‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.’ Romans 1.16
Most of us wouldn't say that we are ashamed of the Gospel, but perhaps we are in danger of changing it a bit here and there! In its simplest form, the Gospel is this: out of his love God gave Jesus for us, so that by believing in him we might be saved. So simple, but actually so hard to put into practice!
First, it requires that we believe in God’s free, undeserved and unearned love. How many times do we have the idea that God will love us a bit more if we . . . pray more, give more, love more, sin less, or any number of other things that we think might encourage God to think of us more lovingly.
The Gospel also requires a response from us - to believe; to put our trust in God. It is tempting to think that we have done this, but it is probably quite salutary to think how many times each day our faith in Jesus dips and we find anxiety and fear creeping in.
It also requires us to accept that God’s gift to us is the person of Jesus. It is very easy to start regarding prayer as a duty, or our Bible reading as something to get through, rather than enjoying the personal nature of the relationship with Jesus that God offers us.
The Gospel is amazing! We need never be ashamed of it or doubt it, but can trust in its love and simplicity for each new day of our lives.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission