The Gospel Is Simple

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Andy Stanley paraphrases this passage like this:

God loved
God sent
We believe
We receive

The key to this passage and, in fact, to all of scripture is that God took the initiative. God moved first and His first move was born of His love for His creation. God showed His love so that we could understand how to express love. And as we’ve been emphasizing lately, the best expression of our love for God is the way we love one another.

1 John 4:9-11
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, ***that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

God’s initiative toward us compelled Him to act on our behalf; to send His Son into the world to rescue us from our sin. As has been illustrated many times, God bridged the gap between our sin and His righteousness with the cross upon which Jesus died.

The lead singer of Casting Crowns, Mark Hall, describes the heart behind one of his most recent songs, “The Bridge,” in this short video, which underscores the simplicity of the gospel and the extraordinary provision God made for us when He sent His Son into the world.

Our culture is selling us the propaganda that we’re all okay just the way we are. It’s a lie. God receives us just the way we are, but he doesn’t want us to stay that way. We are broken and we need to be rescued.

Everyone you come into contact with is a broken soul. Some are more obviously broken than others, but all are damaged by sin. Only Jesus offers a remedy that provides healing and wholeness.

I hope you remember that this week as you encounter the people in the orbit of your life.

There’s a saying that goes, “Hurting people, hurt people.” It’s good to remember that when someone says or does something that is specifically hurtful to you. Taking that into account allows us to pray for them and love them even when they are the most unlovable.

What we have to offer, the truth that God loved the world and sent His Son to rescue us from our sin, is the simple truth the people around us need to know. And when we show them love that mirrors the love God showed us when we were at our worst, we prepare the way for His truth to penetrate their hearts.

Our challenge this week and every week is to show the love that God has shown to us whenever we have the opportunity.

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