It is tragically possible for God’s people to limit their understanding and preaching of the gospel to its essential components, while neglecting all-important implications.
Write J.I. Packer and Gary Parrett:
‘Sadly, even tragically, evangelicals have sometimes been guilty of preaching and teaching a Gospel that is not, shall we say, “fully dressed.” They may have focused properly on the central features of God’s atoning work at the cross, faithfully preached Christ crucified for sinners, celebrated the resurrection as proof that Christ’s self-offering for our sins has been accepted, and urged hearers to be reconciled to God.…
As J.I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett remark:
The glorious Gospel is immeasurable in its depths and implications, yet it can be quite simply summarized. Here are just a few of the many examples of biblical summaries of the Gospel:
“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).…
1. The guilt of sin. This is justification, ‘the very hinge and pillar of Christianity’, (Thomas Watson).
John Stott has said, ‘Nobody understands Christianity who does not understand…the word “justified”.’
Spurgeon tells the story of a man who was so constantly in debt and continually being arrested by the police, that once, when going by a fence, having caught his sleeve on one of the rails, he turned around and said, “I don’t owe you anything sir.”…
The following forms the substance of a talk given as part of a webinar from Holy Trinity Church, Norwich.
We were being shown round the charming spa town of Great Malvern, in Worcestershire. Our friendly guide pointed out the statue of Sir Edward Elgar, the famous composer. We looked at the gas lamps that were probably part of the inspiration for the description of Narnia at the beginning of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. …
Witness to the Wonder, John 1:6-8, 19-34
How can we witness to the wonder of Christ(mas)?
Learn from John the Baptist, and his witness to Jesus Christ.
1. He knew who he was
‘He was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light’ Jn 1:8.
(a) ‘I am not…’, vv19-21
- The Christ, v20; Lk 3:15; Acts 19; 2nd century; Mandaeans (Iraq)
- Elijah, v21a, Mal 4:5f. (Jesus described John as an Elijah-type figure Lk 1:17; Mt 11:13-15; 17:12f, but not in the sense they meant it)
- The Prophet, v21b, Deut 18:15-18
(b) ‘I am…’, vv22-28
- A voice, v23; Isa 40:3
- A baptizer, v26
- A servant, v27 – in fact, less than a servant!
It is too often assumed that the gospel needs to be heard by unbelievers, but not by believers. The gospel exists to convert sinners; once converted, we can move on to other things.
This is a fallacy, as Cameron Smart shows. I summarise eight reasons why seasoned Christians need to hear the gospel on a regular basis.
- To evoke praise and thanksgiving. We should never tire of praising God for what he has done for us in Jesus Christ his Son.
It may be that evangelicals suffer from (or think they suffer from) ‘gospel fatigue’. When everything is claimed to be ‘gospel-centred’ and ‘gospel-driven’, there is a danger of thinking (if not actually saying), “Oh, not again! Give us a break!!” Indeed, I have heard people urge that Christian ministry must move beyond the gospel and deal more with its practical outworkings.
Sam Storms invites us to listen to Scripture. What follows is based on this article.…
Recently, a couple of Christian friends and I agreed to submit to one another a short statement on our respective understandings of ‘the gospel’, the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ.
It feels as though it should be easy for a person who has been a Bible-believing, gospel-loving follower of Jesus Christ for nearly half a century to give a short, clear, answer to the question, “What is the good news of Jesus?”
But I didn’t find it quite so easy:
For one thing, there is no one place in Scripture where such an answer is given (although 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 perhaps comes closest).…
Six aspects of the gospel stand out in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8:-
1. It is Christological. It centres on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: these emphases are ‘of first importance’, v3. Christianity is Christ: and it is Christ crucified and risen.
2. It is biblical. The work of Christ was achieved ‘according to the Scriptures, v3,4. Cf. Lk 24:25-27,44-46; Acts 2:25-31. ‘The first Christian evangelists made much of the fact that the death and resurrection of Jesus were corroborated by two witnesses – the prophets and the apostles, or, as we would say, the Old Testament and the New Testament.’…