Saturday, October 30, 2021

In a nutshell - Part 1 - The Gospel in a nutshell


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

When I was a boy I always heard preachers say that a verse they quoted described the gospel in a nutshell. It was intriguing. What did they mean?

One dictionary definition says this about the phrase: ‘This hyperbolic expression alludes to the Roman writer Pliny's description of Homer's Iliad being copied in so tiny a hand that it could fit in a nutshell,’ Another source ( says that ‘In a nutshell is an idiom with its roots in Greece, nearly two thousand years ago. ... The phrase, in a nutshell, describes something that is brief or to the point. The expression, in a nutshell, may refer to an explanation that is given in a concise and precise manner, without referring to extraneous details’.

The statement from the Bible that was described as the gospel, in a nutshell, was this - ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life,’ John 3:16.

Can you see what they meant? This verse tells us all we need to know about God’s forgiveness and salvation in very concise terms. It talks about us, God, the danger we humans are in, what God has done to rectify the problem, and what we need to do to benefit from God’s offer. 

Read each phrase and ask yourself what does it mean?

  1. Think about God’s universal love for humanity;
  2. Consider God’s impressive act of love; 
  3. Reflect on the wrongs we have done and the flawed character of every human being;
  4. Imagine the consequences of unforgiven sin (we would still be guilty and in danger);
  5. Try to understand what God is asking you to do in order to be safe and secure forever.

The appropriate response (repentance to God and faith in Jesus Christ) after quiet and honest reflection on this clear statement from the Bible will open your eyes to the truth and bring you into a relationship with God.


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