Andrew Fountain - The Gospel 5: Gods Right to Our Allegiance (Repentance)


1. The Big Picture

  1. There is a cosmic struggle between God and the forces of evil
    • It is not a balanced struggle, God is far stronger
    • By evil we mean:
      • cruelty, injustice & oppression
      • cheating, stealing, deceit and corruption
      • sickness, suffering, pain & death
    • But God is determined to root out every hint of evil in the universe
      • So there can be no more suffering or injustice or sorrow or pain —totally banished
  2. The Battle
    • What right does God have to fight evil?
      • He is the creator, and everything was created for the purpose of good
      • He intended everything to be good, and he has a right since he made it
    • The response of the forces of evil is:
      • God has no right to tell us what to do
      • He is evil and deceitful himself (Satan to Eve)
      • Actually it is rebellion against God that brings happiness and submission brings sorrow
      • There is a clever game that goes on in the mind that we call “rationalization”
    • So the battle is mainly fought in the area of belief and allegiance
      • When someone changes sides
        • they stop believing lies about God
        • change their allegiance to him
        • start to trust and follow him
  3. God’s Battle Plan
    • The central idea of God’s plan is to focus evil in one place and then destroy it
      • If you have an infestation of insects like moths or roaches, you don’t destroy the whole house, but put down a bait that draws them into a trap which you then destroy
    • God’s first way of focusing evil was by giving laws
    • The next thing God does is to reveal his love
      • How does this focus evil?
      • It actually raises the stakes and forces polarization
    • People cannot remain neutral any more, they either accept or reject
      • So in this parable it forced evil to the surface
    • John 1:1-18 describes this happening
    • But although the evil comes to the surface, ultimately God’s love wins
      • This is because when Jesus died and rose from the dead
      • He made a way to take evil on himself and destroy it in his own body
        • and then to offer that freedom from evil to anyone who wanted it
        • but there was one thing that they had to do: they had to change sides
      • This means changing allegiance from those opposed to God to God
        • It means recognizing God’s rights as a creator
        • It means acknowledging him as God
  4. We are all caught up in this
    • There is no way that we can be neutral
    • Everything turns on whether we
      • recognise God’s rights
      • that his creation show allegiance to him and not to his enemies
    • Living a life that does not respect his authority is actually siding with the enemy
    • We are either for him or against him

2. What actually happens when we are saved

  1. The Holy Spirit is working in us
    • No body can say “I am a Christian because I was smart enough to figure out that Jesus was the way”
    • Jesus told Peter that God had revealed it
    • God draws people to himself
      • Jesus said...
    • But we can still resist God up to a point
      • If God is really determined to show us his love (Paul)...
  2. Faith / Repentance
    • We put our trust in Jesus
      • giving him our allegiance
    • We turn away from the wrong things in our lives
      • desiring not to do them (even though we may fail much of the time)
  3. We become a new creation
    • We are united with Jesus, getting the blessings from his death and resurrection
      • Our sins are forgiven through his death
      • We are no longer enemies of God, but are fully reconciled with him
    • We become a “new creation” through his resurrection (“born from above”)
      • The Spirit comes to live in us
        • bringing us into experience of the love of the Father and of the Son
      • A new heart is created within us that wants to please God
      • We are adopted by the Father and become his beloved children
      • A new resurrection body is promised to us, along with an eternal inheritance

3. What do we tell people to do?

  • Repent and Believe
    • Acknowledge God’s kingship
    • ask forgiveness for not doing this in the past
    • ask for this gift of new life
    • keep on asking till you receive

Updated on 2009-10-05 (r.81) by Andrew Fountain