The Basics

The Basics

Friday, January 18, 2013

4:10 PM

John 3:16 -17- "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him."


Yesterday afternoon the snow finally arrived.  I started around 2:45 and by 5 o clock we have almost 6 inches of snow. It continued to come down for a few more hours, but not at the initial rate.  We ended up at around 6-7 inches of snow which meant for my family that we were in for the night.  So we turned on the TV and we watched, and we watched.  We watched primarily the local news because we wanted to see and hear all of the snow reports from around the area.

We heard how the snow came down in buckets in some places and in others it didn't hardly snow at all.  We heard the reports of thunder snow.  We heard how we needed to watch out for black ice, and how we needed to be extremely careful if we had to drive, because there were accidents everywhere.

And then we heard the how to drive in winter weather report.  Everytime it snows we get this report.  Why? Why do we need to be reminded of how to drive in the snow? Apparently because we are forgetful.

They told us:

*if you have to go out, leave early

*drive slower than normal

*give yourself extra room between you and the car in front of you

*take a flashlight with you

*don't drive distracted (no cell phones)

*and finally if you don't have to go out stay home

In other words they told us the basics of winter driving.  All of it was good advice, things that we need to do or not do while we are driving in the snow.  These are things that most of us should already know.  They are basic, but they are important.  And we truly do need to be reminded of these things because in reality we are forgetful.

It reminded me of what Vince Lombardi did after the his Green Bay Packers experienced a loss, he decided to get back to basics.  So he walked into the locker room before practice, held up a football, and announced to his team of professional football player, "gentlemen this is a football."  Did they need to be told that? No but he made his point, we are getting back to the basics.

That's good advice isn't it? Whether its football, winter driving, or life.  We need to get back to the basics.  And the most important basic is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paul writes to the church at Rome, and he talks about their faith, and how he longs to see them and worship with them, and then he tells them "I long to come and share the Gospel with you."  Why would he go into a church of believers and share the Gospel with them? They are already believers, why do they need to hear the Gospel again.  For the same reason that we do.  We are forgetful and we need to be reminded of the basics.  We need to be reminded of the beauty and grace, and mercy of the Gospel.  We need to consistently think about what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

He came and He went to the cross for us.  But even beyond that He went to the cross in our place.  He came and made a way for us to be forgiven so that as John 3:16 says we could have the gift of eternal life.  He came not to condemn us, no He came so that we wouldn't have to be condemned.  He came so that we could be forgiven.  He took our place.  He was the propitiation, which means He took God's wrath in our place.  We are not condemned if we are in Christ Jesus.  Instead we are forgiven and we are given the gift of eternal life because we area reconciled to God.

Our sin kept us from Him but Jesus took our place, forgave us of our sins, and then imputed His righteousness to us.  That is the grace of God.  That is the basics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learning how (or remembering how) to drive in the snow may save our lives.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ however does more than just save our lives in this life, it saves our life throughout all eternity.  Lets be reminded of the basics, lets keep those basics before us, and lets celebrate those basics everyday.