..... The word 'Gospel’ comes from an old English word that means ‘good news’, so our first thought may be to ask, "What is the good news?" but if this is our question, we are not really understanding the situation rightly. We should really be thinking in terms of Who is the good news; for the good news of God is found in a Person, Jesus Christ, and not simply in a plan or a spiritual program. The Apostle Paul would put it this way:
.... "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes."
.... The psalmist agreed that the good news was about a person:
.... "I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."
So at this most basic stage, let’s focus on the true intention of God in offering us the gospel message. He does not
intend to introduce a religious system, a moral code, or a beneficial plan. It’s not about duties and a payoff. All of those concepts speak of arrangements, but God’s intention is much more intimate. He wants something interpersonal
, that will utterly transform us as we believe in Jesus, and lead to an ever deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him as time unfolds (2 Corinthians 5:17-20
; Ephesians 4:13-15
.... Our modern minds are rather autonomous and seem to prefer the ‘arrangement’ mentality. We’ve been taught about a ‘Plan’ of salvation rather than a Person of salvation, so this concept may seem strange to us. Therefore, let’s offer a parable to define it further:
.... A young woman married a man from a wealthy country. Because of her marriage, she became a citizen of that country -- but in his culture this arrangement was viewed in a special way. Instead of issuing her a second citizenship that was exactly the same as his, his own citizenship was expanded to include her. In this way she fully receives every benefit of the kingdom through her union with her husband, by virtue of his birthright in the land.
.. In the same way, it has pleased the Father that in Christ all the fullness should dwell and we are espoused to Him through believing in the gospel
; 2 Corinthans 11:2
). Through this we become one spirit with Him and we receive a new citizenship that is in no way autonomous
(1 Corinthians 6:17
; Philippians 3:20
.... It is only through this relationship, by our abiding in Him, that every benefit may be fully realized, as the scope of His life expands to include ourselves -- yet always in terms of His very own life, and we in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20
For the next lesson, click hereDaily Bible Reading: Matthew 7