Today I’m writing on a topic I have a lot of passion for. It’s because the gospel truly has changed everything about me, and I want to encourage you to look to Him, too. My second reason for this post is to introduce a collaborative article. To do this, I desire to define the gospel and talk about why it’s not just for the day you get saved.
What is the gospel? According to the Bible, the gospel is the good news that — even though we have sinned against a holy God and deserve separation from Him — He provided a substitute (His own Son) for the punishment our sins deserved. What love! Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross giving His blood, and rose from the dead on the third day. Now because of His work, we are invited to place our faith in Christ. It’s even more than just a rescue. When we deserved God’s wrath, instead, we receive grace upon grace!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”John 3:16
I’m declared righteous because of Jesus Christ…not because of my own merits.
It’s simple but deep.
We fall short in fully grasping the mystery of the gospel. Countless songs, poems, stories, sermons, and analogies only partially illustrate the beauty of Scripture’s gospel. My 11-year-old sister can understand her sins have been canceled, but the theologians I know can never exhaust the wonder of God’s paradox.
When Luke asked me to marry him last spring, he presented me with a princess-cut solitaire diamond. I still haven’t grown tired of gazing at his gift. It’s a distraction when I type or drive. He likes admiring it too. It’s puzzling how one little twist of its thin gold band, and we enjoy a whole new spectrum of sparkle.
During pre-marital counseling, we read the book Tying the Knot. I smiled when I read the author’s illustration about brides-to-be and how they love their rocks. Rob Green writes, “They (brides) also carefully investigate the way the light affects it from multiple angles. They buy cleaning kits to keep their diamond in sparkling condition.”
When he drew the illustration toward the gospel, I knew I wouldn’t soon forget it.
“In many ways, the gospel is like that diamond. To appreciate its glory, you have to investigate it from all sides; each side contributes to the overall brilliance of the whole. From one direction, we see redemption–how in one moment God rescued us from sin by paying the penalty our sins deserved, which is death. Fans of Narnia see this when Aslan dies so that Edmund the traitor might go free. A slight change in perspective moves our focus to adoption. Yet another turn in our consideration of the gospel highlights our freedom in Christ — freedom from tyranny of sin’s penalty and power in our lives. With each successive ‘turn’ of the gospel message, we see another aspect of its brilliance. When these themes are brought together, the new identity Jesus gives is much more brilliant than any diamond.”Tying the Knot, Rob Green
The glorious fullness of the gospel. I’ll never run out of gratefulness for grace or words to thank Him. One minute we can praise Him for rescuing us even though we were His enemies. The next we can thank Him that He has made us co-heirs with His Son. Can you believe He is the wounded healer? Or He became poor so we might be made rich? How can we not trust the God who did not spare His own Son for us?!
For Every Day
The gospel is not just for the day I get saved. Or the day I get baptized. Or the day I evangelize.
Each moment we need the transforming power of the cross. We need lifetimes to meditate (think deeply, consider) the truth “I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great savior.” (John Newton.)
I agree with Jerry Bridges exhortation to, “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.” This is a habit I hope to continually develop — to consider the gospel daily in God’s Word, salvation’s story. Join me?
The Gospel Unfolds Courage
One of the “brilliant angles” of the gospel is that it helps us not to fear. “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2) “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
I wanted to provide a resource that testifies to how salvation makes us bold. So recently, I sent out an invitation to writers, asking for submissions: 50-word paragraphs that portray how the gospel unfolds courage. I loved the responses and chose several to share with you.
You can read the collection here.
PC: K. Pham, Indonesia