The Wonder, Glory & Urgency of the Gospel

Gospel of John #32. An exposition of John 12:27-36. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning July 31, 2011.

We are a “gospel people.”  That is we are a people born out of the gospel, held together by the gospel and kept safe by the gospel of the Lord Jesus.  The gospel is something more than what we believe.  It is who we are.  Too often people think of the gospel as just the story about how we are saved.  The gospel is the good news that God is for us.  It is the message of all that God has done, is doing and will do for His beloved.  The gospel is the story of the plan, the will, and the program of God from before time began to all eternity.  This is why it is true to say, “We never outgrow the gospel.”  We never move beyond the gospel to the “deeper things” of God.  We grow into not out of the gospel.  One of the dangers of the Christian life is familiarity.  We become familiar with biblical truths and thus become comfortable.  We handle the sacred until it is “common.”  We know the story so well it loses its wonder.  Nowhere is that more true than the story of Christ’s Passion.  We’ve read about it, we’ve sung about it, we’ve seen it performed, we’ve rehearsed it again and again until it’s become just another story.  We no longer feel the pain.  We do not see the agony.  We hear the faint echo of His cries but we fail to sense the wonder of it all.  Its glory escapes us and we are unaware of the urgency of its message.  That’s too high a price to pay.  I encourage you, no I beg you, come this morning with a fresh perspective and experience the wonder, the glory and the urgency of the gospel.  Our text is found in the 12th chapter of John’s Gospel.

Text: John 12:27-36
It’s Passover.
Jerusalem is buzzing with excitement.
Our Lord enter the holy city making a bold, public announcement.
His entrance was a declaration, “I am Messiah.”
He used the inquiry of some Greeks as the occasion to announce His hour had come.

With one sentence He ignited the crowd, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

In the next breath he sent them reeling, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Glory and death?
How do these go together?
Lose your life and keep it – hold on to it and lose it?
What does all this mean?

It’s about to get more confusing for the followers of Jesus as He reveals His troubled soul in the shadow of the cross.

Thesis: The experience of Jesus as He approaches the cross reveals the wonder, the glory and the urgency of the gospel.

There are three things I want you to note.  Things that, when they get hold of you, will forever change your perspective on the gospel.

  1. The wonder of the gospel is found in Jesus’ persevering commitment to God’s eternal plan.  (12:27-28)
  2. The glory of the gospel is displayed in the certainty of God’s fierce judgment and the loving attraction of the cross.  (12:29-33)
  3. The urgency of the gospel is manifested by the impending darkness.  (12:34-36)
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