Now more than ever, we find ourselves in situations where we can demonstrate the reality of the gospel. In this article, Pastor Marc Constantino tells us the importance as well as practical ways of expressing God’s love to people around us.
What does expressing the gospel mean and what is the importance of doing a series on it?
Sometimes, when we think of the gospel, it’s all about preaching the good news. We know that we should declare the good news that Jesus came to live among us and paid the full penalty of our sins by dying on the cross so that we can be restored to a right relationship with God. In our ongoing study of the book of Romans, we see that from chapters 1–11, the apostle Paul explained how God showed us mercy, forgave us, and made us righteous through the death of Jesus on the cross. As a church, we have always been passionate about preaching this truth.
Through The Gospel Expressed, we are shifting our focus to gospel demonstration. From Romans 12, Paul started talking about ways to express the truth of the gospel, which can be summarized this way: love one another. Paul explained that we are to do this purely, sincerely, and sacrificially. We all know how difficult this is, especially if we consider the person unlovable. That’s why Paul frames this instruction in view of God’s mercy. We can express genuine love to others because we’ve received God’s abundant and sacrificial love first. It is this love that He now wants us to demonstrate to those around us.
Paul gave practical ways we can do this: in our attitude toward each other (especially to those who are different from us), by helping those in need, and even by loving our enemies. Paul devoted several chapters on expressing God’s love to people in our church and community. This series on expressing the gospel is very important, not to mention timely, knowing how this pandemic is affecting all of us.
Last weekend, we offered our Victory Kapasigan facility for the Pasig City government’s temporary use. How did this come about, and why did the church decide to do it?
It all started when the Every Nation Building was converted into temporary housing for health care workers back in April. At Victory Pasig, we thought of doing the same.
Then several weeks ago, I was in a meeting with Mayor Vico and other pastors from different churches in Pasig. While Mayor Vico was discussing his research about the pandemic and pouring his heart out to us, I asked him how the body of Christ can help at this time. He gave two ways: food distribution and housing facility.
When he said this, I knew it was time to push through with making our venue in Pasig available for the use of our health workers. God gave us this facility, and in this season, we can use it to bless the community. It is a privilege for us to be given the chance to serve and express love to those in our city. It will be used by nurses and other medical practitioners from a hospital right beside our facility. Our Kapasigan location now has 18 beds, a makeshift room to be used as a cafeteria, and a shower room. We are grateful that these front liners will have a safe place to rest after their long shifts each day. The joy our local government and front liners have expressed for this is our joy, too.
What other initiative is the church doing in this season of pandemic to express the gospel?
We’ve had several initiatives as a church in Metro Manila and even in the Philippines. Most of these are started by our church members. Even before The Gospel Expressed series came out, people in our church have been helping those affected by the pandemic, like front liners, jeepney drivers, and other people who’ve lost their source of income. Victory group leaders have organized fundraising activities, cooked and distributed food to communities, distributed medical supplies, and visited hospitals to ask how they can help. On their own, they went out of their way to demonstrate the gospel and be a blessing in this difficult season. This brings me great joy and we honor those who are serving as God’s hands and feet to our world.
How can a regular church member take an active role in expressing the gospel?
As a church, this is our opportunity to be salt and light to the world. Yes, there are fundraising activities and other initiatives that we can be part of, but we can also do simple gestures to reach out to someone. There are a lot of people who are going through depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. We can be sensitive and intentional about reaching out to people—our friends, relatives, classmates, or workmates. You’d be surprised at how much a call or simple text message would mean to people nowadays. Intentionally setting time in your day to meet with people on whatever platform to pray for them and encourage them is an expression of love.
Pastor Marc Constantino is the senior pastor of Victory Pasig. He also oversees Victory Metro East and Antipolo. He and his wife, Rizzel, have been married for 22 years now and are blessed with 3 wonderful children.
Beyond the Series is a set of interviews on topics related to our sermon series.