel is defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1,2.
1 Cor. 15:1,2 I declared unto the gospel which I preached unto you, by which you are saved if you keep it in memory. [And here it is in the following verses. . .] how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. . .”

So the Gospel is a real life story of a death and a resurrection - the death and resurrection of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of that death is also an important element of the Gospel and Paul tells us that “He died for our sins.”

So far so good.

But really as far as all of us are concerned, the Gospel requires a response in order for the Gospel to be good news for us.

This response is beautifully pictured in the story of the sinner woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:47). Our Lord explains the meaning of this scene in these words, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”
Here is a woman who has sinned much, she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and she serves much. She serves and obeys much because she loves much. Jesus completes the picture in these well-known words, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Who among us should not identify with this woman? Which of us has not sinned much or been forgiven much, if we have believed in God’s gracious forgiveness in Christ?

Now, a litany of problems begin to emerge when somebody takes a pair of scissors and cuts this picture in half, or even in thirds - and this is the way the Gospel is sometimes presented. How can one separate “Sinned Much” and “Forgiven Much” and “Loved Much” in this picture without ruining the entire picture?

To bifurcate the story by clipping Sinned Much away from Forgiven Much while preaching Law of God will only make the law an intolerable burden.

To bifurcate this story by clipping Sinned Much from Forgiven Much while preaching Grace is to make forgiveness meaningless.

Or to bifurcate the story again by clipping Forgiven Much from Loved Much is to forget why you need to love, and the law again becomes burdensome in the life of the believer.

For some reason, many of us tend to bifurcate the story in our own mind and messages, and in so doing contort the Gospel. My suggestion is to take the whole picture as it is and leave off bifurcating these stories. For those who are aware of the three-fold use of the law, I say there is no need to separate the first and the third use of the law in this story. It is impossible to be forgiven much and not to love much, while hearing the Word of God preached under the shadow of the cross.

This is not to say we can’t talk about different sides of the issue, but at some point the story must stand as a complete story in our minds. This woman sinned much, she was forgiven much, she loved much and served much.

Wherever I teach the Word and attempt to disciple the nations, I do not want anybody walking away without them -
1) Knowing and Believing that they have Sinned Much and that they have been Forgiven Much, and,
2) Loving Much and Obeying His Commandments Much (which will most likely be the same commandments that they were breaking before they heard the Word taught.)

When the law is preached under the shadow of the cross, the same law that convicts a sinner of his sin will serve as the rule of obedience for that heart flowing with passionate love, upon hearing and believing the good news of Christ‘s forgiving grace.

And that good news is clearly stated in 1 Cor. 15:1-3.

“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. . ."

He died for our sins. And He was raised again for our justification! Hallelujah! (Rom. 4:25).
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     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

A Tale of Two Families
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 06, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
Following is the story Kevin Swanson shared in the message given on October 21, 2007. . . Let me tell you the story of a nice evangelical family attending a good evangelical church. I remember they lived next door to a pagan family in 1970. The...
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Baptism - Dipping or Dripping?
TUESDAY, AUGUST 07, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
Mark 1:1-8 - The Baptism of Repentance I. The Beginning of a Good Message. Vs. 1 II. Four things about John - Vs. 2-8 A. A voice crying in the wilderness. B. Comes to a nation on the verge of Annihilation. C. John prepared the way for...
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What Comes Before the Fall of a Nation
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
Proverbs 16:18,19 I. Introduction A. A heritage of blessing – A city on a hill B. A nation blessed by God – The most materially blessed nation on earth The most economically free nation on earth C. A nation turning from God Destroying...
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A Tender Surrender - Respecting the Power of Love
MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2007
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Song of Songs 1:8 - 2:7 I. Introduction: A. “Does God really care about something as insignificant as your marriage?” B. A subtle reminder that God expects application. II. Review: A. First Attractions are based on reputation B....
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The Wonder of Love
MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007
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Song of Songs 1:1 - 11 God’s Blessing of Marital Love I. Introduction A. Need to know who is speaking and who do they address. B. Poetry - Enjoy the similes and metaphors - you must see the flowers and gazelles C. Chiasmic Structure An...
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An Introduction to God's Word on Marital Intimacy
SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
Song of Songs 1:1, 1 Kings 3:5-12, 4:29-31 How an Immodest Culture Ruins the Song of Songs for Us and What We’re Going to Do about It. I. Introduction A. Author is Solomon. A Sinner. B. This is a Song. Song of Songs. Poetry that is...
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The Uncertainty of Riches and Some Great Investment Advice
THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
1 Timothy 6:17-21 - Postscript A. A Charge to the Rich in this World: Vs. 17-19 1. Don’t think of yourself as “Above Others.” God may have blessed you in some particular area, but… a. It is God who blessed you. b. God blesses other...
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Heeding the Commission of the King of Kings
SATURDAY, APRIL 07, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
1 Tim 6:13-16 - Heeding the Royal Commission I. The Key Word. What is the commandment? vs. 14 See also - 1 Tim. 1:1 The Commandments is the Commission. The principle: Go ye into all the world. The individual application becomes the...
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When the Foundations are Destroyed. . . What the Righteous Will Do.
MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
Psalm 11 - Steadfast A. Setting of the Psalm - vs. 2-3 1. Dangerous Times - The Enemy is on the Field - Vs. 2 2. Foundations are destroyed. Vs. 3 As in the time of the Judges. As in the time of Isaiah, and Jeremiah As in the time of...
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The Measure of a Good Ministry
MONDAY, MARCH 05, 2007
Posted by: Reformation Church of Elizabeth | more..
EXHORTATION Is God a gracious Master or a hard Master? The difference in perspective is a matter of faith. The guy who sees God’s law is a drudge… doesn’t see God as good. The guy who thinks it’s a pain to carry Christ’s burden, and...
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