Power of the gospel

Pastor Glenn Townend reflects on the first time he sensed the power of Jesus' good news in his life.

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(Credit: Unsplash)

Ever since I was six I knew the power of the gospel. I’d been caught by my parents doing something I knew was wrong—the guilt and shame were real; the punishment deserved.

That Sabbath we had people over to our house for lunch. As a bundle of energy I was entertaining the guests. Someone then suggested I get a book and a teenage boy would read it to me. I returned with the story of Jesus’ death on the cross.

I sat and listened. For the first time in my life, I knew that Jesus had died for me and took the punishment for my sins. The gospel or good news of Jesus had impacted my life. I took the book back to my room forgiven and cried because I had grasped incredible love. Since that time I have sensed the power of Jesus’ good news in my life.

Most of us in the Seventh-day Adventist Church have been impacted by Jesus. I’ve heard of those raised in the Church who thought that obedience gained favour with God—it wasn’t until they heard a gospel preacher or teacher that they realised it was faith in the grace of Jesus which brings them close to God forever. I’ve heard amazing testimonies of those who lived lives of complete rebellion against God and yet God’s message of love got through. We all have a unique experience with Jesus, however the most important thing is that we allow Jesus’ good news to change us. “The gospel . . . is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, ESV).

The gospel of Jesus is the heart, centre and basis of being a disciple of Jesus. Jesus changed lives in the past and He is still changing lives now. I pray the power of the gospel continues to change me and those around me.