Gal 1:11-12 (NKJV) 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Greek for “gospel” is defined as:
The glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom. After the death of Christ, the term comprises also the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ as having suffered death on the cross to procure eternal salvation for the men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thence to return in majesty to consummate the kingdom of God.
Webster defines “glad” as:
1 : having a cheerful or happy disposition by nature
2 a : experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight : made happy b : made pleased, satisfied, or grateful — often used with of c : very willing
3 a : marked by, expressive of, or caused by happiness and joy b : causing happiness and joy : pleasant
4 : full of brightness and cheerfulness
Webster defines “tidings” as a piece of news.
So the question this morning for me is this: Is the Gospel message a piece of news that makes me cheerful or of a happy disposition by nature?
If I look like a I was “weaned on a pickle” and constantly seeing the worst in everything and everyone, has the bit of news about Jesus made me full of brightness and cheerfulness?
Am I experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight in the understanding of what Christ has done? Have I been made happy, pleased, satisfied or grateful by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for my sins?
Am I marked by or expressive of joy and happiness because of the message of Galatians 2:20 and John 3:16?
Am I causing happiness and joy in the lives of others?
If I cannot answer those questions in the affirmative, then I have a disconnect between what I have received and what I deserve.
Luke 7:36-50 tells the story of the woman described as “a sinner” breaks the alabaster jar of oil over Jesus’ feet and washes his feet with her tears and hair. The self-righteous Pharisees were judging both Christ and the woman in that moment. In a parable Jesus draws the picture one who is forgiven much, loves much.
How much has God forgiven me of?
I need to remember that more often. I need to occasionally catch a whiff of the cesspool of my humanity and sinfulness and what an offensive and repulsive stench it must be in Father God’s nostrils.
When I come into the understanding of how offensive my sin is – any sin – as God has no grading scale for sin; it is either sin or it isn’t – I gain an appreciation of just how undeserving I am of the grace and mercy He has shown and given to me.
THIS is the “glad tidings” of Christ! That I am able to come into the presence of the one and only Creator God for all of eternity, is more than enough to make me glad.
But God gives us more than that. He has provided that one-on-one relationship with Him while we are still here on this earth. We don’t have to wait to die to be with Him, He desires to be in personal relationship with Him NOW. God has promised his Spirit to live in, dwell in, and guide us through this life. This should put “glad” in overdrive!
He has forgiven me much more than I even realize.
He has saved me from eternity without Him.
He has made a way for a daily, personal relationship with him that is not based on my performance or actions.
He loves me unconditionally – forever.
He has provided peace in the midst of trouble and strength in exhaustion.
He never changes!
Now THAT is glad tidings!
Running After Papa…