|Grace is the Gospel|
In this season where decriminalization of homosexuality is a hot topic in Singapore, we should be reminded that grace is the Gospel. It was not a Gospel of condemnation but of grace (John 3:18).
Many churches raged about the morality in the “sin of homosexuality” in Singapore as a nation, but what about the sin of violating the first commandment of worshipping other gods. Jesus condemns humanity for only one sin, the sin of unbelief (John 3:18).
The Gospel of the Kingdom (Mat 9:35) has come through God’s grace. For hitherto it was a struggle of religious works, but now Jesus the Messiah (Mark 1:1) became the bridge that through our faith in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins, we will cross that narrow bridge (Mat 7:14)into the Kingdom of God. The price was paid in full.
The Grace Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the power of redemption not only for eternity but the grace overflowed with power and supernatural healing (Mat 9:35, Mat 11:5).
Grace brought joy (Luke 2:10), for the door of salvation is free opened to all who chose to enter, from the rich to the poor, male or female, gay or straight. There is no bouncer at the gate to bar any of us when previously only the Jews can enter into the Temple of God. It is inclusive yet exclusive for the gate remains narrow (Luke 13:24), only in Christ.
The Grace Gospel is a delicate thread of God’s love, Holiness, and faith. Jesus paid the price (1 Cor 7:23) for our sins, thus satisfying the demands of righteousness, and justice. The road to destruction for humanity remains universal (Mat 7:13) with her many faiths and beliefs.
The Grace Gospel - It's all about love. “For God so loved the world ….”, for God is love.
However, If it was only about love, Jesus need not have come and to die for us. A heavenly decree would do. A teacher/prophet would suffice, teaching about love. Our faith would be in vain because he/she would also sinner like us. The redemption plan would only work, if a sinless man, God Himself died for us.
Grace is Love, Jesus coming down to meet us even though we were yet sinners.
Love alone does not make the Gospel. For It is a loving God that created hell for Satan and his legions, and for sinners (Eze 31:16, Mat 23:33), with no hesitation for judgement of entire nations and peoples, and who flooded the earth (Gen 6:17) killing all the inhabitants.
Love has two sides, God’s love for us, and our love for God. The issue with Israel was that they often changed partners (Ex 34:15), and declare loyalty to other gods. But God is one God of Israel, and not the many gods that humanity worships against the 1st commandment (Ex 20:3,4).
We downplay God’s condemnation idol worship, for love is truly love when we are loyal to Jesus and not mock the Cross of Calvary.
We love Jesus as God, for He paid the price (1 Cor 6:20) for our death.
The Grace Gospel - Holiness. Be ye Holy for God is Holy.
The Grace Gospel is about Holiness, for “ God so loved us, that He sent His only Son ….”, who was Holy and perfectly righteous without sin.
No good person was good enough, none of humanity. Only Jesus is Holy and righteous. Jesus paid the price, He came down from heaven to meet us, because we are precious and we are loved to bring us back Home to heaven, and because the penalty for our sins is eternal death and separation from God.
Holiness is gained by being in Christ, and partaking the blood of the Lamb. As Christ is righteous, so are we (2 Cor 10:7). It is the grace of God that resulted in the completed works at the Cross satisfying the demands of love, and holiness and enabling us to enter by faith into the Hope of eternity, not giving us what we deserved but instead giving us the way for redemption.
If the Gospel is only about Holiness then we have a bouncer at the gate of the church to stop whom we perceived as sinners coming in. In our “moral defence” of Singapore, we are now guarding Changi Airport to ban gays!
We fear gays, lest they cause us to sin and be unholy. We end up harming the innocent just as the religious people of faith killed Jesus.
The grace Gospel - Faith to simply believe
The Grace Gospel is about Faith for “God so love the World that He gave His only Son, that who so ever believes in Him ….”.
By Faith we enter into the promises of God, and the Hope of eternal life to come. It is the Gospel Good News, made simple (2 Cor 11:3), not via a religious hierarchy, but it is all about faith to believe Christ and to repent for our sins once and for all (Mark 1:15).
It is made as simple with no fare collection gate for Jesus paid the price. There is a direct passage to the gate of heaven with no intermediary priests or religious structure, or acts of good works.
The Gospel has two parts, the God of love who did His part, and our part to enter and accept His offer of grace and mercy by faith in the reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection for our sins. The confession of faith is not cheap, for Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.
In Rom 3:21-26, our faith in the Cross and the resurrection is accounted for as righteousness. Yet Faith in the Cross is foolishness (1 Cor 1:23) for the intellectual who questions the physical resurrection of Jesus and the need to be born again in the Kingdom of God. For the law minded, faith alone would be insufficient without good works.
The Grace Gospel comes back to our heart - have we shown God's grace and mercy? Have we acted to reflect love, holiness/righteousness, and faith.
As the mega churches in Singapore examines her heart, do we preach the Grace Gospel? or are we so law minded to condemn the innocent gay tribe? like the Pharisees and the Jews who sent Jesus to the Cross!
Grace cannot come into our hearts until we see the light and in humility see the finished work of the Cross. The Gospel is all about Jesus, not of us. We are only to believe by faith.