Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Only Hope is the Gospel

Recently I have been able to have a few good conversations with people about the gospel. I love to talk about the significance of salvation found in Christ alone. Most who have gone to a gospel teaching church can tell you what the gospel is all about. They can tell you about the grace of God found in Jesus Christ and that trusting in Christ is the oly merit of salvation. Normally I follow that up with two simple questions. The first one is simple:

What does that mean for your life in your pursuit of holiness?

Basically how does the gospel change and transform a person? The gospel isn't fire insurance but the gospel takes us from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light. We should be people who strive to be like Christ. Our desires should be his desires. The things he loves we should love. The things he hates we should hate. We find out his will for our lives in his Word. In order to grow in godliness we must be people who dig into the Scriptures.

My second question is another simple one but I've discovered many do not really know the answer or they give an answer that has nothing to do with the gospel. The second question is more of a scenario that leads to a question:

Pretend someone was on lockdown and they had 30 minutes before being executed and they wanted to talk with you, what hope would you give them?

The responses: "I don't know", "That's a good question", "I need to think about that one" and so on.

Puzzled by the responses to the question I ask, "Do you have any hope for them?"

I have wondered how someone can say they believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone yet not have an answer to this question. Do we only believe in this gospel to save "good" people? Is this the message we have heard in church and also thought it was only for those in church? If our only hope is Christ crucified then the only hope we have to offer the inmate on death row, who is about to be executed, is the same. Christ is the only hope he has and needs. He is the only hope we have and need.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

What hope would you offer?

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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