By Wendell Elms
I love our gospel! I love everything about it. None of it offends me. It is easy to live, and it makes sense. Within this gospel is an inherent awesome power the like of which has not been seen. There is no gospel as wonderful, as real, and as true as the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote a scripture that has to be one of the greatest promises that holds more hope to all mankind. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). There are many books that promise many things but do not deliver. This book that proclaims the gospel delivers.
The power of this gospel brings life to all who choose to obey it. I don’t serve a dead statue but a living Savior. The Bible isn’t another dead, lifeless, historical book; its words are life to the soul. I love this gospel because it is alive – and the tomb is empty.
I’ve found the most valuable things acquired in life are those things which make changes within me. They are things that mean something and are valuable lessons learned. They work to make me a better person. These tend to be inner changes. The outside of a human may be altered by one’s desire, or changed in some way to enhance a perceived beauty, but usually with little effect inwardly. However, changes that bring contentment and peace within are of much greater value. Therefore I love this gospel because of changes that continually mold my attitudes and perspectives, and by far I am a better person because of it. I find through every stage in life new strides are taken, new trials work for my good, new challenges stretch me, and storms keep me on my knees. The apostle James said, “Count it all joy” (James 1).
I love this gospel because it is bigger than ME. I find that submitting to something larger than myself keeps me from becoming a law unto myself. Alone I have little to keep my flesh in check, and my fleshly desires gradually draw me away from the anchor of truth. I must not allow my desires to have their selfish way within me. Soon wrong will evolve into right and acceptable, and right will become detestable. Therefore a willing submission to something greater – in my case there are two things: God’s Word and voice, and the organization I am a part of – allows elders the liberty to make course adjustments in my life. I need to feel the security of spiritual protection knowing my elders can speak into my life. We also need the church community, the preached word, anointed men of God, loving pastors, and the Word of God to keep us from drifting into spiritually pernicious ways.
I love this gospel because it puts fences around me. The same fences that keep me in, also keep the spiritual enemies out. My spirit needs fences. My flesh needs fences. My behavior needs fences. The main reason I like my house is because it has walls. Walls give me security, among other things. I wouldn’t buy or live in a house that had no walls. How very ridiculous. I know my flesh desires to be unrestricted toward the evil things of the world. However, there is a dreadful price to be paid in gaining the world. I love the yoke the Lord spoke of. It is easy and light, plus He is in it with us. Satan’s yoke is fun at first, but it brings much sorrow with time.
I love this gospel because it keeps me walking in the paths of righteousness. I cannot possibly attain righteousness, holiness, or godliness without the Word of God having free reign in my life. Problems always arise when I get in the driver’s seat and take the steering wheel. I must not allow that to happen. After trying it a time or two, I realize a few wrecks later that the best way is to let God have complete control of my faculties: my mind, my spirit, my actions, my dress, my attitudes, my body, my future – my everything! When I allow evil into any part of my existence, a spiritual cancer is loosed that, given time, will take over. However, as I continually seek after His righteousness, with the shovel of repentance, I find my heart free of enemies, while knowing my path is being ordered of the Lord.
I love this gospel because it is a privilege to be a part of his kingdom. It is totally and completely our privilege to be in the kingdom of Jesus Christ! I wouldn’t trade it for the entire world, or anything within it. Nothing gained from this world in my life’s span can be compared to the joys of being a NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST. Jesus takes the “old life” away and replaces it with the “new life:’ Being a new creature in Christ is to be separate from the world. We have been called out of darkness (evil system of the world) and into his marvelous light (separation is part of truth). We’ve been brought out never to return. We must never so much as look back, or long for the world He saved us from. Remember Lot’s wife. Oh, the joy of being a new creature. The best the world can do is to give you a makeover, but Jesus Christ gives a miracle, a total transformation, making me a royal heir by His merciful adoption.
I love this gospel… why do you love this GOSPEL?
Bishop Wendell Elms is the former pastor of Greater Apostolic Tabernacle of Wichita Falls, TX