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Good for Nothing

February 5, 2019

“Good for nothing,” is a common insult, thrown out there with intent to destroy and belittle. When the phrase “good for nothing” is targeting at an inanimate object, it is usually a description of its perceived uselessness. When the phrase is targeted at us, it is an attack on our identity and value. There is probably no insult more devastating, than being told you are “good for nothing.”

But the phrase also has a redeeming element to it as well. When you truly understand the nature of God’s grace, you see how, “good for nothing” is also an accurate description of the gospel.

Paul writes, in his second letter to the church in Corinth, “For He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2Cor. 5:21

What is Paul saying? He is simplifying the gospel message, reducing the remarkable truth to as few words as possible. Paul is simply telling us, that God made Jesus, take our place, so that we could be called good. In other words, God, made us “good” and although it cost Him his Son, it cost us “nothing.” The gospel is simple. God makes us “good, for nothing.”

I can hear the concerns, such a statement cheapens the gospel, that it is a “lite” version of the gospel. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is the simple gospel, that God redeemed you and I through the sacrifice of his Son, and that it literally cost us nothing. If salvation cost me something, if there were a price that I could pay to purchase or acquire God’s grace, then it is not grace at all, it is a wage, a reward, something given to me in exchange for my effort. But that is not the gospel. Paul declares in Eph. 2:8,9 “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” You see then, that the message is simple, God makes me good, and it costs me nothing.

This is the remarkable, glorious truth of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. This is the great story we get to share with the world. It is a message of redemption, a message of hope, a message of grace. As we take the journey together to understand this glorious grace, by which we have been redeemed, let us acknowledge the sacrifice of Christ and honour His love by declaring, that you and I have been made – “Good for Nothing.”