What Is the Gospel?

David Sterk

READ : Colossians 1:21
Psalm 32:1-11

I sat in on a court trial last week. The judge spent what seemed like an hour reviewing the charges with the defendant asking him over and over again, “Are you guilty?” Over and over again he replied, “Yes, sir, I am.” I think that young man has a chance of turning his life around and the biggest reason for that is because God allowed him to see the utter awfulness of his sin.

So many of us want God to love us, but refuse to admit why we need him. Without an honest and total acknowledgment of our sin, God is demoted to being merely the “God of the self-help book.”

The powerful New England preacher Jonathan Edwards once said that the old original wounds must first be probed in their depth before there can be healing. The Scripture compares sin with the wound of the soul, and an attempt to heal this wound without examining it first is vain and deceitful. It is God’s message to show men how awful their state is before he brings the comfort of deliverance and healing. The gospel is bad news before it becomes good news.


Father, if I am trying to excuse my sin, please show it to me in all its awfulness, that I may come back to you. Amen.