Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gospel "Light" - August 24, 2010

Titus 3:3-8 (New International Reader's Version)
3 At one time we too acted like fools. We didn't obey God. We were tricked. We were controlled by all kinds of longings and pleasures. We were full of evil. We wanted what belongs to others. People hated us, and we hated one another.

4 But the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared. 5 He saved us. It wasn't because of the good things we had done. It was because of his mercy. He saved us by washing away our sins. We were born again. The Holy Spirit gave us new life.

6 God poured out the Spirit on us freely because of what Jesus Christ our Savior has done. 7 His grace made us right with God. So now we have received the hope of eternal life as God's children.

8 You can trust that saying. Those things are important. Treat them that way. Then those who have trusted in God will be careful to commit themselves to doing what is good. Those things are excellent. They are for the good of everyone.

The Gospel, or Good News, message is really simple, but we have a tendency of over complicating it. Because of this, there is much confusion of what Christianity is really all about. Many people think that if you become a Christian you are suddenly a slave to a bunch of rules and regulations. Others believe that you have to go through certain rituals, standing up and sitting down, and acting in a certain way. Then there are those that believe that as long as you belong to the "club", you have earned the right to be in; you can identify yourself as a Christian.

Of course none of this is true. Being a Christian has nothing to do with any rules, regulations, ritual, or rights. It is all about a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Letter to Titus puts it very simply; sort of the Gospel "light"; yet it illuminates what it is all about and can be described as simply as it is written above and is stated here:

We were once fools lost in the world of sin; God had mercy on us and saved us from that sin by washing us with the blood of Jesus he shed on the cross; we were made right with God, and by His grace, God sent the Holy Spirit to teach us about our salvation and inhabit our daily lives; because of all of this, we will live forever. In turn and in gratitude for what we have received, we need to do good to everyone, and point the world to the goodness of God through Jesus Christ.

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