Ashamed of the Gospel?
Christianity is under attack! “What’s new?” you say, and you would be right. Isn’t it amazing that modern skeptics’ bias, ideas and prejudices should be accepted, instead of eye-witness accounts of people who were actually there and recorded the events, where the writing could be peer-reviewed and verified.
Surprisingly, if you start with a conclusion and argue in a circle you’ll always be able to prove you’re right. By contrast the Bible calls for an open mind to truth and the reality of our own existence, the history of mankind and in particular the person of Jesus Christ. Since the dawning of time, man has philosophised about God’s existence, self-proclaimed prophets have arisen and religious movements have materialised.
While other religions can exist in their own philosophical world without their leader, Christianity can’t. In fact Christianity stands or falls on the historicity and veracity of Christ. Take Christ out of Christianity and you don’t just weaken the superstructure, you destroy the edifice from the foundation up.
The incarnation of Christ, God making himself known personally, his purposes and plans through Christ bringing salvation to mankind, is all based on a proposition that is highly unlikely from any human viewpoint. That is, a rescue plan divinely conceived, yet born out in real time and space dimensions, in which the human race could be rescued from its rebellion, and be restored with its creator, the God of the universe, as considered in 1 Corinthians 5:19. What light this sheds on the world we live in, beautiful yet strained, magnificent and yet marred by man’s abuse of his God-given freedom. Yet through Christ and his substitutionary death and resurrection, we can be forgiven, set free simply by confession, and acceptance of his grace.
What liberation this brings! What a message we have. Surely the love of Christ compels us to share the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:16: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” Let us never fail to share the message of the gospel, as Christ’s church and as individuals, wherever we can.
Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”
This article by Mark Gardiner first appeared in the Raleigh Street Christian Centre monthly Insight in August 2011.