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The Gospel in a Nutshell


I have to admit that sometimes I indulge in a spot of harmless musing. This happened to me last week. I began to wonder, “What’s the collective noun for a quantity of nuts? Would it be a bunch? Or a group? I suppose if it were a quantity of nuts belonging to a squirrel, it would have to be “A horde of nuts.”

Now you may be wondering where this musing was actually taking place. I can assure you that I wasn’t looking a group of church members at the time! In fact I was in the supermarket with my ever-patient wife, who was trying to do the weekly shopping while I was indulging in mental flights of fancy!

Then something else came to mind. I remember once hearing a sermon preached by a colleague, and he remarked that John chapter 3 and verse 16 is the Gospel in a nutshell! He explained that the reference to a nutshell is an historical one, and that a man called Peter Bales in the times of Queen Elizabeth I had once managed to bind a tiny little Bible in a miniature casket, using a walnut shell as its cover. Never had so much meaning been contained in so small a binding!

And so it is with John 3:16! Here is what the Bible says. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Only twenty-five little words, and yet contained in them is the message of the Gospel. God’s amazing love for mankind in the giving of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s glorious message to mankind that whosoever believeth may be saved, and God’s wonderful provision for mankind, in that those believers will be with Him for all of eternity!

The Gospel is good news for mankind, and it is all summed up in John 3:16! It truly is the Gospel in a nutshell! Now at this point I got rudely awakened from my daydreams. “Stop you standing there looking at the fruit counter, and go and queue for the cooked ham.” Ah well, I wonder what’s the collective noun for a quantity of bacon rashers?

From → Evangelism

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