Category Archives: Gospel
The Gospel is the news about God sending Jesus, who lived a perfect life, and took the sins of the world on himself and died in place of humanity, so that we could have a relationship with God, eternal life, and the power of God over sin and for mission. Believers are responsible for spreading this news. How should we think about the Gospel? The Apostle Paul gives us a good challenge in this regard in Romans 1:14-16:
I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…
Four Attitudes Believers Should Have About the Gospel:
1. I am Obligated (v. 14) – The NLT says, “I have a great sense of obligation to people.” This is just an attitude that says, I own my responsibility to share the Gospel with others. Do you feel a sense of ownership and obligation about witnessing?
2. I am Eager (v. 15) – I am looking for opportunities to share the Gospel and eager for those around me to know about Jesus Christ. Do you live with a sense of urgency and excitement about those around you knowing about the person and work of Jesus Christ?
3. I am Not Ashamed (v. 16) – This means, I am not shrinking back or feeling overly burdened about this responsibility. It speaks to the everyday, habitual sense about sharing the gospel. I’m confident about this mission to share with others.
4. The Gospel is the Power of God (v. 16) – The Power of the Gospel is not in my ability to share or in my persuasiveness. God’s power is promised in the telling of this old, old story. I’m not responsible for results, but for faithfulness in sharing.
The Gospel is POWERFUL, and should never be kept PRIVATE.
In Christ, We Stand Where It Has Already Burned
One of the favorite titles I’ve held in my life (besides “Dad”) is Volunteer Fireman. I was honored to volunteer with one of St. Tammany Parish’s finest Volunteer Fire Departments for a number of years and still like to provide spiritual care for our first responders as a Volunteer Chaplain. One night I was out with our guys for a woods fire. The fire was away from a road so our trucks couldn’t get close. The chief says, “I need to know how close that fire is. Two of you go see.” Since I hadn’t volunteered for any assignments involving burning buildings, I jumped out first and took off through the thick woods. As we approached the fire, the wind picked up and we noticed that it was coming at us fairly fast and the way we had come was too thick for us to be able to make a quick escape. We began clawing as fast as we could parallel to the fire until we found a spot that was burning low enough to jump over. The environment at that point changed from scary to eery. The ground singed and scarred, smoke rising, but we were safe. We were standing where it had already burned and the fire would not be able to burn there again. We followed the fire up to the trucks at which point it was quickly extinguished.
That night I was reminded of 1 John 2:2, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” The word propitiation is used only here in the New Testament and it is filled with meaning for the Christian. The word means “the appeasement or averting of God’s wrath or justice.” So, Jesus, through His death on the cross, appeased, absorbed, and averted God’s wrath toward me. Because of my sin, I faced the fire of God’s judgement (see Romans 1:18, John 3:36), but in Christ I have moved over to where the fire has already burned. Jesus took my judgement, He took my sin, He took my penalty, He took my justice. In Christ, there is an eery safety. There’s been fire here, but there won’t be again.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” On that day of judgement, which side of the fire line will you be standing on?
Gospel: God Gets Explicit
Explicit lyrics in the 80’s, brought on the Parental Advisory labels for cassettes and then CD’s in the 90’s. So, I’ve always considered the word explicit to mean naughty. Then while reading Matt Chandler’s 2012 book Explicit Gospel, I used my handy “look up in dictionary” feature on the Mac toolbar and learned the definition had little to do with potty words. Explicit is defined as “stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.” That’s actually a great adjective for the message of God. Though there is a lot of confusion about what Christianity, religion, the Gospel is all about (see my last post), God has laid it out where anyone can grasp his desire. So in an effort to be explicit this morning, here’s a few of my fav verses, definitions, links and resources to remove doubt and confusion and state it clearly and in detail. I’ll be adding to this post over the next few weeks as our church studies the Explicit Gospel. Get to know the Gospel!!!
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 – “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel… that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”
- John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
- Romans 6:23 – “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Ephesians 2:1, 4-5 – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”
- Gospel comes from the word “Evangel” which means Good News. “Evangel” was news of a great historical event that changed the listeners condition and required response. So the gospel is news of what God has done to accomplish salvation through Jesus Christ in history.
- Martin Luther: “The gospel is a story about Christ, God’s and David’s son, who died and was raised, and is established as Lord. This is the gospel in a nutshell.”
- Tim Keller: “Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God fully accomplishes salvation for us, rescuing us from judgment for sin into fellowship with him, and then restores the creation in which we can enjoy our new life together with him forever.”
- John Piper: “The Gospel is the good news of our final and full enjoyment of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
- Ed Stetzer: “The gospel is the good news that God, who is more holy than we can imagine, looked upon with compassion, people, who are more sinful than we would possibly admit, and sent Jesus into history to establish his Kingdom and reconcile people and the world to himself. Jesus, whose love is more extravagant than we can measure, came to sacrificially die for us so that, by His death and resurrection, we might gain through His grace what the Bible defines as new and eternal life.”
- Tullian Tchividjian: ”The Gospel is the the good news that in and through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, God makes all things new.”
- Two Ways to Live
- God, Man, Christ, Response
- How to Be Born Again by Billy Graham
- See Trevin Wax’s great collection of Gospel Definitions.