Is it really “good news” or just a collection of crazy ramblings from ancient authors? Has something been lost in the translation from ancient Greek, Hebrew and Latin into modern languages? Let’s start with the idea of a God who created human beings. Not a popular thought—especially if you try taking it into your science class. As if that weren’t bad enough, a further examination of this God reveals that he demands perfection from the humans he created. Many people see that as unfair and would accuse him of tempestuous judgements.
Then, of all things, God sends a kind of anti-hero, a God-man, but he doesn’t rescue the world as people hoped. He dies. On a cross. When you think about it, it is a strange story for the modern mind to grasp.
As an author with another blog where I discuss history and things that may appeal to a more secular audience, it has crossed my mind that blogging over here at “Glimpses of Glory” might tarnish my brand, for those who think the gospel is weird and irrelevant. Commercially, it might be— awkward.
Perhaps, as a modern 21st century individual, I should be ashamed of believing such out-dated ideas and practicing the Christian religion with its macabre rituals and observances of sin, death and resurrection.
But before you agree wholeheartedly, I think we need to clarify what I’m talking about. What is the gospel anyway?
The book of Romans tells us, that its very heart, the gospel is GOOD NEWS. I would be a fool to be ashamed of it.
The gospel is God, who loved us enough to provide a way out of our sin and its consequences of death, by sending his son, Jesus Christ to take it all on, suffer the just punishment for our mess and then rise again, offering us new life. Through faith, we take on the perfect righteousness of God, as if it were a new set of clothes. We are then free to walk a new path.
According to the apostle Paul, the gospel is power. He states, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written; The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
The gospel is FREE! Everyone loves free stuff, but free stuff almost always comes with strings attached. The gospel has no strings. It is not “free,” plus do all this other stuff; or “free,” but if you mess up you lose its benefits. It is simply free.
And, the gospel is for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). The gospel is the great equalizer. It was entrusted to the Jews, but available to the Gentile (non-Jews). The gospel is for white people, black people, brown people, rich and poor, educated and uneducated; and anyone else who believes. It is available to the Muslim, the Buddhist and the atheist. The gospel is for everyone.
The gospel enables us to live by faith, for now we are righteous. (Romans 1:17b)
How could I be ashamed of the gospel? I can only be amazed.
This series of blogs, while growing out of a “Bible Study Fellowship” (BSF) study of the book of Romans, is not affiliated or endorsed by BSF. Nor are these blog any sort of definitive theological commentary. The opinions expressed here are simply my own thoughts and reflections on the book and what I am learning from the study.