Day One: Back to Basics
So before we gloss over this common topic of the Gospel, let’s get one thing straight: if you are apart of this Church family, if you showed up last Sunday/tuned in or if you somehow managed to stumble across this blog, God is asking for your attention on this specific topic. No matter how well you’ve memorized it, how many creative ways you can explain it or how many sermons you’ve heard on it, the Gospel is something I believe we must refresh ourselves with each day we are given breath on this Earth. Why? Because the Gospel is a beautiful reminder that who we once were is not who we are today because of what Christ did before. So stay tuned and lean in close this summer because sometimes the most familiar things in our lives are the most mysterious.
We’re going back to the basics for a moment as we ponder what the Gospel really is, and by this I mean what does scripture say about it plain and simple. Let’s start by being literal. Gospel translates directly as “good news”, so what’s the good news?
Romans 5:6-11 sums it up when saying, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
We weren’t just in the wrong place at the wrong time, we weren’t framed, we didn’t just slip up or get confused, we were flat out guilty, but for many of us we like to play the excuse card to water down our crime. We compare our sins to others’ sins, we blame it on our circumstances, or we call it something less offensive than what it really is, but the reality is that it was horrific enough to separate us from our good God and when we dilute the offensiveness of it, we dilute the gift that comes only from the cross and resurrection.
It’s easier to accept a gift that you think you’ve (at least somewhat) earned but the Gospel absolutely does not qualify as anything close to something we could ever earn or even come close to deserving. For many of us though, once we get even a little glimpse at the reality of our sin, we find it difficult and even painful to accept it. Regardless of what end we fall on, both are rooted in pride and both are strongholds against us having an authentic encounter with our God’s all consuming love. This week, let’s ask God to soften our hearts so that we might be able to confess where we are wrong and receive on account of all the ways that He has made us right.