Cumberland Times-News

April 3, 2008

Boost your religious understanding

David Sandvick, Columnist

I'm looking, actually searching, for another word for synonym. A word that is similar, yet not necessarily interchangeable. Alike, but it doesn't have to be equivalent or identical.

It is a difficult process for someone like me who paid little attention in English classes throughout my education experience. In fact, I wouldn't mind if our language was limited to only words to which I understand the meaning. Unfortunately for me, English is much more specific in its use of words.

For example:

In synonym world, people don't just carefully run across the busy street at the right time. But they may briskly traverse the bustling thoroughfare at the most opportune moment.

Likewise, in this place of verbosity and pleonasm, the struggle to find just the right word is more like a lifetime endeavor to ascertain the precise descriptor required.

It makes me glad the gospel is simple. It is good news. We have good news and that good news is that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, he was buried and rose again to new life victorious over death and sin.

The great news is that God offers that same life to anyone who places their faith in Christ. It's a pretty simple message that sometimes gets lost in theological debate and religious terminology, but it is a message that can change the course of your life for the better.

No matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what you've done, be assured that God loves you and stands ready to forgive and extend His grace to you.

You can discover this simple truth at a Bible believing church this Sunday.

In other words, make it a point to attend a genuine and virtuous gathering of believers this weekend and magnify your depth of understanding of how this omniscient God wants to love you and ameliorate your life!

David Sandvick is pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.