Sometimes, you cannot comprehend how wonderful something is until you are aware of or experience the opposite, to glean an appreciation.
“You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone.”
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
“There are unknown unknowns, things we don’t know that we don’t know.”
– Courtesy of Donald Rumsfeld
“I didn’t realize how much I cared about my ex, until I saw her with someone else.”
– A paraphrase of 50% of country songs
I think we can all relate to that idea.
I want to talk about how it pertains to the Gospel, the greatest story in the history of mankind.
Dictionary.com defines the Gospel as:
“the story of Christ’s life and teachings, especially as contained in the first four books of the New Testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”
If I may be so bold to write about the Gospel, I’ll start by using the famous verse(s):
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” – John 3:16-17
The Gospel is the miraculous account of how God offered up a plan to redeem the world from its fallen state, through the sacrifice of the Son of God incarnate, Jesus Christ.
Rather than go into detail about what the Gospel is, I will list a few resources for further study.
- Ligioner Ministries has a good article here.
- Grace to You (John MacArthur) goes into detail here.
- Here is a four-minute video with Ravi Zacharias explaining it.
I want to briefly touch on what preceeds the Gospel: our need for salvation, one and all.
The noise and confusion of our current time, as well as abundant erroneous messages found in pop culture, serve to distract and mislead the searching soul from the truth found in God’s Word.
The truth of God’s law isn’t pretty. It tells us in no uncertain terms, that God is holy and perfect, and that nothing that falls short of perfection can be in His presence.
Furthermore, it spells out in terrifying detail that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is born into sin as a result of the curse brought on by Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3)
We are all sinners by nature, and are slaves to sin.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.‘” – John 8:34
Lest you hesitate to believe that, consider the law itself, in its original form, the ten commandments.
Ever done something disrespectful to your mom or dad?
Ever stolen anything?
Ever taken the Lord’s name in vain (yes, saying “OMG,” but the whole phrase, counts)?
Ever considered everything in life as more important than God?
Ever told a lie?
Even doing one of those things, one time makes you a sinner, guilty before God and unable to redeem yourself. Yet all of us commit sins, constantly. Often as second nature. Because sinning is our nature.
Because God loves us so, so very much, He longed to redeem us from our sins to restore our fellowship with Him, as he intended for humans. That is why He offered a divine, miraculous intervention through the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
God, in His great mercy, made a way for us to avoid the damning justice we all deserve for our sins. There are no words fit to adequately describe what God freely offers to all who receive Him.
The problem is, so many are deluded into thinking that they don’t need God or the salvation He offers through Jesus. Or they think they can appease God and earn their way to heaven through being good. Fortunately, God was gracious enough to give us the law so we’d know the depth of our depravity and our desperate moral bankruptcy apart from Him.
“…On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’
– Romans 7:7b
“as it is written,
‘There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.’ – Romans 3:10-12
The unspeakably glorious truth of God’s plan of redemption is there for anyone to find. We just need to be made aware of our helplessness (the bad news), before we can truly appreciate the Good News, that new life comes from God through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6