The Readiness of the Gospel
Scripture: Ephesians 6:15
War: The Readiness of the Gospel
This week we continued our study of spiritual warfare. We led into the series examining the idea that our own self-righteousness can trick us into believing we have some sort of impact on the level or degree with which God loves us. This lie, being rooted outside and separate from Scripture, causes us to seek earning favor with God apart from God’s grace. Doing so is clearly foolish. When writing to the Church at Ephesus, Paul encouraged believers to fasten on the “readiness of the Gospel of peace”. Doing so helps us to also fasten on the confidence of Gods promise to us in the Gospel. The enemy tries to disconnect us from the Gospel. He tries to convince us that God's love is conditional. Romans 5:6-8 shows us the good news of the Gospel. We see the extent of God’s love and how encompassing it is to include us when we were still sinners.
- What does Scripture tell us about the impact of our own efforts in salvation?
- Does your community group function as an exclusive sub-culture that is difficult to become a part of? If so, how?
- Does our church? If so, in what ways can we show a more biblical attitude?
One hot topic throughout church history has been the nature in which God related to his creation in salvation. One school of thought seeks to say that man is: not fully sinful at birth, elected based on God’s foreknowledge and not providence, atoned for by Christ’s death whether he follows Christ or not, capable of rejecting God’s calling to salvation, and able to actively terminate a genuine salvation experience.
Another school of thought seeks to say that man is: wholly sinful at birth (Rom. 3:23), elected based on God’s grace alone (Eph. 1:4), wholly atoned for by Christ’s death if fruits are shown as a result of the salvation experience (Col. 2:13-14), incapable of rejecting God’s calling to salvation (Rom. 9:18), and unable to actively terminate a genuine salvation experience. (John 6:38-39)
- Which school of thought does Scripture seem to relate to more?
- What would be some implications to believing one way over the other?
God’s commitment to you is eternal. Scripture gives us countless examples validating this truth. Knowing that He loves you in such an unshakable way is the basis for your impact on this world in His name. True believers will persevere to the end in faith and obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit. The definition of love that culture teaches us is very conditional, which leads to immaturity. Instead of running from God when we sin, the mature believer will cling to Him knowing His love cannot and will not break.
- How are you preparing yourself in the Gospel? Are you ready to be a testament for the real definition of God’s love?
- How are you putting yourself in other people’s lives in order to be an example for the Gospel?
John 3:16 ESV:
 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:36 ESV:
 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 5:24 ESV:
 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
John 14:21 ESV:
 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Romans 5:6-8 ESV:
 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:29-39 ESV:
 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV:
 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV:
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 6:14-15 ESV:
 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Philippians 1:6 ESV
 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 6:4-9 ESV:
 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,  and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,  and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.  For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.  But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.
1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 5:10-11 ESV
 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.