Chapel talk wraps up Gospel in a single verse
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
The music had barely stopped and the Worship team still was exiting the stage as Chad Moore got right into the subject of his Chapel talk. It was so important that he said the first part twice.
“The Gospel is Good News of great joy for all people. … The Gospel is Good News of great joy for all people because we have a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
That alone might not seem like a revelation. But the lead pastor of Sun Valley Community Church has become known for his strong messages when he comes to Grand Canyon University Arena every year, and he indeed had some revelations to share Monday morning.
He centered his thoughts around one simple verse, 2 Corinthians 5:21:
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Moore had those words left on the video screen for the entirety of his talk because that right there is the Gospel, he said. He wanted to go into great detail to break down those words with statements like this:
“Christianity is different than any other faith in the history of mankind. It’s just different. Jesus is different. All other faiths, what you basically have is a person that shows up, whether it’s Buddha or Muhammed or take your pick … and says, ‘I am a prophet and I’m here to show you the way.’ Jesus is different. … Jesus says, ‘I am the way, I am the truth, I am the light.’
“Jesus did not come on the scene and say, ‘I’m going to teach you how to have a better life.’ Jesus came on the scene and said, ‘I am the life.’”
“Jesus didn’t show up and say, ‘I’m going to teach you the truth.’ Jesus showed up and said, ‘I am the truth.’
“He’s different, and it’s right here in this verse of Scripture. He is the Gospel. He is the Good News of great joy for all people. He is the Savior who is Christ our Lord.”
Moore told his listeners that if they were asked why Jesus died on the cross, they probably would say something along the lines of “to forgive us of our sins.”
“Yes, but it’s bigger than that,” he said. “The reason that Jesus not just forgave our sin but became our sin is because sin stands in the way of relationship with God.”
And we are all great sinners, he reminded.
“He absorbed the penalty that you and I deserve because of our sin. He absorbed the payment that you and I owe. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because you and I have a debt we could never pay.”
But back to how Christianity is different. Moore declared that “all other faiths in the history of mankind are advice” that say, “This is what you have to do to work your way to God.”
“That’s not Christianity,” he said. “Christianity would say, ‘You could never work your way to God. After all, how good is good enough? And when would you know you were good enough?’
“… Christianity is, Jesus became our sin. Christianity is, Jesus paid the debt of our sin for us. Christianity is, He who had no sin became sin for us so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God.”
In other words, it’s not about us achieving, it’s about Jesus achieving. It’s about the Good News the angel spoke of when Jesus was born.
“News is not something you can achieve,” Moore said. “News is something you choose whether or not you will believe and receive.”
Jesus worked His way to us, Moore added, not the other way around. God loves us that much. But we still tend to not understand that, as demonstrated by a survey of Christian teens Moore cited. It asked a simple question: If you were to sit before God, what do you think He would say?
The most frequent answer: He’s disappointed with me.
“Is it possible to disappoint someone who knows the future?” Moore wondered. “No! Think about it. What is disappointment? Disappointment is, ‘Here was my expectation, and you didn’t meet it, and the gap between the expectation and you not meeting it is the disappointment.”
So, technically, God can’t be disappointed, Moore said.
“Let me just help you: He kind of has low expectations of you and me (crowd laughs). That’s why He sent us a Savior. Religion is, ‘You save yourself.’ Christianity is, ‘God came to save you.’ It’s totally different (crowd applauds).”
The teens’ second most frequent answer to the survey question was, “God is going to get me because He’s mad at me.”
Moore demonstrated the foolishness of that response by relating how he feels when his two sons do something wrong. How much he loves them never changes, but …
“I hate the wrong. You know why I hate the wrong? Because I love them.”
Just as God loves us despite our sins.
“Sin is stupid,” Moore said. “It messes up your life. It will always take you further than you want to go, it will keep you longer than you want to stay and it will cost you more than you want to pay. …
“He’s not out to get you. He’s out to crush the sin because the sin hurts … YOU.”
The No. 3 answer in the survey was that God wouldn’t be there at all – that it’s up to us to be good people.
Again, Moore had a strong rebuttal: God showed how much He values us by the price He paid for us – sacrificing His own Son.
“Here’s how it works,” Moore said. “You put your faith in Jesus. You say, ‘I will not trust my goodness but His, not my righteousness but His, not my worthiness but His.’ Here’s what He will do: He will take on Himself all of your sin and impart to you all of His righteousness. It’s a great exchange.”
That’s why the optimum word in Christianity is receive, not achieve. And it all comes down to this statement, which Moore said slowly with great emphasis:
“God … wants … relationship … with … you.”
● Chapel replay.
● Next week: No Chapel (Veterans Day)
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].