The Core Gospel

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by Travis Bryan III

2 Corinthians 4:11

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

There are two things necessary for a person to live out the gospel. Death first and then Life, resurrection life. Jesus died FOR us and AS US to pave the way to “life”, life for now and life for eternity. Eternal life is not primarily a place or a length of time. It is a person, Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6. He is resurrection life. John 11. When you have him you have the “life.” Jesus died to get His life into us. He did not die to get us out of hell and into heaven. He died to get Himself out of heaven and into us. His life is the kingdom of God coming into the hearts of people. His life is the new creation and the new man. His life is the life that comes into us when we are born from above or born anew or born again. We don’t have this life in us naturally. It is a supernatural life. It is the divine life and divine nature. 2 Pet 1:4.

Notice in the above quoted verse how this life is juxtaposed with death. Paul always does this. Rom 6:3-5; Gal 2:20. Without first a death, there can be no life of Jesus manifested through the believer into the world. If one is not manifesting the life of Jesus one is not producing authentic fruit. He is producing dead works in the name of Christ.

Dying this death involves being “delivered” or “handed over” to death. The word “death” used here in 2 Cor 4:11 is a metaphor for very stressful and trying circumstances. God hands one over to Satan, the one who has the power of death. Heb 2:14. God delivers us over to these trying circumstances caused by Satan. The book of Job sets out numerous examples of the things Satan causes when we are handed over to him: the fire of God from heaven, the worst being a nuclear attack; criminal activity, foreign enemies, life threatening storms, economic disaster like loss of job or financial security, and disease. There are less serious situations we can be turned over like unfair lawsuits, traffic accidents, betrayals, loss of control situations, loss of life of those we love, etc. Being delivered over to Satan and the circumstances he causes bring us to the end of self. Life begins where Self starts ending.

Authors have named these death causing events “redemptive withdrawal.” God withdraws and turns one over to Satan for a good purpose like salvation, sifting, learning, growth, sanctification and finally glorification. Redemptive Withdrawal is the gospel of the cross. Rom 8:28. Thru this process Satan and the influence of our flesh and the world over us is destroyed and we are given life, saved and sanctified. Satan destroys himself in this cross-like Withdrawal of God’s protective hand. Luke 22:31-32; 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:18-20; 2 Cor 12:7-10. God allows Satan to self-destruct. Evil destroys evil. Ps 7:15-16; Ps 9:15-16.

There can be no real life of Jesus in us until we are handed by God over to self-killing circumstances. Suffering and death of self is the only way to produce real Christian fruit, the fruit of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Rom 8:1-4.