Getting a Grip on the Gospel (1 of 7) by Roger Thomas

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Getting a Grip on the Gospel (1 of 7)
Series: Strengthening Your Grip
Roger Thomas
Romans 3:21-28


Introduction: To this day my brother and I have two different recollections of what happened. He says I aimed for him. I insist he shouldn't have been standing there to begin with. I was maybe eight or nine years old. My younger brother and I were playing baseball with Benny and Denny Wallen. I was batting. Benny threw a perfect pitch. It had homerun written all over it. I swung with the force of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial, my boyhood heroes, all rolled into one.

As I swung, the bat came out of my hands, flew through the air in slow motion, and smacked my brother right in the face. He screamed. I screamed. We all screamed. My brother lived with four stitches and a small scar. I survived a lecture from my father and a promise of revenge from my brother. The fire in his eyes has long since turned into a twinkle, but he still claims as he did then, "You did that on purpose." I didn't! Really, I didn't! It just slipped. I would never hit my brother on purpose. You believe me, don't you?

Losing your grip on a baseball bat is one thing. Losing a handle on matters of faith is another. That's why Scripture encourages us to "Test everything. Hold on to the good" (1 Thess. 5:21). That's also why my next several messages will be about strengthening your grip on faith's essentials. I will review some basic truths that most of you already believe. I will also provide some tools to help you explain that faith. I believe we all need to know how to voice our faith when our children, grandchildren, or just a curious friend asks a serious question about what we believe.

Today let's improve our grip on the Gospel--the core message of the Christian faith. To understand basic Christianity requires getting a handle on five essential concepts--one for each finger of your hand. Count these five words with me--God, S ...


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