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Summary: Focusing on the Biblical definition of Gospel and why Christian salvation is SO GREAT!!!

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FUNDAMENTAL GOSPEL AND GREAT SALVATION

At the outset, I praise my Heavenly Father for placing this message in my heart.

Permit me to begin with a question. What is the Gospel? The word gospel derives from the Old English god-spell (rarely godspel), meaning "good news" or "glad tidings". The word Gospel is the shortened form of the word god-spell . It is considered the "good news" because it speaks about Kingdom of Messiah (all His followers are of the Kingdom) , and of redemption through the life and death of Jesus, the central Christian message.

As Christians, if we are asked to define the Gospel Biblically, often our minds (considering the upbringing, I wouldn’t fault anyone) turn to John 3:16 which enshrines the agape love of God the father who gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for the atonement of our sins in order we the sinners are saved from the Holy God’s just wrath against our sins (I Thess 1:10). While on the subject, God hates sin which is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) in His sight. Period. So the price has to be paid. Jesus our Saviour paid the price on the Cross by His indescribable suffering on it. Our Heavenly Father is the Creator of every cell in our bodies, its support system and our eternal spirit and fairness quite naturally demands that we live our lives on His terms (which in ultimate analysis is again aimed at our welfare-His precious Creation) and not ours.

While arriving at the exact definition of the Gospel, it would serve us well to look at what Bible says about the Gospel. Didn’t somebody say that the Golden rule for proper Biblical understanding is “interpret Scripture by using the Scripture”. So how does God-inspired Bible (2 Tim 3:16) itself define the word Gospel? Consider this New Testament Scripture portion culled from I Cor 15:1-4…

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, THAT HE WAS BURIED, THAT HE WAS RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES,

The emboldened, underlined Scripture portion represents the accurate, Biblical definition of the word Gospel. The entire redemption plan was foretold by the Almighty God through His prophecies recorded in the scriptures lest anyone attribute His Sacrificial death on the Cross and subsequent Glorious redemption to some accident. If Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 describe His atoning work on the Cross then Psalms’ 16:9-11 and 40:1-3 speak about His miraculous resurrection. If anyone (whatever be his/her fallen condition) accepts this truth in his/her heart and confesses the same with his/her mouth, a new life is given to that person (Romans 10:9-10). Without confirmation of this life-transforming experience Baptism ought not to be given by the Church authorities, otherwise it would be reduced to no more than a farcical exercise of making “dry sinner emerge out of the Baptismal waters as the wet hypocrite”.

On the other hand, in genuine cases only the concerned person knows the height and depth of Divine, Blessed joy of salvation (Romans 4:6-8) that enters his/her life, which brings us to the next topic “GREAT SALVATION”.

The Author of the epistle to Hebrews qualifies the word Salvation as great Salvation…

“how shall we escape if we ignore so GREAT A SALVATION?...” – Heb 2:3

In order we glorify our Heavenly Father with ALL our heart, mind and soul let us now focus on what makes Christian Salvation truly Great…

FREE…

Imagine the plight of common folks, if the good Lord had attached a price tag to our Salvation and said (hypothetically speaking that is) “I would guarantee Heaven to only those who give me 10 crore dollars”. This would make only the elite rich such as a Tata a Birla an Ambani or a Bill Gates eligible for salvation. Poor folks such as we would be left in the lurch. But our great and loving Heavenly Father is offering salvation to one and all free of cost. That is why one Biblical Scholar put it creatively when he said “the difference between other religions and Christianity is that while other religions preach salvation based on costly works, only Christianity preaches salvation based on an already accomplished work”. IT (redemption work) IS FINISHED shouted Christ triumphantly on the Cross (John 19:30). We cannot add anything to what the Saviour completed on the Cross nor can we takeaway anything from it. Just believe it in the heart and confess it with our mouth…

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