The Utter Importance of the Gospel
When Jesus appeared to Saul on the Damascus Road, He changed everything about his life. He went from persecutor to pastor – from killer to developer. He understood immediately what God had called him to, and he got right to the business of obeying that call.
The most important thing in Paul’s life (and should be in ours) was the Good News – the Gospel. The simple message he clearly espouses in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
He defended the Gospel with his words and with his life. He endured things like…
…beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28
… and yet he didn’t quit. Why? To advance the Gospel (v. 12-14). Some of his hardest times came at the hands of false teachers and others who “preached out of jealousy and rivalry”. Some of the greatest hurts in life come from those we least expect they should come from.
David referred to this in Psalm 55.
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng. Psalm 55:12-14
Even in this, Paul saw the big picture of the Gospel:
Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. (v. 18)
So, what about you? How much do you value the Gospel that Jesus died to give us and many saints gave their lives to advance? For many of us – because it has cost us very little – it has become cheap.
- How does your life show that you cherish the Gospel?
- What do you do daily to advance it?
- Who could you target, pray for, and share the Good News with today?
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor