What I'm most deeply grateful for is that God's love for us, approval of us, and commitment to us does not ride on our resolve but on Jesus' resolve for us. The gospel is the good news announcing Jesus' infallible devotion to us despite our inconsistent devotion to Him. The gospel is not a command to hang on to Jesus; it's a promise that no matter how weak and unsuccessful our faith and efforts may be, God is always holding on to us.
The Old Testament records the preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The Gospels record the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. The book of Acts records the propagation of the gospel (the good news) concerning Jesus Christ. The Epistles (letters) explain the gospel and its implications for our lives. The book of Revelation anticipates and describes the second coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His eternal kingdom. From beginning to end, the Bible glorifies Jesus Christ and centers on Him. Its Christ-centeredness is one of its wonderful features.
The call of God is to preach the gospel--namely, the reality of redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ. The one passion of Paul's life was to proclaim the gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreak, disillusionment , and tribulation for only one reason--these things kept him unmovable in his devotion to the gospel of God.
Only the gospel can truly save you. The gospel doesn't make good people good; it makes dead people alive. That's the difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and every other world religion. All the others exhort their followers to save themselves by being good, by conforming their lives to whatever their worshiped deity is. But the gospel is God's acceptance of us based on what Christ has done, not on what we can do.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers to all of our problems. The gospel is not a secret. It is not complicated or hidden. It can unlock the door to true happiness. It is not someone's theory or proposition. It does not come from man at all. It springs from the pure and everlasting waters of the Creator of the universe, who knows truths we cannot even begin to comprehend. And with that knowledge, He has given us the gospel-a divine gift, the ultimate formula for happiness and success.
I would not send my child to a vacation Bible school in 99.9% of the Baptist churches in America. Have some teacher that doesn't even understand anything about the gospel of Jesus Christ, ask those little children, 'How many of you want to go to Heaven?' and damn most of them! Harden their heart to the gospel with some silly profession of faith because it was a silly proclamation of the gospel! It brought no genuine repentance, it brought no faith; it's no different than the Roman church that baptizes every infant that is born.
The differing opinions regarding the gospel are often categorized as different variations of the same truth, or coming at the same truth from different angles, or even emphasizing different aspects of the same truth. This fails to recognize that the different 'variations' are often altogether different gospels. The Reformed gospel is completely different from the Roman Catholic gospel; a faith-based gospel is in direct contradiction to a works-based gospel; a truly evangelical gospel stands in contrast to an ultracharismatic gospel.
The gospel of submission, commitment, decision, and victorious living is not good news about what God has achieved but a demand to save ourselves with God's help. Besides the fact that Scripture never refers to the gospel as having a personal relationship with Jesus nor defines faith as a decision to ask Jesus to come into our heart, this concept of salvation fails to realize that everyone has a personal relationship with God already: either as a condemned criminal standing before a righteous judge or as a justified coheir with Christ and adopted child of the Father.
The Apostle Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost of the risen Savior, says, "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And He speaks of Him as the anointed One, exalted at God's right hand. The Gospel is the Gospel of the Risen Christ. There would be no Gospel for sinners if Christ had not been raised. So the apostle says, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins"
What is the Bible in your house? It is not the Old Testament, it is not the New Testament, it is not the Gospel according to Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John; it is the Gospel according to William; it is the Gospel according to Mary; it is the Gospel according to Henry and James; it is the Gospel according to your name. You write your own Bible.
<< previousnext >>