WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
When I immigrated to Canada from the UK, I became subject to different laws. For example, I could no longer park on the side of the road facing in the ‘wrong’ direction. Similarly, when I ‘immigrated’ to the ‘kingdom of light’ from the ‘kingdom of darkness’, I became subject to new laws “written upon the heart” (Jer 31:33). Obedience to the (old testament) law could never earn salvation for that is “by grace alone, through faith, and that not of yourself .... not of works lest anyone should boast” (Eph 2:9). Obedience to these new laws can only be by the enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who desires me to walk in the will of God who ‘wrote’ those laws within me. These laws are the teachings of Jesus as well as the principles and precepts taught by Paul and the apostles, illuminated by the Holy Spirit. When someone says “I am not under law but under grace” they are presenting a false gospel. When preachers offer a salvation without repentance, a new ‘freedom’ without responsibility, they are presenting a false gospel. So, what is the true ‘gospel’?
John the Baptist declared “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Matt 3:2,
Jesus came preaching “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Matt 4:17,
He sent out his disciples with the message “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Matt 10:7, this must still be the message of today’s disciples.
Surely, there could be no better news (good news = gospel) than this, for a people who had waited so long for the kingdom to come. However, they were to be disappointed as they sought an earthly kingdom, whereas Jesus was proclaiming an inner kingdom whose characteristics are not material (such as food or drink) but spiritual (righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost) (Romans 14:17).
I thank God for His mercy in granting me citizenship in this new kingdom, for stamping my immigration card with ‘approved’ through the blood of His Son, for writing the laws of this new kingdom upon my heart, and for His Holy Spirit who enables me to live according to these laws. This is the good news!
I desire to be a good citizen so I will make myself aware of these laws.
I desire to be a good soldier for my king so I will discipline myself.
I desire to run the race well so I will discipline my body to be its fittest.
I have started on this wonderful new life and I am determined to finish well!