Gospel of God

Red CrossIf the Gospel is completely of God, then we can draw several conclusions.

You cannot fence the Gospel.

The Gospel is God’s and we must give it to who he tells us. It goes to all mankind because he says it does. We are not free to pick and choose. We may not create a list of who can enter. Like our heavenly father, we must go out into the highways and byways and invite the world to this great good news. For the Gospel is his to command, and God has directed us to share it with the world.

You cannot doubt the Gospel.

The gospel may be mocked. It may be sidelined. It may be marginalized in the public square. Academia may question it. Commentators may tease it. Many will reject it. But we need never to doubt its power. The Gospel is from God, by God, and to God. Nothing will thwart his plans. Nothing will shake his resolve. If the gospel is good news for all people, then so it will be. It will reverberate through the nations. It will impact and transform lives at its hearing. It will have great and lasting effect. How do I know? Because this is God’s gospel, his word to the world. And his word never returns void. It always accomplishes its task.

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The Irreducible Gospel

Christians constantly reference and preach the gospel. The whole of Christian religion centers around the gospel. And yet, scholars and commentators still debate its essential content. Everyday churchgoers also conflate or confuse its meaning.

So what is the good news of the gospel? How might we boil down Christianity to its most core message?

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The Irreligious Religion of Christianity

The gospel will surprise you and thrill you when you see its true dynamism. The gospel can paradoxically create and abolish religion. Sounds impossible, but it’s true.

Religion vs. Irreligion

Pastor Tim Keller captures the dynamism of the gospel when he writes:

“The gospel calls us out of religion as much as it calls us out of irreligion.”

This statement sounds confusing. Isn’t Christianity a religion? Doesn’t the gospel promote and produce religion?

Well. Um. Kinda sorta.

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Sweet Gospel Summary

John Stott so beautifully and so simply summarizes the message the apostles proclaimed:

“Jesus was a man who was accredited by God through miracles and anointed by the Spirit to do good and to heal. Despite this, he was crucified through the agency of wicked men, though also by God’s purpose according to the Scriptures that the Messiah must suffer. Then God reversed the human verdict on Jesus by raising him from the dead, also according to the Scriptures, and as attested by the apostolic eyewitnesses. Next God exalted him to the place of supreme honor as Lord and Savior. He now possesses full authority both to save those who repent, believe and are baptized in his name, bestowing on them the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit, and to judge those who reject him. (Stott, The Cross of Christ, pp. 38-39)