While on my retreat with four other pasotrs, one of them read a quote from Robert Farrar Capon who is an Epispocal priest. I love this because it puts in word images what God did through Martin Luther to bring the Gospel to all people… not just the religious elite.
The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof grace–bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us singlehandedly. The word of the Gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home free before they started… Grace was to be drunk neat: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale…
The Gospel is just as powerful today when it enters a person’s life. It is strong and smooth to the soul. There is no need to add anything to the Gospel. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the Gospel. Not Jesus AND anything else… just Jesus.
Not Jesus and good works… Jesus and tithing… and witnessing… and memorizing Scripture… or anything else you can name.
Grace is for every person of every race of every class of every nation. He is the only one through whom a person can gain eternal life.