Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Holy Week Reflections with David Shibley (Day 4)
What adjective is sufficient to describe God's favor toward us, His work in our behalf, and His enablement in our lives?
Scan the dictionary and one of the best of admittedly limited options to more fully describe God's grace is, it's just -- amazing.
Most religions teach moral rectiitude. But what separates Christianity from all other religions is our message -- this good news of salvation and restoration through Jesus. The gospel announces the joyful news that righteousness is not man's achievement. Rather, God's own righteousness is placed on us and in us through Christ's redeeming work. As a result, believers are loosed into "the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).
There are subjects in the Scriptures that challenge the intellect and are hard to understand. But the gospel is not one of those subjects. The gospel is clear. However, it takes the revealing ministry of the Holy Spirit for hearts and minds darkened by sin to truly comprehend it.
The Good News of the gospel is that God takes the initiative to close the gap between rebellious humanity and Himself. He sent His Son to literally take our place. This is what theologians call substitutionary atonement. Our willful rebellion made us fully deserving of God's wrant and judgment. Jesus intervened; His blood was the sacrifice God accepted tor emove our guilt. "When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly... God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6, 8).
The star of this story is Jesus Christ. The gospel is "concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3). We're not saved merely because we gave our lives to Jesus; we are saved because Jesus gave His life for us. It's all about Jesus, the soul-saving, death-destroying, life-giving, freedom-granting, kingdom-conquering, eternal Son of God.
On this Maunday Thursday, let's share this message with others. Also, you can access these Holy Week Reflections as podcasts at
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