‘The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions’ – Henry Martyn
Luke records that Jesus inaugurated His ministry in Nazareth His home town by reading from (Isaiah 61:1-2) and applying the prophecy to Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news (Gospel) to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”(Luke 4: 18-19).
“Jesus tells us that He has come to bring good news to the poor and to give sight to the blind. What does this mean? First, Jesus brings healing not to the self-righteous, but to those that know they are poor in spirit and weak. Because it is only those who know they are poor who seek the riches that Christ brings.
“What then is Christianity about? According to Jesus Himself, it is about Him and about His Gospel message of salvation for sinners.” – Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
The Gospel is about Jesus Christ and what God has done through Him. It points to Christ’s status as the Son of God, His genuine humanity, His death for our sins, His burial, resurrection, and future coming in judgement.
Do remember that the gospel relates these truths to the life of every individual believer.
Yes, Jesus died. But He died “for our sins” (1 Cor.15:3).
Yes, He rose from the dead. But that is the beginning of the general resurrection of all believers (1 Cor. 15:20)(Rom. 1:3-4).
Yes, He is the coming judge. We will all be evaluated on the basis of our personal attitude toward and response to the gospel (2 Thess.1:8) “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
Friends, this gospel is all important. It is the Apostle Paul who said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v17)
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”
Friend, Jesus’s mission was to preach the Good News to the poor in spirit, the broken hearted. In other words to those with repentant hearts conscious of their sin and need of salvation. It is to this mission of the proclamation of the gospel that every believer is called.
May we too prove faithful.
• Dirk Coetzee
(Pastor, Grahamstown Baptist Church)