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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost


March 30, 2010 - The Gospel in 14 Words

By George Paul Wood

First Corinthians 1:3 presents the gospel in 14 words:

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (NIV).

If I had to choose one word to describe the essence of the gospel, I would choose grace. Philip Yancey calls it “the last best word” because it is the “one grand theological word that has not spoiled.” He’s right. The word has no negative connotations. In Greek, grace is charis, meaning “favor” or “gift.” The gospel is that God has given us His favor.

What makes the gospel good news is that God has given us surprising and undeserved favor. I have a son, Reese. The Bible teaches that we are God’s children by adoption (Ephesians 1:4,5). It’s not surprising when a dad loves his own kids. We take greater notice when a foster dad, step-dad or adoptive dad loves someone else’s children as his own. And it’s downright shocking when that dad loves someone else’s kids if they hate him. But that’s how the Bible describes God’s grace to us: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Peace follows on the heels of grace. We sinners may be at war with God, but He is not at war with us. God is the Peacemaker. Peace has a vertical and a horizontal dimension. Vertically, through God’s grace, we have peace with Him (Romans 5:1). Horizontally, through God’s grace, we have peace with others (Ephesians 2:14-18). Peace is not merely the absence of conflict, however, or the avoidance of divine judgment. It is the presence of harmony, the receiving of God’s blessing.

If grace and peace come from God, then He is the source of the gospel. Too many people think of God as a Divine Judge who wants to arrest, try, condemn and execute them for their sins. And let us be clear: God is “the righteous Judge” (2 Timothy 4:8). But God’s justice arises out of His love for us: He cannot tolerate the sin that harms us. Sin is under His judgment, and we are too, if we do not repent of it. Behind the Judge, however, is the Father who longs to see His children live and thrive in His presence. He moves heaven and earth to realize His desire.

Or perhaps I should say He moves heaven to come to earth to realize His desire. If God is the source of the gospel, Jesus Christ is its mediator. Someone has given this acronym for grace:


That captures the biblical truth precisely: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). It is through Christ that we live and thrive in God’s presence.

The gospel: grace its essence, peace its result, God its source, Christ its mediator.

— George Paul Wood is director of Ministerial Resources for the Assemblies of God and author of The Daily Word online devotionals.



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