13
Nov
07

Preconceived Notions about the Gospel

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “gospel”?

Since my early days as a Christian, I have lived with the preconceived notion that the GOSPEL was primarily three things. First, I understood the GOSPEL to be Jesus Christ dying for our sins and coming back to life save us. Next, I was convinced that the GOSPEL was found only in the first four books of the New Testament—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Finally, I lived under the notion that the GOSPEL was intended only for lost people.

I attended seminary under with those same basic impressions. Perhaps my understanding of the three components was much deeper, but for the most part, those three points were still my way of explaining the GOSPEL. I admit the first decade or so of my vocational ministry I limited God’s GOSPEL to that same three-point, fixed perception.

Over the last few years I have grown in my understanding of the GOSPEL. And during this time of growth, I have learned so much more about the GOSPEL. Provided below are a few of my new understandings about the GOSPEL.

1. The GOSPEL begins with God creating man, rather than with Jesus dying for our sins.

When we begin the gospel with Jesus dying for our sins, we are leaving out several major components to God’s Good News. God’s GOSPEL begins with God creating man. You must believe God is Creator of all mankind in order to comprehend why He sent His Son to be our Savior.

After God created us, the Gospel teaches that man sinned against God. Adam and Eve set into motion the crippling consequence of sin on the human race. As a result of their sin, every human bring is born inherently evil and is an offender of God’s holy character. As a result of offending God’s holy character, we are all objects of God’s wrath. Thus, God sent His Son to die in our place in order to absorb God’s wrath that is spilled out against our sin.

There are several other components I could insert at this juncture, yet for brevity sake I will not. Just know this—the GOSPEL must begin with God creating man. It must also include man sinning against God before we even begin to talk about Jesus dying for our sins.

2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the entire Bible; it cannot be limited to just the first four books of the New Testament.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the entire Bible—all sixty-six books. If we limit the GOSPEL to just the first four books of the New Testament, then we rule out all the other things God says to us through His word.

To put it another way, the entire Bible is about Jesus. You can read about Jesus in Genesis as well as in Revelation. He is mentioned in Malachi and in Matthew. The Bible is about Jesus.

3. The Gospel is not only for lost people; it is also for saved people.

For the longest time, I thought the Gospel was something a preacher preached to lost people only. Now I realize the Gospel is for both the lost and the saved.

Look at what Paul says about the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 1:18:

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The “word of the cross”, which is the Gospel, is folly to the lost and it is the power of God to the saved. I believe the Gospel is for both the lost and the saved. For the lost the Gospel tells them how to be saved, for the saved the Gospel tells them how to live the saved life. Thus, the gospel is not just for lost people; it is also for saved people.

These are but three fixed thoughts I have had about the gospel. I would be curious to hear your thoughts.

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