The more I walk the Christian life the more this question becomes relevant and important.
What is the Gospel?
The gospel is many things. Most succinctly put Paul says it is “…Christ dying for our sins and being raised again in on the third day…” (1 Corinthians 15:4) What does that mean to us today in the 21st century? That is the question.
Yet the gospel goes deeper into us than any can imagine, or can really plumb the depths of in this life. CJ Mahaney says in his book The Cross Centered Life that
“we never move beyond the cross, only into a more profound understanding of it”
That certainly is becoming my experience. How about yours? Are you growing in affection for Christ and the cross daily? Is that even possible? I think it is.
Read the biographies of the great saints. See how they marveled at the Cross, how their joy increased throughout their life.
Indeed, God wants joy for us, unrestricted.
Scripture itself is the breeding ground for this joy and depth. Jesus’ teachings are incredibly relevant to our lives today. Our lives and the lives of the patriarchs aren’t as distant as you might think.
In fact, many of them could have been contestants on the Jerry Springer show, seriously just read Genesis. Noah passes out drunk naked in his tent and his son dishonors him (Gen 9:21-29). Abraham pimps out his wife more than once (Gen 12:10-20 & Gen 20). Moses was a murderer (Gen 2:11-16), David gets a married woman pregnant, then kills her husband (2 Sam 11). This is serious stuff.
Yet through it all, Old and New Testament up to this very day and beyond, the gospel of grace prevails and is the most shocking thing (in a good way) we can ever experience.
God loves these men, he loves them through a Cross.
Our world is no more messed up than theirs was, and God’s love is just as available. Do we have ears to hear, do we have eyes to see, is our heart soft enough to receive?
In the coming months I hope to examine more fully the practical out-workings of the gospel in our daily lives. What does Jesus’ dying on a cross have to do with us today?