Part 1 – To give us what we dream of
Ephesians 1:13 describes the Christian message as “the gospel of your salvation” – the good news that we’re being rescued and delivered.
Which for some may sound a bit odd, because what do we need to be rescued and delivered from? But for those who recognize there’s something terribly wrong with us, the Christian message has a ring of truth. We really do need saving.
Because there’s no denying we have a lot of unsolvable problems on this marvellous planet of ours. We can’t end poverty, war, disease, child abuse, power crazy tyrants, or greedy corporations. We are a mess, and a powerless mess at that, because evil persists no matter what we throw at it.
But there’s no denying we have a lot of GOOD in us as well. We dream of a better world, and we work hard to make it better. We love peace. We love family. We love helping out in the community. We love seeing children safe and successful. We jump in to help in emergencies and disasters, and we sacrifice our time, money, and even our lives for the sake of others. And despite all the bad things happening, there’s still a lot of good in us longing to make life on this planet better.
And we recognize this in ourselves, that we are an exasperating mixture of good and bad, and if only we could get the bad part out of us, we could make this planet a great place to live for everyone.
Well, that’s exactly what the gospel means by “salvation,” that God dealt with the bad part in us. In Romans 8:3 (The Message), “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition in order to set it right once and for all.”
The Christian message, then, is that God dealt with the bad in us through his Son, and now through the Spirit he makes possible the good he put in us too. Both parts make up the word “salvation.” And that makes “the gospel of our salvation” important, because in it is the promise of the better world we dream of…(continues tomorrow)