The first time I saw Faith, she was in a kennel at the RSPCA. As we came near the front of her cage, she backed up barking. The attendant said for us to wait in a nearby exercise yard, and she would bring Faith to us. A few minutes passed and soon the gate opened and Faith was led into the small square yard, which was about 10 meters on each side. In the yard, there was a tree and a garden seat in the middle.
Some time passed as we sat in the yard. Faith was very unsure and circled us staying close to the fence. It seemed every time she started to relax, someone would walk by and she would run in fear to the far end of the yard. After twenty minutes, I left the yard, hoping that if Michelle stayed there by herself, Faith would eventually come near. The strategy worked, and when I returned sometime later, Faith was laying beside Michelle, her head on Michelle’s lap, while Michelle gently stroked her flank.
By that evening, Faith would allow me to pat her. She was beginning to settle into her new home. However, it was not all easy sailing from there. A few weeks later, I noticed a fly buzzing around the kitchen. In one single swoosh of a fly swat, I dispatched the unwelcome pest. Faith, who had been beaten by her previous owner, saw me strike out at the fly and dissolved in panic. She immediately ran to Michelle, who was in the sewing room and curled up under Michelle’s chair, shaking with fear.
Nine months have passed since we bought Faith home and life has greatly improved for her. This morning my friend John came to our home, as he does each fortnight so we can pray together. Faith took a few weeks to warm to John, but now regular visitors are a highlight to her day. I was standing out front with Faith when John pulled up in his work van. Immediately Faith began turning cartwheels in absolute joy.
The thing about a rescue dog like Faith is they cannot save themselves. They need someone to do for them, what they cannot do. Michelle and I going to the RSPCA, to rescue Faith, was the absolute best thing that would ever happen in her life. Our arrival at the shelter was Faith’s ‘Good News Day’.
The word ‘Gospel’, means exactly that: – Good News!
The Good News is that we also have someone to save us. His name is Jesus, and He saves us from our sins.
Paul’s Letter to the Romans is all about that Good News. In the pages of this letter, we learn that sin separates us from God, yet Jesus died to bear the penalty of that sin so that we can be reconciled to God. This salvation is entirely God’s doing through Jesus and we are completely powerless. Without Jesus, we are without hope. Yet because of the Cross, we have hope.
In writing to the Romans, Paul launches straight into the Gospel. In verse 16 of the first chapter, we read, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation…” The remaining Chapters explain that Gospel. Perhaps the clearest summary of that Gospel is found in another letter Paul wrote. In Ephesians we find, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
There is Good News, salvation is freely available to all. It is accessed by faith. God will not force Eternal Life upon you, but He does offer it freely to all who choose to believe and trust Him.