Gospel in its original definition means the “good news.” When nations during ancient times would go out to war, the people that stayed behind the cities would stand at the walls waiting anxiously for news of the war. When the war was won, the general would send back a lone runner to go tell the people the good news of victory. As the elders would sit daily on the walls gazing towards the horizon, they would one day see a small figure in the distance running with all their might to the city. As the figure gets closer, he can see the exhaustion of the runner through their body posture but nonetheless he is running with whatever strength he has in him. As he draws near to the gates, the old man would stand and within yelling distance would ask the runner what news he has. With one big gasp of air, the runner would scream at the top of his lungs, “victory!”
This is the good news. This is the Gospel. That through Christ we have victory over the unholy trinity of Satan, sin, and death. That we are free and free indeed to live with the King for the blood of Christ has cleansed us from the sin that only drew death near to us and that the good news to us is for us to pay it forward by spreading that good news to others so that they too can be free from the binding power of sin.
In today’s short passage, Paul lays out some key points of the Gospel and though it is short, to dwell upon and fully appreciate the Gospel takes a lifetime.
No one is good. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
To understand the weight of sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we must realize how broken we were in our sin. In this day and age, sin is minimized through the eyes of the world and we are moving deeper into twisted ways of living as what was not even excusable twenty years ago is common today. Sin is corrupting and has corrupted everyone so that no one is good before the standard of God. That includes you, that includes me, and that even includes the people that we admire in life but the good news is that we will not get what we deserve but receive what we cannot even earn.
We have given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. “And are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
To be made good, to be saved, to be righteous and to know you can come to God is all based on the fact that you cannot do any of those things. The difference between living out your new life of holiness to trying to earn holiness is found in whether one is stressed about it. When we are trying to earn our salvation we are stressed when we can’t measure up and we won’t! But those who live knowing they are already saved and loved will not lean upon stress but believe who they are in Christ as they get back up when they fall. I noticed that those who are “earners” will walk away when they realize they can’t do it because they either give up or believe that God can never accept them but those who are “receivers” will always come to the feet of the Father knowing that they can.
The Gospel unites people, “Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one-who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”
God is one (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit). Because we follow God, we must realize that when those who approach God through faith, that no matter the backgrounds that they come from, we are all family. We are all in the same boat, same team, same family, and therefore we must support each other as we gather because of Jesus and for Jesus. It doesn’t mean that we all have to conform to one standard as in that we must get rid of our ethnic backgrounds and culture because true unity is found in diversity. We must appreciate our backgrounds but that we must also conform to the Kingdom culture and look more like Jesus within our unique lifestyles.
I realize that if we ever get bored of the Gospel, we forgot the price of our sin and the cost that God paid for us to be set free. Today let us remind ourselves of why we live, what we live for, and actually live to be like Jesus today to those around us that need to hear the good news that the King is here and we can be with Him!