The Uniqueness of the Gospel

The gospel . . . has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing.

–Colossians 1:5–6

In the book of Colossians, Paul was writing to Christians who were incorporating heresies and other religions into their faith–just as many Americans are doing today. So Paul reminded the Colossians of the uniqueness of the gospel. Christianity is unlike any other religion in the world.

What makes the gospel unique? It has worldwide appeal. Colossians 1:5–6 says, “The gospel . . . has come to you, just as in all the world.” You and I are Christians because Middle Eastern missionaries took the gospel out of their culture and spread it throughout the world. Contrast that to Islam, which is still tied to Middle Eastern culture. Muslims have to dress a certain way, eat certain foods, and adhere to certain customs. Christianity, on the other hand, isn’t tied to a particular culture. Christians in Africa worship, eat, and dress differently than Christians in North America. But we all have the same foundation: faith in Jesus Christ. Remember what the angel said to the shepherds when announcing the birth of Christ: “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10; emphasis mine). The gospel’s worldwide appeal makes it unique.

The gospel also produces positive results. In Colossians 1:6, Paul said the gospel “is constantly bearing fruit and increasing.” Secularists claim religion–especially Christianity–is responsible for all the suffering, conflict, and injustice in society. They say, “If we could get rid of belief in God, this world would be much more pleasant!” Anybody who makes such a statement is ignoring history. It was Jesus who treated women as coequal with men. It was Christians who built the first public hospitals. It was Protestant Reformers who promoted the idea of education for the masses. Think about the work of Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, the Salvation Army, and other ministries rooted in Christian beliefs. The gospel is constantly bearing fruit.

Paul saved his best piece of evidence for last. He said what makes the gospel unique is that it’s built on the grace of God. Paul wrote, “The gospel . . . is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth” (vv. 5–6). Every other religion is built on doing things to earn God’s favor. Christianity is built on what Jesus Christ has already done. We could not save ourselves, so God sent His Son to pay the penalty that you and I deserve. God did not save us because of our works; He saved us by His grace. That’s what makes the gospel unique.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Evidence of Genuine Faith” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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