How the Gospel is Applied to Us
Why is the Gospel so important to preach? Because we see that all human beings are incapable of entering into the kingdom of God on their own – that is, for us it is impossible to merit our own salvation. We are wholly dependent upon the graciousness of our God for our salvation in every step along the process described in Romans 8.
We learn that the Christian life is not of "putting confidence in the flesh" (Phil 3:3) or seeking to "establish our own righteousness" (Rom 10:3-4) Rather it is about dependence upon the merits of Christ in accomplishing our salvation through His active and passive obedience. And that is in the story of the Gospel.
Preaching the Gospel? It’s the Christian Life. It’s both about redemption, the saving of us as individuals (Romans 8:1-17) but also about the redemption of those in the world (Rom 8:18-25)
Our salvation is in light of a greater story......the work of God throughout history to redeem the elect.
"Preaching the Gospel" then is the way in which we communicate the work of Christ to others, so that the story of their lives might be found within the grand story of God’s redemption.
- We read the story of those who were saved........from Noah, David, Abraham, Joel, Jeremiah, and then Matthew, Paul, and then Martin Luther, and Charles Spurgeon, and then Michael Nunnenkamp, Beverly Frye, and Brett and Laura Busby and Kay........ Alan and Toni Barnhart, etc.
- These and other Christians become included in a grand narrative in which our lives tell the story of His glory and His redemption. Rather than our own abilities and efforts to rise above our circumstances to establish a righteousness of our own. "Gospel-centered living" then is the way life looks when lived inside the kingdom of God - that upside down kingdom in which "the first will be last and the last will be first," the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. (Mk 10:45.)
May I come to a conclusion: Generally when we think of the Gospel, we think how individuals can get right with God and get saved. The term is "redemption applied."
Well the story of Jesus in history is "redemption accomplished." i.e. what we must believe in order to be saved. And the story of Jesus is how our redemption was accomplished by the work and words of Jesus Christ. It’s the story of how God is redeeming a people for Himself to live in His New Heaven and New Earth. It’s the story of the glory of God. I think that we should put the emphasis on :"redemption accomplished"
You know the Gospel is not just for unbelievers. Paul found it necessary to preach the Gospel to the church at Rome. (Rom 1;15) Paul said "be reconciled to God" in 2 Corin 5:20. The problem with every being, Christian or non-Christian, is sin. The only solution for the problem of sin is the Gospel. Therefore every Christian’s conversation ought to be a gospel-centered conversation.
Really, Christians need to evangelize each other as much as the lost. All of us, even as Christians, tend to get lost in our own stories and become blind to the grander story of God’s redemption.
We all get lost in our circumstances and seek to establish idols in our hearts in place of the living and true God. We anguish and seek to find ways to hide our pain and make life seem "okay" rather than trust in Christ.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, July 10, 2006 Proof-read by Charity November 01, 2006
Posted November 04, 06 2006
- Repentance is not incidental to the gospel. What is the gospel, after all, but a call to repentance (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30)? In other words, it demands that sinners make a change—stop going one way and turn around to go the other (1 Thess. 1:9). Paul’s evangelistic invitations always demanded repentance: "God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent" (Acts 17:30). Here’s how Paul described His own ministry and message: "I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance"" (Acts 26:19–20, emphasis added). Repentance is what leads to life (Acts 11:18) and to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2:25). Thus salvation is impossible apart from repentance. John MacArthur