|Posted on October 8, 2020 at 10:35 AM|
In a world full of bad news and fake news the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ shines like a light in the darkest part of the night. I am not talking about the “religious good news” offered by so many religious groups today. Their good news boils down to the kind of good news Paul described in his letter to the Galatian churches when he wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; Which is not another; but there be some that would trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1: 6,7) I’m talking about the good news Paul calls the gospel of Christ.
The gospel of Christ concerns all that Christ did for us on the cross and all that he continues to do for us through his Spirit today. The religious good news might tell us that Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins, but it typically suggests that if you want to stay saved, never mind get God to bless you now, it’s going to take more than your faith in Christ. The first century church was plagued with those who taught that it was not enough to trust Jesus to save you, but that a man must also be circumcised after the Jewish tradition and keep the law of Moses.
Sadly, today’s church also falls prey to those who teach that faith in Christ is not enough and add a list of religious activities that must be done in order to ensure your continued salvation and gain the blessings of God. While the rite of circumcision is rarely mentioned today, the rite of water baptism is a common add-on as well as faithful church attendance and service to the church (especially tithing). In that same letter to the Galatian churches Paul warns that submitting to one add-on makes Christ of no effect. “Behold, I Paul say unto you that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ will become of no effect unto you whosoever are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5: 2-4)
The gospel of Christ is not about what you should or should not do but rather what God has done and is doing for you in Christ. In summary, the good news is that God has crucified the old, self-centered person you were and created you in Christ Jesus as a brand-new person that is holy and without blame. You are dead to sin and alive unto God, dead to the law and married to Christ. On top of that God has given you the Spirit of Christ to guide you into all truth, to teach you all things, to constantly remind you who you are, to comfort you in suffering, and to empower you to live a new lifestyle of grace and truth.
The religious gospel says, “Try to act like Jesus as hard as you can and God will bless you” while the gospel of Christ says, “God has made you like Jesus and blessed you with all spiritual blessings in Christ, believe it so you can act like Jesus”. It is our faith not our efforts that God desires. Faith in the gospel of Christ will work itself out in divine love for others. And that love will fulfill all the demands of God’s law. What this world needs now more than ever is the “light of the glorious gospel of Christ”.