“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16 ESV)
Football season is over and that usually means we have at least a couple of months before spring games take place and the countdown to August begins. In the meantime, I hope this weekly devotional helps us all stay focused on what matters most: our walk with Jesus!
In July of 1961, Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, walked into training camp with a football. The previous January, his team lost a heartbreaking championship game, a loss that stayed with them for the entire offseason. So, here were some of the greatest athletes and football players alive, gathered to begin another season of excellence. Lombardi set the football in front of them and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” He then explained what it was. This seems like a ridiculously elementary way to begin a training camp for professional football players. Lombardi’s reason? If the team was going to win, he reasoned, we’ve got to be sound in the fundamentals. For the remainder of the training camp, the team walked through the basics of blocking and tackling, throwing and catching. Lombardi’s strategy paid off, as the Packers went on to win the 1962 championship game.
The same principle applies to our Christian lives. We never outgrow our need of the most fundamental teaching of the Christian faith, the gospel. So, in the coming weeks, I want us to go back to the basics of the gospel. It’s only as we’re sound in the essentials of the faith that we can expect to make progress in our Christian lives.
Let’s start with the word gospel. What does it mean? It means “good news.” We’ll look at why it’s good next week, but for this week think about this: only the gospel is news. This fact alone separates the gospel from every other religion. It is news about an event that happened in real, space-time history. By contrast, every other religion tells you what to do to get back to God. Therefore, they are not about news; they don’t tell you what God has done, they only tell you how to work your way back to God. Only the gospel tells you news about what God has done for you. So that’s the first basic of the gospel: fundamentally, it is about what God has done for us.
This week, think about how news affects your life. And be prepared, by God’s grace, to begin to grasp how the good news affects everything.