I remember the first time that the term “gospel” was explained to me in a way that gripped my soul. I was sitting in church, glued to my pastor’s words as he eloquently taught from the pulpit. There was a heaviness in the air. I had been trudging through a very rough season. Divorce was looming in the lives of those I loved, fear and anxiety raged against me, and I was weary. I was sitting in corporate worship and waiting for The Lord. His Word rang through my heart and I a new passion for sharing the truth of God’s Word and the freedom of the cross awoke inside me.
We, as Christians, hear that phrase all the time. “Share the gospel.” “Tell of the gospel of Christ.” Most of the time, we can rattle off the “Sunday School” answer of “Jesus died on the cross for us and paid the price for our sin.” We know of the sacrifice made by our King and Creator. We understand that Jesus lived a perfect life and died the death we couldn’t to pay for our countless and continual sins. There is no longer separation between us and God. It's a simple concept, but there are also vast implications.
Are you feeling disconnected from this truth today? Does sharing this truth feel like reciting a nursery rhyme or a battle cry?
Let’s take a look at the word “gospel.” The original Greek word is euangelion. It means “good news.” Why do we equate the message of the cross with “good news?” In Biblical times, the word euangelion referred to a military victory. When wars were fought and victory was won, a messenger would travel through the city joyfully declaring “euangelion!” If the fight was lost, most of the remaining citizens of the losing side were condemned to slavery. This message of euangelion is our freedom cry. We are free from the bonds of slavery in our sin. We are no longer ruled by our desires, poor choices, or our past.
Here is our Euangelion, literally “God’s good news.”
We were once separated from God. He longed to be with us, but because of the stain of sin, we couldn’t enter into His presence. Jesus willingly paid the price of all of our sin. He laid his life down for us. There are no good deeds that we could do to earn this gift. Jesus freely gives the gift of salvation to those who believe and trust in him. We have been given the victory over death by Jesus and are no longer a slave to this world. We are eternally free to live for and with God, the Creator of all things.
Romans 10:9 says this. “If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
My prayer this morning is that you know this truth and that it resides deep within you. If you haven’t yet met the Risen Christ and you want to be in relationship with him, pray something like this.
I need you. I am humbly calling out to you. I do not want to do things my way any longer. I want to live within your will and plan for me. Help me with my unbelief and doubts. I believe that Jesus died for me, out of your great love for me. I believe that you raised him again and that he is my Savior. Send your Holy Spirit to fill me and bring me closer to you. Help me to understand your love, grace, and mercy. Amen.
If you just said this prayer, angels in Heaven are rejoicing and I join with them!