The Gospel is not a mere message of deliverance, but a canon of conduct; it is not a theology to be accepted, but it is ethics to be lived. It is not to be believed only, but it is to be taken into life as a guide. (Alexander MacLaren)
”Man’s greatest honor and privilege is to do the will of God. This was what the Lord Jesus taught His disciples. He once said that only those who did His Father’s will would enter the kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 7:21). He also said that His true brothers and sisters were those who did the will of God (Matt. 12:50).” – Zac Poonen
Jesus himself said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 5:3)
Who are then the poor in Spirit?
The poor in Spirit are those who realise that their good works cannot send them to heaven but only the grace of God.
The poor in Spirit are those who know that keeping the law is nothing to boast of but rather is a thing to be humble about.
The poor in Spirit are those who know that they cannot save themselves but only the Lord God can.
The poor in Spirit are those who realise that all their riches of wisdom and knowledge are still inferior to the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The poor in Spirit are those who believe that this world has nothing lasting to offer them and look for life that is eternal in the Lord’s will.
The poor in Spirit are those who despise what is sinful and seek what is holy in their thoughts, words and actions.
The poor in Spirit avoid false and deceptive gains but seek the truth about the will of God for their life.
“The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. … It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers’ lives that it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or in the Spirit.” – Smith Wigglesworth
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
A quote from an Evangelical preacher which in a way sums up how the preaching of the Word of God can go wrong:
Evangelicals, (including myself), have distorted the image of Jesus
FROM a Righteous, Reigning, Awesome King of Glory, to be feared, loved and obeyed.
Down to a Friendly Neighbor.
We have diluted the Gospel down to “Say a prayer and get your free ticket to Heaven.” We handed out tickets to heaven, like it was free candy, forgetting the words of Jesus “It is hard for a man to enter the Kingdom of God” and “narrow is the door…few there be that find it”
We have diluted down the image of Hell,
FROM a place of Miserable Agony, Torment, Wrath, Burning & Regret
Down to a much more digestible phrase, “Godless eternity” (which doesn’t seem to put fear in any unbeliever)
Never ever dilute the Gospel even if the person who is hearing might reject the true meaning of the Gospel. It’s your job preach the Word of God without altering it. Don’t worry about the so called “undue” fear mongering because certain things are actually good to fear; ” The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10)”
“Christ is not wisdom and righteousness only to His people, but sanctification also. Men sometimes try to make themselves holy first of all, and sad work they make of it. They toil and labour, and turn over new leaves, and make many changes; and yet, like the woman with the issue of blood, before she came to Christ, they feel “nothing bettered, but rather worse.” (Mark v. 26.) They run in vain, and labour in vain; and little wonder, for they are beginning at the wrong end. They are building up a wall of sand; their work runs down as fast as they throw it up. They are baling water out of a leaky vessel: the leak gains on them, not they on the leak. Other foundation of “holiness” can no man lay than that which Paul laid, even Christ Jesus. “Without Christ we can do nothing.” (John xv. 5.) It is a strong but true saying of Traill’s, “Wisdom out of Christ is damning folly—righteousness out of Christ is guilt and condemnation—sanctification out of Christ is filth and sin—redemption out of Christ is bondage and slavery.” Do you want to attain holiness? Do you feel this day a real hearty desire to be holy? Would you be a partaker of the Divine nature? Then go to Christ.”
― J.C. Ryle