Get your Daily Encouragement with the Jesus Minute
There are two examples that revolve around the life of Paul. The first is the dramatic encounter he had with Jesus on the road to Damascus, which changed his life. The second is Paul’s testimony of how he compared all of his personal accomplishments with knowing Jesus.
The first is what Jesus, himself, told Ananias, that he was to share with this newly transformed Paul. What did Jesus tell Ananias was the message he wanted Paul to proclaim? But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15) Note the simple message Paul is to share with the entire world. It’s the name of Jesus, simply Jesus.
After three years of preparation in Arabia, Paul/Saul (Paul, his Roman name and Saul, his Jewish name) was ready to proclaim the name of Jesus everywhere he went. Knowing Jesus as the Christ became all-consuming to him. He wrote about his feelings in the strongest of terms in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Philippi. After listing his grand religious accomplishments, Paul says: But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Messiah Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain the Messiah and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.(Philippians 3:4-9)
To Paul, Jesus was the only possible Good News-the Gospel. Paul is so thrilled to have been apprehended by Jesus on the road to Damascus that he believed that “all of the fullness of God dwelt in Jesus.” He says to the followers of Jesus in Colossae: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things. (Colossians 1:15-20)
So, what is the Gospel? According to Jesus’ words to Ananias, who was going to mentor Paul, the most important message of all-the Good News-the primary message to be spread is the name of Jesus and nothing more. Jesus is the subject of it, the object of it and the life of it! So, if you want the assurance of salvation-getting into heaven, hang on to Jesus with all your heart. Jesus is the only way to get out of here alive!