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Uploaded on Sep 29, 2010
The Gospel is NOT the first step to deeper spiritual realities that they gain apart from the gospel. Rather the bible declares that the Gospel IS more like a hub of the wheel with spokes going out from it and returning to it. Christians need to learn that we never go beyond the Gospel in our growth, we just dig deeper into it. The Gospel is for pagans and preachers just the same.
In Jonah we see a man who runs from God because he misunderstands of the Gospel of God's loving kindness that has been direct toward him. Yes, the story of Jonah is a real story and not something made up, because Jesus affirm its historicity. Jonah was a prophet that had quite an honor at the time of the narrative here because he had just prophesied to Jeroboam and Israel that God wold bless them in the beefing up of their def fences against the Assyrians during the 8th century. He was popular because is prophecy was pleasant and beneficial and it occurred immediately. He was famous. But when he gets his next assignment from god he balks at it because he still has not learned that the intent of God in Gospel as was being revealed in the Old Testament promises was the extension of saving mercy to all peoples in all the world. There are reasons for Jonah's Gospel confusion and yours as well in this life:.
Gospel confusion occurs when
1. you deny Gods mercy to others because they are not as good as you.. Many times you will only agrees with God when the outcomes are what you expects or are good for you. This confuses what God has promised in his promises and prophecy. 2. You deny your bent to believe in your self. Every human is a sinner because we are bent inside to deny God's resources, deny that we are God's instruments to be used as He pleases, and deny God's was is better than our way. God is working in all of us to use us as his means of grace to others. If we disobey God doesn't just pick up another instrument but changes the instrument he has (Jonah or you) to accomplish his will. 3. You deny it is impossible to fee from God. Jonah ran from God when he did not like what God has said, and so do we. We ditch God. We must remember that to obey God we sometimes by disobey ourselves. God sent a storm, a tempest to deal with his man, Jonah. God is always going to win. Everyone in this world is related to God either as judge or as his covenant LORD. The apostle Paul understood this when he was on a ship sailing toward Rome and got caught in a storm. But Paul was not running and did not fall asleep, but declared that God had told him that they would not die if they listen to Him. You cannot run from God, because God is faster and will ultimately confront and deal with you -- either by mercy or in judgment and wrath. God is still in control of Jonah's life (as well as ours). 4. you deny the goodness of God interference. God's will is always right and best. God always has a redemptive plan when he interferes in our lives. We all like God when he is blessing our natural state of affairs, but many Christians don't want God to interfere with their comforts or gracious plans for their life. As God was interfering to control the situation in Jonah's life he made sure that the sailors and captain of the ship that Jonah was trying to escape on knew what was going on. In fact we see in our text that the sailors eventually believe in the Covenant lord because of how God revealed Himself to them through the disobedience of Jonah. God controls the casting of lots (Prov. 16:33) in this situation for his purposes. God is not hoping to turn Jonah around, but was certain that His plan would work. Jesus is also a great storm and a great mercy. Jesus will interfere in your life to accomplish his redemptive plan in this world. Are you agreeable to this or are you running. 5. You deny that you are running by legalism or licentiousness. The prodigal son ran from God because of licentiousness, but the old son was also running from God because of legalism. Law keeping can make us think we are better, but we may still be running away from God because we are relying our or goodness to deserve God's blessing
Only the Gospel saves. The Gospel is being affected by what Jesus did on the cross for us in all of life more than the effect of gloomy circumstances, drama, storms that are in your life. The gospel doesn't make bad people good but dead people alive. The Gospel is what Christ has done for us and not what we do. The Gospel of grace is unconditional acceptance to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. The Gospel should make you aware of your unrighteousness. Again, the Gospel is being effected by what Jesus did on the cross for us in all of life more than the effect of gloomy circumstances, drama, storms that are in your life. Are you trusting in this Gospel, or are you running way from God and his mercy because of your confusion about what the Gospel is?