William Still (2010) challenges us to push further into the Gospel and all that it means:
In evangelical circles the danger that the Gospel may be equated with the mere rudiments of the Word of God has become almost a disaster, for these rudiments are only the beginning of the Good News. There are profounder things by far in the Bible than what is called ‘the simple Gospel,’ although they issue from it. Indeed, in a sense, those who proclaim almost exclusively forgiveness of sins and justification, only make known the preliminaries to the best Good News, which is not that our sins are put away and that we are justified in God’s sight, wonderful though that is, but that God wants us for Himself and to that end brings us to the birth in Christ. After all, the death of Jesus, for all its wonder, is a means to an end, which is not merely that we may be right and clean but that we may be His, which involves personal relationship in love.” (p. 62)
Would you agree with his assessment?
Still, W. (2010). The Work of the Pastor.
May this be your meditation today:
Without the gospel, our self-image is based on living up to some standards – either our own or someone else’s imposed on us. If we live up to those standards, we will be confident but not humble; if we don’t live up to them, we will humble but not confident. Only in the gospel can we be both enormously bold and utterly sensitive and humble, for we are simul justus et peccator, both perfect and sinner! (Keller, 2012, p. 50)
The Gospel reminds us that we are both sinners and saved, and this truth uniquely equips us to live lives of boldness (because we are saved) and humility (because we know our only contribution to this salvation was the sin that made it necessary).
Keller, T. J. (2012). Center church: Doing balanced, gospel-centered ministry in your city. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
“[W]hen we assume the Gospel instead of clarifying it, people who profess Christianity but don’t understand or obey the Gospel are cordially allowed to presume their own conversion without examining themselves for evidence of it – which may amount to nothing more than a blissful damnation. Our ministries are ultimately about ‘ensur[ing] salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you’ (1 Tim. 4:16).”
Mark Dever and Paul Aelxander, The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005), 43.
We have a timeout chair in our house.
The timeout routine typically goes something like this…
- “Go to time out.”
- Wait prescribed time.
- “Why are you in time out?”
- Explanation and discussion.
- “What do you need to say?”
- “I forgive you.”
- “You may get out of time out.”
Now let me ask you something. What is the good news for our children here?