Galatians 1:5-6 - I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the Gospel of Christ.
What I am talking about today is not religion, but faith. What I am telling about today does not come from me, nor from any other human being. It comes from God. What comes from God is the Gospel-the Good News-what God did in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and what God does in the hearts of people even today through the good news of His action in Jesus Christ. In Christ! That's the secret of the Gospel.
People have a natural feeling, deeply ingrained in them, that they ought to be doing something to win the favor of God. It goes against their grain to hear the news, good as it may be, that God forgives and accepts sinful people like ourselves simply for the sake of Christ. It is hard to believe. It is hard to accept. It goes against everything we have even learned, especially the principle that "you get what you pay for." The grace of God is really an affront to the pride of man. A television commercial in the United States has a girl saying to her mother, "I'd rather do it myself." That's human. It's so human that an advertiser latched onto it as a principle of life.
There is another principle: God is still God. He has the right to do what He wants to do. He has decided to do it by grace. He has said, "I'd rather do it Myself." He did it Himself in His Son Jesus Christ. It isn't so much that we love God as that He loved us and gave us His Son to be a sacrifice in our place. In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting our sins against us.
Christ died on His cross, and He did it His own way. When He was reviled, He reviled not in return. When He suffered, He did not spend His time threatening the people who caused Him suffering. He bore in His own body our sins on that cross of His, that we might get the idea of God's grace and might make a clean break with our sins to take the righteousness He has to give: His righteousness. It is something you can't buy, no matter how you try. You get it by grace, or you don't get it at all. There is no other Gospel.
Jesus died for our sins, and God forgives for the sake of His Son Jesus. God raised His Son from the dead, and declared Him to be the Son of God with power. His Lordship is God's glory. Jesus Christ is Good News from God! He is the Gospel of God's grace and glory.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, the Gospel You have given us in Your Son is the only route to salvation. The cross of Jesus destroys any notion that we can get to You on our own. Increase our faith in Your Son and the redemption He so earnest won on our behalf. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "No Other Gospel," a sermon excerpt from Oswald Hoffmann, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
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