“THE MESSAGE & THE METHODS” Rom. 10:9-17
CWBC – 8/5/18
INTRO – I’ve come to a conclusion. The letters “ough” are the strangest, most confusing letters in the English language when they are put together in a word.
Look at this sentence:
“Although times were tough, the bough of the tree was bought & thrown through the window.”
- How many different ways might this sentence be read?
So confusing if you don’t know the language! It’s hard to communicate effectively if you don’t know the language. And even when you do know the language, communication can still be difficult at times.
If there is anything that we as Christians & the Church must be able to communicate clearly, it’s the Gospel! We can’t confuse this message to the world. We’ve got to get it right.
Today, we are starting a short series of messages entitled, “Grow Your Church, Lord!” We will be thinking about what it takes for us to see God do a great work in this church, growing us deeper in spiritual maturity, larger in numbers, & stronger in ministry. It’s going to take a high level of commitment from all of us, hard work from all of us, & a heart that is totally on fire for the Lord!
Last Sunday, I asked, “How many of you want to see CWBC grow?” Every hand in here went up! So, were you serious about that? Are you serious about that today?
EXPLANATION – Today, we are going to look at Romans 10:9-17 (page 946). Turn to that passage in your Bible, or find it on your phone or iPad.
…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[a] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
The title of the message today is, “The Message & the Methods.” And those are the 2 points that I want you to see in this passage.
THE MESSAGE – The message of the Gospel is the unchanging Good News that God has provided the Way for us to be His child for all eternity. John 1:12 tells us, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
Let’s take a look at some good definitions of the Gospel so we can have a strong foundation to build on:
W.A. Criswell – The message from our Lord Himself is that Christ suffered and was raised from the dead and that remission of sins should be preached in His name to all people. That is the good news. That is the message. That is the gospel!
George Eldon Ladd (Baptist minister & seminary prof at Fuller Theological Seminary) – “This is the good news about the kingdom of God. How men need this gospel! Everywhere one goes he finds the gaping graves swallowing up the dying. Tears of loss, of separation, of final departure stain every face. Every table sooner or later has an empty chair, every fireside its vacant place. Death is the great leveller. Wealth or poverty, fame or oblivion, power or futility, success or failure, race, creed or culture — all our human distinctions mean nothing before the ultimate irresistible sweep of the scythe of death which cuts us all down. And whether the mausoleum is a fabulous Taj Mahal, a massive pyramid, an unmarked spot of ragged grass or the unplotted depths of the sea one fact stands: death reigns.
“Apart from the gospel of the kingdom, death is the mighty conqueror before whom we are all helpless. We can only beat our fists in utter futility against this unyielding and unresponding tomb. But the good news is this: death has been defeated; our conqueror has been conquered. In the face of the power of the kingdom of God in Christ, death was helpless. It could not hold him, death has been defeated; life and immortality have been brought to life. An empty tomb in Jerusalem is proof of it. This is the gospel of the kingdom.”
Alistair Begg – Here’s the gospel in a phrase. Because Christ died for us, those who trust in him may know that their guilt has been pardoned once and for all. What will we have to say before the bar of God’s judgment? Only one thing. Christ died in my place. That’s the gospel.
Kevin Hamm – “The Gospel is good news! The bad news is that we have all sinned & fallen short of Gods glory. Good news is Jesus paid the penalty for our sins w/ His perfect, precious blood. Acts 3:19 – ‘Repent & turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.’”
Fred Luter – “The Gospel is the Word of God given to the people of God so that we can be Light & Salt in a dark, low-sodium, salt-less society.”
Ken Smith – “The Gospel is when your faith discovers grace – it becomes a part of your life! The Gospel in a nutshell – knowing you are forgiven. It is not what you do; it is responding to what has been done!”
Don Wilton – “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s precious gift to our searching world. It is the only means by which all people can have a full & meaningful life through the forgiveness of sin & the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.”
When we look at v. 9-13, we find these awesome components of the message of the Gospel – and these components NEVER CHANGE!
- CONFESS – to admit; to acknowledge; to say the same thing
- BELIEVE – to trust & put faith in
- CALL – “ask for help” – You are helpless! ONLY God can help you & save you!
THE METHOD – The MESSAGE of the Gospel never changes. The METHOD of spreading the Gospel is constantly changing. Just think about CWBC & some of the things we’ve done over last 10 years to spread the Gospel:
- FAITH evangelism training,
- Plan of salvation is on our church website,
- Team Impact,
- Mission trips all over the world,
- Mission Byram,
- Country Oaks,
- Block parties,
- Gospel sung about & preached in every corporate worship services,
- Evangelism bracelets,
- God & Country Day,
- Front foyer coffee bar,
- Kids’ camps,
- Youth camps,
- Wild game dinners,
- One of our LG’s goes downtown to feed the homeless,
- Billy Graham “My Hope” videos,
- “Tell Someone” witness training during Life Groups a few months ago,
- “I Can Only Imagine” – parking lot of Vowell’s in Nov.
- “Days of Hope” services in Sept. & Oct.
But no matter which of these methods we implement, v. 14-17 make this one thing clear:
You’ve got to GO, & you’ve got to TELL, so the lost can HEAR! Read these verses w/ me again.
- v. 14b – “…And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
- v. 15 – “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
- v. 17 – “So faith comes from hearing, & hearing through the word of Christ.”
APPLICATION – Let’s get practical w/ our application. Look at these words:
Each of you has a paper funnel. Want you to write these words on it, beginning, w/ the word “community.” Keep it in your Bible. Bring it back to worship w/ you all throughout this month.
Community – Mark 16:15 – “Go into all the world & preach the Gospel to the whole creation.” The lost who are in the 56,000.
Crowd – Matt. 9:36 – “When He saw the crowds, He was moved w/ compassion b/c they were harassed & helpless, like sheep w/out a shepherd.” Attending corporate worship. Hearing the Gospel.
Congregation – The folks in this group have made a commitment to Christ & to His Church. The word “congregate” means “to come together; to assemble.” Move them from the crowd into a small group Bible study.
Committed – The MESSAGE of the Gospel has impacted this person’s life through the power & working of the Holy Spirit, & the place their faith in Christ. Begin their lifelong walk w/ Jesus Christ through spiritual disciplines.
Core – Moving deeper in spiritual maturity & commitment. Stronger grasp on the things of God. Faithful in studying the Word of God – faithful & growing prayer life – faithful to the Church FAMILY – faithful in serving the Lord – committed to doing ministry.
COMMISSIONED – This is the foundation of it all for us as Christ-followers! We must truly accept & live out the Great Commission to “Make disciples.” We all KNOW it, but how many of us are LIVING it?
DAYS OF HOPE – NOT FOR YOU IF YOU’RE ALREADY SAVED!
- August – PRAYING that true Revival breaks out in the Church!
- Sept & Oct – Then PRAYING that Spiritual awakening happens among the lost!
CONCLUSION – In Nashville Fri & Sat. Downtown at Ryman Auditorium Fri night for Dave Barnes concert. Afterwards, came out into the streets around Ryman. Packed w/ people drinking, partying, music blaring from the bars & clubs. Felt like French Quarter in New Orleans.
Then went to an area called 12th Avenue South. Similar to Fondren. Again, people everywhere – shopping, eating, drinking coffee, etc.
Both places – overwhelmed w/ a sense of heaviness at the lostness of our world.
But that’s not our community. What about here? Byram – South Jackson – Terry – Raymond – Florence – Clinton? Overwhelmed w/ the lostness of our community?
- Go to Byram Middle School
- Drive through South Jackson
- Go to ballgame at Hinds
- Walk through Wal-Mart in Byram or Clinton
- Do door-to-door FAITH Opinion Poll surveys in apartments here in Byram
Realize the lostness of our community! Pray for revival to come to CWBC, so that we will then go into our community w/ the unchanging message of the Gospel, & see many people come to know Christ!