The SBJT Sermon: The Gospel Truth -- By: Tim McCoy
SBJT 1:1 (Spring 1997) p. 62
The SBJT Sermon:
The Gospel Truth
Timothy A. McCoy is the pastor of Ingleside Baptist Church, a vibrant congregation located in Macon, Georgia. He earned his Ph.D. at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. McCoy serves as trustee of The Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and is in demand as a speaker in churches and conferences.
When you are confronted with a decision, how important is it to know the truth? As you are weighing competing options, how vital is it to have the facts? As you stand at a crossroads attempting to chart a successful course, how critical is it to have accurate information?
I suppose if the decision is of little consequence, if all the options have similar outcomes and if all paths lead to the same destination, then it may not be so important to know the truth.
But when the consequences are weighty, when the outcomes are not equal but are eternal, and when the destinations are as different as heaven and hell, then everyone of us will surely want to know the truth. .. the gospel truth!
Fortunately, when it comes to the core issue of our lives—how we may be rightly related to the living God—the Bible gives us completely reliable and accurate information, it clearly and explicitly lays out the facts we need to know and it candidly communicates the truth that sets us free.
One of the places in the Bible where the truth of the Christian gospel is set forth in brief, but beautiful, fashion is in the first ten verses of the second chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. In what one writer has called “a veritable mine of spiritual truth,”1 the first three verses tell us the truth about ourselves, verses four through seven tell us the truth about God, and the final three verses tell us the truth about salvation.
The Truth About Ourselves
First, the Bible teaches us the truth about ourselves—who we are apart from Christ. And, to tell you the truth, the news is not good. The facts are startling and sobering.
Apart from Jesus Christ, the Bible says, we are dead. .. “dead in our trespasses and sins” (v. 1). Our spiritual condition is that of a corpse. Spiritually speaking, we are lifeless, helpless and hopeless. We are alienated from God, cut off from his presence and disconnected from his power. Because we are genuinely dead spiritually, we are both unable and unwilling to do anything about our calamitous condition.
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