The Privilege of the Gospel

4 Jan

Some have asked me, “If we preach forgiveness as part of the finished work, isn’t there a danger of promoting apathy and indifference among the lost?” There is, but there is a far greater danger if we don’t preach forgiveness. The opposite of forgiveness or remission is sin retention (John 20:23). Although the sins of the world were taken away at the cross, many people remain chained to sin through hurt and unforgiveness…

Just this morning I heard from a young man whose friend killed himself because he could not cope with the guilt religion had put on him. This is an awful tragedy but it should not surprise us. The Bible shows us again and again that any religion of rules ultimately ministers death to those who would live by them. Grace-less religion kills people.

The only thing that can free people from the grip of sin is a revelation of God’s grace. This is why it is essential that we heed Jesus and follow the apostles’ example and proclaim the free gift of forgiveness. For some people it is literally a matter of life and death. They are dying for lack of forgiveness. The good news is that forgiveness is powerful. It heals, it restores, it liberates and brings reconciliation. Forgiveness saves lives.

The last thing this world needs is another guilt-shoveler behind a pulpit. What people desperately need to hear is the good news. They need to be told their sins have been forgiven and it is our responsibility to tell them. Indeed, this is the privilege of proclaiming the gospel.

Paul Ellis

The Gospel in Ten Words, KingsPress, 2012, 36-7.

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3 Responses to “The Privilege of the Gospel”

  1. jennmersereau January 4, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    Right on!!! Love and grace have set me free from the bondage religion put on me. Christian 22 yrs, free for 3!

  2. chadhutchinson January 4, 2013 at 4:10 am #

    There is much truth in this statement. I myself came from a similar situation. I almost took my own life because of guilt and shame. I was taught who I was suposed to be but never who I really was. At my darkest hour I met Grace. Walking in a relationship with him the next three and half years I was realizing what I had heard preached and who He really was didn’t really line up. Grace saved my life that night and grace will lead me home. Thanks Paul for your sites I always appreciate the encouragement.

  3. Tammy January 4, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I DID attempt to take my life – and nearly succeeded. Raised in church, “religion”, and it was faithful to teach me all about performance and appearances and guilt & shame when you couldn’t measure up, and you can’t. Your options are to keep trying and always failing, or else pretend and look good on the outside while you die on the inside, knowing the real truth is you’re nothing but a fake. Nothing is ever real or ever peaceful and it just makes you want to give up. True freedom is only found in the Truth (John 8:31-35) that we are no longer slaves but sons. Loved & accepted because of Who we belong to, not for what we can perform for the Master. Thank You, Father, for the Grace teachers that You put before me to hear so that I could receive the revelation of forgiveness – even for “church people” – and for delivering me from religion – daily! Never stop sharing forgiveness, Paul – it does far more good than damage – especially for those who need it so!

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