|Previous Verse||Next Verse|
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Note 4 at Ac 20:24: The opposite of Paul's statement is true too. Those who count their lives as dear unto themselves will not finish their courses with joy. It is only in losing our lives in Jesus that we really find the joy of what God intended life to be (Mt 16:24-25, Mr 8:34-35, and Lu 9:23-24).
Note 5 at Ac 20:24: When this verse is compared with Ga 1:6, it is very clear that the Gospel is the grace of God, and the grace of God is the Gospel. The word "Gospel" comes from the Greek word "EUAGGELION." EUAGGELION means "a good message" (Strong's Concordance). It is only in the grace (unmerited favor) of God that there is any good news.
The religious church has, in many cases, become the standard-bearer of God's moral laws and the "bad news" that judgment is certain if there is no repentance. While that is certainly true, it is not the good news of the Gospel, and it is the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16). Knowledge of our sinfulness and need for a Savior is certainly essential, but if the good news of God's grace is omitted, then the knowledge of sin kills and condemns (2Co 3:7 and 9), produces guilt (Ro 3:19), and actually brings people further under the dominion of sin (Ro 6:14).
It is not the Gospel to tell people of their sinfulness and God's hatred for sin. The Gospel is the good news that although we are sinners and worthy of God's wrath, God, in love, sent His Son to be our substitute, bearing our punishment so that we could be made completely righteous in His sight, based only on our faith in this completed work of Christ and not our own performance.
This is not only the way we receive the new birth, but it is also the only way to continue our walk with God after the initial salvation experience (Col 2:6). The Galatians started their relationship with God through faith in what Jesus accomplished for them, but they were later deceived into thinking that as they grew in the Christian life, their walk with the Lord was dependent on their own acts of holiness. Paul called this being bewitched (Ga 3:1).
Likewise today, some people start their Christian lives in total dependence on a Savior, but they gradually move to the conviction that without their holiness added to their faith in Jesus, God will not move in their lives. That won't work! That is not the Gospel of the grace of God! "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him" (Col 2:6).