Friday, July 1, 2011

I am not Ashamed of the Gospel



“I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16)

The gospel starts with an understanding of who God is. God is our Creator and therefore he is our Owner. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Whether a person acknowledges this truth or not does not determine whether it is true or not because it is truth. God created man therefore he is every person’s Creator. God has dominion over us. We are accountable to him. But there is a problem and that problem is with us. Instead of obeying God we decided we wanted to be on his throne rather than let him rule and reign as the Sovereign Ruler. The result: Separation from our Creator.

Because of our rebellion against our Creator there is a separation that has occurred between God and man. We no longer love God but rather we have turned our backs on him in hatred (Rom. 1:30). In the garden we see Adam and Eve rebellion against God and eating from the one tree they were commanded not to eat from. Because of Adam’s sin we have all been cursed. We are all born sinners. As the saying goes: “We are not sinners because we sin but rather we sin because we are sinners.” This is the natural condition of every human being. But the problem of sin has a solution.

Paul says to Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This is good news. Better yet: GOOD NEWS!!! But the Good News is so good because the bad news is so bad. We have sinned against the infinitely holy and righteous God of the universe. His perfect righteousness demands a punishment for sin. At this point the only righteous thing God can do is send every sinner to hell, including myself. That is a tough pill to swallow but it is the truth. But God in his grace and mercy and love sent a substitute in his Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Chris is the God-man who left the glories of heaven to humbly come and live the life we could not live (Phil. 2). In every thought, motive, intention, attitude and action he perfectly obeyed the Father therefore he is the only human who could die in our place (1 Tim. 2:5). Then the sinless Son of God willing walk the hill of Golgotha in order to lay down his life for sinners like you and me. After three days he proved he was God by rising from the dead. His resurrection is the assurance that he has conquered both sin and death for the believer. Now he is seated at the right hand of his Father as the name above all names and the only name under heaven by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12).

So what is your response? If you are Christian I pray your response is joyful humility. As you ponder once again the glorious truth that Jesus died in your place may joy be welling up inside of your soul. May you be reminded that your sins, all of them, have been wiped away because of your trust in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. This is Good News. Can you say with Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel”?

If you have not repented of your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ I would remind you that the gospel is a command to be obeyed. But just like all the other commands in Scripture it is a command of God’s love. His commands are not burdensome but rather they show us as his creatures the way life was intended to be for us. He came to give us life and life abundantly. The gospel is the greatest love story in all of history yet it is a command. God is so amazing to send us the only hope in which sinners can be saved. Will you repent and trust in him?

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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