Cost Benefit

"In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will …" (Ephesians 1:11)

One approach I have used in presenting the Gospel is by emphasizing relevance. I talk about the merits of salvation. Another way to put it – what’s in it for you. We live in a profit-motive society. We look for the cost-benefit.

In the first fourteen verses of Ephesians one, Paul in somewhat complex statements, declared three significant benefits for being in Christ. First, we receive forgiveness of sin, v.7. No matter how small or horrific our sins, they will be forgiven. You will experience a freeing from conscious guilt. Forgiveness results in mental wellness. Second, you receive understanding of God’s will in matters pertaining to salvation as he moves to unite the heavenly realm and the earthly realm, vv.9, 10. Salvation causes light to shine in the once darkened mind. Life becomes purposeful and makes sense. Finally, God gives the ultimate gift he calls “an inheritance” – eternal life and the accoutrements of life in the coming Kingdom of God. You have a great hope. This is an immeasurable prospect in a future life over this life.

I don’t often use the benefits approach, but there is merit in doing so. Too often we just use the judgment-hell approach. Arm yourself with a variety of approaches for sharing the Gospel.

--E.C.Malone 07/24/15

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