To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1-7 ESV)
If the gospel were to be summarized in a short sentence it will be in this sentence: “Grace to you through Jesus Christ and peace from God”. This sentence packs in it so much that could not be unpacked in a single article. Within these words lie two of the fundamental truths of the gospel of God in its beauty and splendour- Grace and peace from God. These words encapsulate almost all other aspects of the realities of what the gospel is for us.
Now let’s dig deeper into these words:
Grace: Grace is simply that which God freely given to us by His own will, according to his own purpose for his own good pleasure. We neither deserved this free gift nor have we merited it in any way. In fact, what we have indeed deserved is retribution, wrath and punishment. And this makes grace all the more gracious. And this is where we start the journey into grasping the gospel. That we as sinner, individuals who have rebelled against God, who hate God and committed treason pushing Him out of our lives, our minds and have not regarded Him in any way have instead of receiving the just punishment for our sins, have instead received grace through Jesus Christ. The grace that God has given to us is been given freely but it did not come free. A price had to be paid price for the grace we have received, but it was a price we did not have to pay. Jesus Christ paid it all, and this is why we owe Him everything, To make this grace even more outrageous, it had been given even before we acknowledged it or the giver of it who is God.
In a nutshell, you were given grace before you even knew you needed it, even though you were carrying on in a life that deserved punishment from God. And how does this grace contain all elements of the gospel? Because this grace was poured out of God’s infinite love, and in His mercy he has not paid to you the due penalty for sin, but has made you to escape that penalty and to be made in right standing with him. And not only does it enable you escape God’s wrath but it also provides you an inheritance, adoption into God’s family, to be a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, a brother to Jesus Christ who is the first born and to be a partaker of the limitless spiritual blessings in the world to come! What an overwhelming, amazing grace of God!
Peace from God: The gospel of God also brings us into peace with God. God’s word says that God is angry with the sinner and is wrath revealed against all form of ungodliness. It can be said that before we were in Christ, God was as it were at war with us. Saving faith in Jesus Christ through the gospel of God brings us to peace with God. God, who is in the right and has all the power to instantly judge us for our rebellion has been gracious enough to be the one to offer us His terms of peace. And this is Jesus Christ.
This grace and peace from God form the heart of the gospel. But the question then is, how have you received grace and peace from God? Well, I shall like to go over this once more. I already believe that since you are reading this, you have already heard the gospel of God and y have saving faith in Jesus Christ. But when it comes to the matter of the gospel and the issue of salvation, I will never wish to assume. The gospel is just too important not to share it anytime the opportunity presents itself.
The gospel is the only means God has provided through which any human being would be saved.
This is the gospel: That Jesus Christ has come to the world to save sinners from sin and its consequences. You and I have sinned against God, we are born rebels against God and we hate God. Yes, you read that right- we are born God-haters. We don’t want to live in obedience to His will so we lived and walked according to our own will. And for this rebellion and treason against the one who made and owns us and the entire world that is seen and that which is unseen, we deserved the punishment of death. But God who is rich in mercy, in love He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to take on this punishment for you and I. In his dying, we receive life in exchange. And faith in Jesus Christ is the means through which we receive this life and this life is transmitted to you and I. And that when we hear the message of this gospel, we exercise faith in Jesus Christ as saviour, repent of our life of sin which means to turn away, change our direction and begin to live a life of one who belongs to Jesus Christ. And this is the gospel, the good news from God. Grace to you and peace from God.
Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash