While this subject could fill volumes, I want to summarize two aspects about this immense subject. What is this gospel and how important was it to the Apostle Paul?
There are two verses that summarize this wonderful theme that we have from God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works” (Ephesians 2:8–9). Those two phrases (underlined) are what most people trip over because they think there is something they must do to merit (earn) such a gift, especially when we consider our hideous sins against a holy God. Why must this gospel be a gift? “So that no one may boast” (2:9). God must receive all the glory for saving us from eternal judgment and adopting us.
How important is this gospel to Paul? “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). We have all received the command of Jesus to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). Though Paul was not there when Jesus said this, the authority of it was communicated to him by the Holy Spirit and his life meant nothing apart from proclaiming “gospel of the grace of God.”
I am left with no option but to proclaim this message in and through my life. The motivation first comes from the Spirit’s work in me and then a realistic understanding of God’s grace and what it has done for me. Do you have the same motivation?
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