28th October 2012

Truth In Advertising

“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
Galatians 1:11-12 NIV (UK)

Have you ever watched a TV advertisement for a product that appears so amazing and the price so cheap that it seems just too good to be true? At first you’re probably sceptical, but as you listen to testimonial after testimonial, you begin to believe that this might indeed be a miracle product—the very thing you’ve been waiting for, whether you knew it or not.

And it gets better—the price is just a fraction of what you would spend on similar products that don’t work as well. But wait—there’s more! If you call within the next five minutes you’ll get not one—not two—but three bonus gifts that alone, are worth the purchase price. Operators are standing by, but supplies are limited, so you must act NOW!

So you succumb and place your order, but when the item arrives you are deeply disappointed. It looks and works very differently from what you saw displayed under the bright lights of a TV studio. With a sigh you realise you have been tricked by slick advertising which greatly oversold the item. It leaves you feeling foolish and betrayed, and you resolve never to fall for that kind of deception again.

It’s bad enough if that happens with a vacuum cleaner or a piece of jewellery. But it is tragic if untruthful advertising misrepresents something as important as the gospel. But sadly, it does happen.

The gospel is good news, the best possible news anyone can hear. It promises a new life beyond death, a life rich in joy, peace, friendship and real love. It’s the good news of a life in communion with God, who loves you and wants you with him no matter who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done.

The gospel is the best and only hope for humanity. It is the best and only hope for you, for me, and everyone we care about.

That is why we preach it, calling on all people everywhere, as far as the Spirit gives us opportunity, to turn to Jesus in faith so all can truthfully know him and know the Father—and so they can come to know for themselves that they are beloved children of the Father, in Jesus.

It’s not slick advertising for a product that can’t measure up. It’s the gospel truth. And it means God knows your name and your sins and loves you anyway. In Jesus, the Father has already done everything necessary for your salvation and redemption. You are included. He loves you and will never let you go. The Holy Spirit will heal your mind and heart and set you on a new path with Jesus—a path of rest, peace and hope. Trust your Saviour. You won’t be disappointed.

Righteous Father, when we grasp your Gospel and all its implications, it becomes very clear that no man could devise it. It is through and through a product of your love, your mercy and your grace. We ask not only for that understanding to deepen day by day, but also that we can share the true Gospel with others as you make opportunity. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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