Zoom. Video calls. Online meetings. Webinars. Shopee. Lazada. Online delivery. Resellers. Unemployment. ECQ. MECQ. GCQ. Quarantine. Vaccine. COVID-19.
God willingly, those would be my answers when my grandchild will ask me this question in the future: “How was 2020 like, lolo?”
We live in very challenging times. This virus has challenged and reset the life that we used to live and know. We are faced with questions like: “When will a vaccine come out? Why did God allow this catastrophe to happen? Why do cases keep increasing? Hanggang kailan tayo maghihintay?”
Although there are many uncertainties today, there is one thing that we can be certain of – the reality of God’s sovereignty. Meaning to say, He has full control of all things that He is allowing to happen. For those who follow and obey Christ, there is a supernatural peace knowing that we are on God’s side. On the other hand, for those who are not, para bang palala nang palala ang nangyayari sa mundo.
If you and I are in Christ, what do we do then?
What does it really mean to be driven by the gospel?
But before we jump to that ano nga ba talaga ang gospel?
Let’s look at the Apostle Paul explanation in this letter: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, emphasis mine)
Go back to the verses earlier and focus your attention on four things. First, the message that the Apostle Paul was writing is of primary importance.
Second, he explains that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Walang nilalang ngayon ang kayang mabuhay ng walang kasalanan. Walang exempted. The cycle of sin stems way back to the day Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s instructions. As a result, man experienced physical and spiritual suffering. But what does that have to do with Christ dying for our sins? God is both righteous and holy. How then can an unjust and sinful man like me be reconciled to a just and holy God? Someone has to pay for the sins that I have committed. Christ came down to this world, took human form, and sacrificed Himself so that you and I can be reconciled back to God. He lived and died as a perfect man who knew no sin.
Thirdly, He was buried. This proves that namatay talaga si Jesus. One can die without having a proper burial, but one cannot have a burial without actually dying. Jesus died so that you and I can live.
Lastly, after three days, He conquered death once and for all when He was raised from the dead. His resurrection is the bedrock of the Christian faith. If the resurrection did not happen, the faith that we have today is futile, but praise God because Jesus was able to conquer physical and spiritual death through His resurrection. Because of Him, maaari na tayong magkaroon ng relationship with the just and holy God.
Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection proves that He is truly man and truly God. Ito ang gospel.
Personally, how can you and I be driven by this wonderful news?
I started reading the book of Romans again this month. I was reminded by the fact that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Simply put, I do not deserve to be saved because of my sinful nature. Look at what Romans 9:15-16 has to say: “For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”
Ephesians 1:4 shares that “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”
As I was reflecting on these verses, I was in tears. I was in tears because of the fact that God was thinking about me even “before the foundation of the world.”
He chose to show mercy and compassion to me by preparing my heart to respond to the good news of salvation. This is what drives me today. As I go back to this truth daily, my heart overflows with gratitude. There is nothing that I did that deserves this kind of mercy and grace. Nakarelate ang puso ko sa sinabi ni John Newton: “Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me!”