WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 29, 2022
TOPIC: THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL
BY T. O. BANSO
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 New King James Version).
Easton’s Bible Dictionary says the word gospel is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning “God’s spell”, i.e., word of God, or rather, according to others, “good spell”, i.e., good news.
The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the gospel of light. God is light. As 1 John 1:5b says, God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus also described Himself as light. He said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’” (John 8:12 New King James Version). Jesus reiterated this in John 9:5, saying, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (New King James Version).
The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the gospel of light. Paul mentioned the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ in 2 Corinthians 4. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 New King James Version).
What was Paul saying here? In the previous verse, he said that he put aside all secret and shameful deeds and did not act with deceit or falsify the word of God. But in the full light of truth, he lived in God’s sight and tried to commend himself to everyone’s good conscience (verse 2). However, Paul noted that if some people did not understand the gospel that he preached or its meaning was hidden from them, it was because they were perishing or lost; they were those whom Satan, “the god of this age”, the one whom the unbelievers worshipped as their god, had blinded their minds so that they would not believe. Satan did this so that the light of the glory of Christ, the image of God, would not shine on them. His goal was to hinder them from being saved. He knew that if the light of the gospel shone on them, they would be saved.
The light of the gospel brings salvation. The Apostle Paul referred to the gospel as the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to his trust (1 Timothy 1:11). Glorious gospel! This aligns with the phrase “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” used in 2 Corinthians 4:4 in the King James Version instead of “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”
Whoever brings the gospel to people brings light to them. Every sinner is living in darkness until he receives the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ when the Word of God is preached to him and he responds to it in faith. Sinners are in the kingdom of darkness while those saved are in the Kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of light.
According to 1 Peter 2:9, Christians are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His special people, that we may proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. God has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13).
Those who are saved are those who have seen the light. “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan — The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:1-2 New International Version). Jesus Christ fulfilled this prophecy as recorded in Matthew 4:12-16. Moreover, the light of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is reaching several people in different parts of the world today.
There are two kinds of people on earth: those who are being saved and those who are perishing. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 New King James Version). Take note of the two groups in this verse: those who are perishing and those who are being saved. 2 Corinthians 2:15 also talks about these two groups: “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (New King James Version).
Which group do you belong to? Is the gospel veiled to you or do you understand it? Has the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, shone on you? Have you seen the light of the gospel? Have you responded to the message of salvation?
God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). But many are perishing because they have not seen or come to the light. Jesus said, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20 New King James Version).
The devil is keeping many people from knowing the truth. As Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 New King James Version). The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing because the god of this age, the ruler of this world, or the prince of the power of the air, has blinded their minds so that they do not believe.
This is how the New Living Translation put 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 that I cited earlier: “If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”
God desires everyone to be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (New King James Version).
Every unbeliever lives in darkness but God desires that everyone should be delivered from the bondage of darkness. And they cannot be delivered unless the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, shines on them and they believe. But Satan has blinded their minds so that they cannot see the glorious light of the gospel. Therefore, we must pray that the Lord will open their minds so that they will see the light.
The first stanza of the hymn “Amazing Grace” says in lines 3 and 4 “I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.” Jesus has sent His followers to preach the message of salvation to sinners. God has not devised any other means by which people could be saved other than the gospel. God is powerless to save men without the gospel! The Bible says that the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
Also, Romans 10:13-15 says, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (New King James Version).
Therefore, we must preach the gospel to every creature as Jesus commanded us (Mark 16:15). Jesus has died to save the world. But the gospel is God’s power to deliver sinners from the power of darkness and convey them into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Sinners must hear and believe the message about what Jesus did for them. But Satan does not want them to listen to the gospel and makes them reject it or not believe it. He wants them to continue in darkness and perish.
When some sinners listen to the gospel, Satan makes them not understand the message because he has blinded their minds. He doesn’t want them to receive the light that will deliver them from darkness and bring them into the light. Therefore, as we preach the gospel to non-believers, we must pray that their blind minds will be opened and they will believe the gospel. We must pray that God will open their understanding and they will comprehend the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). We must pray that the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18).
Jesus said, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside” (Matthew 13:19 New King James Version). We must pray that the sinners we preach the gospel to will hear and understand and they will see and perceive (Isaiah 6:9; Matthew 13:14; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26; Romans 11:8).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray that the anointing to preach the gospel with power will rest upon all Your children. Holy Spirit, help us to preach the gospel in a manner that will compel sinners to repent and be saved. Let the non-believers see the light of the gospel and come to Jesus. Let their blind minds be opened. Let the gospel no more be veiled to them so that they will believe. Sinners will no longer reject the gospel; they will hear and understand, and they will see and perceive.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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