Saturday, April 4, 2009

The offensive Gospel

Colossians 4:2-6 - 'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains [Paul]. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with [chicken] salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.'

Someone recently put these verses into two easy lines to remember:
* Talk to God about People... then...
* Talk to People about God

I had a thought recently, that the Gospel is actually quite offensive to unbelievers. Let me explain. The Gospel is good news, sure, because Jesus brings life to the fullest, but, firstly, people are sinners, they have fallen short of the glory of God. I am a sinner. You are a sinner. Believers are just saved by grace, through faith in Jesus. This idea, 'you're a sinner' communicated in an abrupt, upfront way can be offensive. But we don't hover above the concept that we are all sinners, we share the mystery of Christ; this idea that Jesus can take us from the miry clay, from the depths of meaningless existence, to a life of purpose, and holiness. Some would call that 'repentance'.

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