Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, Col 1.6.

The gospel speaks of Jesus. It is content and communication, the power of God for salvation, “the message of truth” v. 5. As communication, the Good News must be heard and understood. Anyone can communicate it. The Colossians learned it from Epaphras, v. 7. One need not be an apostle to transmit it.

On the lips of many disciples, the Good News bears fruit and grows. It is not limited in its extent nor in its location. It does not depend upon huge financial resources nor upon eloquent preachers. It does depend upon everyone speaking and many hearing. Continue reading

Religion turned into market, appealing to the lowest passions. People look for churches that allow them to continue in sin or that feed their greed. These churches are not of God and do not lead to salvation.

And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) — when you believed in Christ — you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1.13 NET Continue reading

 

When man thinks that he has to arrange his own salvation, the goal is distant and difficult. Many give up because of frustration at the impossible, and others live a false religiosity that proclaims human ability to penetrate the holiness of God.

In contrast with this, the message of the gospel, which consists of salvation by God’s grace, is near and easily embraced. Continue reading

GraceGrace takes care of sin, breaks its power, releases from its condemnation. But some take a lax approach to sin because of grace. After all, God is going to forgive, regardless — so they think. Such an approach comes close to the attitude that Paul anticipates when he writes about grace.

What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase?
Romans 6.1 NET Continue reading

Over on Twitter, Chad asked for a working definition of grace. Since it was Twitter, I asked if we needed to observe the 140-character limit. His Twitter post goes to Facebook, so not so much. But I thought a Twitter-sized limit would be interesting to attempt. Here’s my definition of one of the greatest, widest, deepest, grandest concepts in Scripture. Where does it lack?

Grace is the free gift of God’s salvation in Christ, not dependent upon human merit, but upon its reception by faith and obedience.

Nine characters to spare.

Paul also uses grace as a word for God giving us the ability to serve, ministry, which is not covered above. What else?