Appreciating the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Steven Spielberg’s WW II movie, “Saving Private Ryan,” is the profoundly moving story of a squad of soldiers sent on a mission deep into a battle zone to bring out a young paratrooper, Private James Ryan, whose three brothers had been killed in battle. The army’s chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, had personally ordered Private Ryan sent home to his mother because he thought three sons were enough for any mother to contribute to the war.

 

The squad leader, Captain John Miller, and half of his squad gave their lives in the mission to bring Ryan home. As he sat propped up against a bombed out car on a bridge, Miller’s dying words to Ryan were, “Earn this.” The scene switches to 1998, as a much older Ryan falls to his knees at Miller’s grave and tearfully chokes out these words: “Every day I think about what you said to me on that bridge. I’ve tried to live my life the best I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes I have earned what all of you have done for me.” Ryan turns to his wife and asks, “Tell me I’m a good man?”

Why does he ask? Ryan never got over the sacrifice Miller and his men made for his life. He appreciated what they did for him. He owed his life to them, a debt he could never repay. What else could he do but try to live a life worthy of the price that was paid for him? We all can understand that. Perhaps no one has died to save our physical lives, but Jesus endured the agony of the cross so we could have the priceless gift of abundant life today and eternal life hereafter. We have been “bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Christ “died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the Onewho died for them and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). While we can never repay Christ for what he did for us, we can live a life that honors his sacrifice. Embedded in the gospel of Jesus Christ is a call for response, an urgency to share it with others. That's how we show appreciation.

Your ongoing witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ flows out of the internal motivations you properly feel for the one who died to set you free from the power and penalty of sin. My desire is that you will be captivated by three great, very personal motivations for sharing your faith. These were the motivations that compelled the apostle Paul and the early church to testify about the risen Christ, in spite of the danger they faced for telling the truth.

In the next entry we will look at the first and greatest motivation.

5 comments (Add your own)

1. Josie wrote:
When I was just entering my teganee years my church's youth group used a very similar (yet more sexist) analogy to introduce us to the concept of sex. It's too long for me to repeat unless someone desperately wants to hear it but the gist of it was: women need to learn to keep their legs closed lest they become used and battered loose women (only in less nice terms than that) who don't look very presentable to their perfect virgin husbands. You know, if more christians were like this guy I'd prolly consider attending church on occasion hahah. but it's interesting to me that the most offensive and horrific sin in the days of the jews on through Jesus to the early church and its apostles was idolatry. Now the church's main obsession is sex. I kinda liked studying the jesus who cared about the poor and the sick and stood up to the super wealthy and super powerful. I think the shift in thought underlies a significant shift in values within the church. I don't see nearly as many homeless or sick people in modern churches as I see in the new testament stories. just a thought.

Sat, March 17, 2012 @ 9:32 AM

2. Cristian wrote:
They're both very mrioptant, but his death is more mrioptant. You can't really have his death without his birth though. And Christians aren't calendar worshiping pagans, in case you aren't perceptive enough to notice. We don't celebrate clocks, dates, the Zodiac, leap year, or the seasons. We celebrate the events of Christ's life, it really doesn't matter what day we celebrate them, except maybe to a Pharisee that fails to see the forest for the trees.

Sat, March 17, 2012 @ 1:52 PM

3. Beena wrote:
Thankyou very very much for the wonderful job you have done. May God Almighty Bless you ayawls. Seeing the picture of Jesus just tells my concious to be good because I have received the immense Graces of Jesus Christ in my whole life and espesially when participating in the retreat that was held in Vettucaud in 1993 conducted by Divine Retreat Centre. Images ayawls influence our mind and body in a very big way and have been proved by scientists and doctors. Thankyou once again.

Mon, March 19, 2012 @ 12:48 AM

4. Fumiaki wrote:
Christmas is a collection of pagan fevlisats that the church tried to hijack and failed!! They therefore celebrate a pagan festival and surely if Jesus existed he would be repelled by that!!But what of Jesus himself?There is not one single mention of Jesus in the entire Roman record that is right not one!!! At the same time as he was supposed to have been around there were a number of Jews claiming to be the messiah all of whom are well recorded!!He was supposed to have been a huge problem to the Romans and produced wonderful miracles but still not one contemporary record?Even the bible mentions of him like all other references were not written until many years after his supposed death!!At best he was an amalgam of those others!!

Sat, August 18, 2012 @ 9:53 PM

5. nxqiebcl wrote:
qhWDoe yrueypxzmszh

Tue, August 21, 2012 @ 6:43 AM

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