The Gospel

June 18, 2012

Romans 1:16-17
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The Gospel

The gospel.  What a familiar subject to most of us.  Maybe it is what we feel like we have heard or even shared a good part of our Christian life.  Let’s just focus in on what it is the Holy Spirit would teach us about it today.
Gospel is the Greek word, “euaggelion”.  It has different aspects of the meaning, but one of the first I found is, “a reward for good tidings”.   If we carry the best news in the world, why should we be ashamed of what others may think of us.  If you found the cure to cancer and you knew it worked, would you be ashamed to share that news with anyone and everyone you thought it might benefit?  The knowledge and revelation that you have could save people’s lives. We would be selfish not to share it with as many cancer patients as we could. Jesus has given us the cure for spiritual death and so much more besides.  Should we not be excited to share it?
Paul goes on to say that this gospel or good tiding is in effect the “power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.”  Should we be concerned that others might reject it or us for having shared it?  No.  It is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring conviction upon those who hear it and even says some will and some won’t receive.  What gives the gospel this God’s power of salvation is that it is a gospel of righteousness revealed by faith.  The great news is, it is not incumbent upon us or others to be good enough to receive or that we must earn it by our goodness.  The righteousness that we need for God’s acceptance is imparted to us by faith in Christ’s righteousness.  Jesus took our sin and imparted His righteousness upon us.  That is the best trade ever.  We traded sin, judgement and condemnation for righteousness, peace and joy along with the acceptance of God to become His sons and daughter and to become the kingdom of God.  Why would we not want the kind of deal where someone takes all of your garbage and gives you all of their riches.  That’s what they call a “no brainer”.  All that is required of us is to believe Jesus is who He says He is, has done what He said He would do and wants to be the fullness of God in me.
The gospel is also the good tidings of the kingdom of God.  It is what Jesus taught throughout His spiritual ministry.  Again and again He gave parables of the kingdom of God to give us word pictures of what He wants us to live and come into.  We comprise His kingdom on the earth, because we are the body of Christ and the expression of the Head.  Each of us, that are in Christ, can express in our own unique ways, Christ, the Spirit of God that indwells us.  We have purpose, direction and meaning in our lives, because we are coming into the identity of who we are in Him.  We  are righteous and are being transformed into righteousness, because we have discovered that Christ is the reason we live, move and have our being.  That righteousness is revealed in faith, because our dependence to live God rightness isn’t dependent upon our ability.  It is the ability of the one who now indwells us by faith as we give way to our natural life and way of thinking to allow Christ through the Holy Spirit to conform us to His mind, His will and His thoughts.  We do that as we walk each day, believing by faith that He who began a good work in us is fully able to complete it unto the day of salvation when we will be caught up fully in His likeness and image.
The good tidings of God’s salvation is the most beautiful thing that could ever happened in our lives.  It is a life altering and life changing event.  It changes the whole course and direction of life in those truly believe and embrace its power through faith.
One of our problems is that religion has often made the gospel very sterile and mandated.  It has become our obligation rather than our joy.  It has become often structured and regimented rather than imparted out of joy and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  For many, getting people saved is like putting notches on their spiritual belt for all the people that they persuaded to come to Christ.  Jesus never taught us to just get people to come to Him, but to make disciples of all men.  Discipleship is a commitment to relationship whereby you can impart into others what Christ has imparted into you.  The Bible doesn’t say that it is the church organizations responsibility.  God says you are the church and as such it is our responsibility.  ‘Wherever two or more are gathered together, there am I in the midst.’  You can have and be the church any time you are breaking bread with others in the name, nature or purpose of Christ.
When we carry the gospel to others, we carry the power to transform and change their lives forever.  That is the power of God in us.  Our faithfulness is in sharing the joy of our salvation and God’s faithfulness is in drawing all men to Himself when Jesus is lifted up.  May we never be ashamed to do our part.  It can make all the difference in the world.


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