Remembering the Gospel

Posted by on May 5, 2015

Surveying tribes in the Finisterre Mountains

There are many, many churches in the Town of Madang. There is a small Christian book store downtown and it is quite common to find individuals who are self taught street preachers walking around. You can find the name of Jesus Christ mentioned on a regular basis by some people that you interact with. The first thought anyone would have to this should be joy! It is a joyful thing to know that God’s Word is readily available in Madang and people have access to a church.

The discouraging news can be the depth of error that is commonly taught and the lack of Gospel proclamation in the churches. When you ask people that go to church, “How can someone be made right before God?” On the majority the response has “to-do’s” in it, things that you must “do” to be right before God. The spiritual climate in the Town of Madang is very similar to America. The majority of people know who Jesus is but they do not know Him and He does not know them.

Last Sunday we went to the church we have been visiting for 7 weeks. The pastor was in Romans 3:21-31 and reading through it was a fresh reminder of God’s grace. I was most impacted by 3:23-24.

In the Tok Pisin Bible (Buk Baibel) Romans 3:23 goes like this:

Rom 3:23 Yumi olgeta man yumi bin mekim sin, na yumi no inap i stap wantaim God long heven. 24 Tasol God i marimari long yumi, na long wok Krais Jisas i mekim bilong baim bek yumi, God i save kolim yumi stretpela manmeri. Yumi no kamap stretpela manmeri long wok yumi yet i mekim. Nogat. God i givim nating long yumi long han bilong Krais Jisas.

In English:

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Some observations that were encouraging to me. Romans 3:23 is commonly used as an indictment passage when sharing the gospel with someone. Although this is a fine passage for that, Paul is making a different argument. Vs. 23 is talking about a believer. Yes, all believers have sinned, continue to sin and fall short of God’s immeasurable Glory. If that was the only verse you read it would be a very discouraging time. Praise God vs. 24 finishes the statement. The believer continues to fall short but they were (past tense) justified as a gift by God’s grace. This grace came about through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross redeemed (purchased back) whoever would believe on him in the future, and all those in the past who did believe in Him.

There are days and seasons when I forget this. I know that Jesus saved me but I practically forget that I am unable to make myself perfect before God. When I am having a “bad day” and thinking I am not “good enough” for God, I need to remember. It is on these days along with this thinking that I must remind myself of Romans 3:23-24, that God has justified me, on the basis of his Son. It is this message that we must remember and it is this message that the people in the Town of Madang must come to know and treasure.

Continue to pray for us in PNG. That our role in Madang would make us effective ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One Comment

  1. Praying continually!