What is the Gospel? Now, the simple answer is, “It’s the good news of Jesus Christ.” But, what does that mean? If a co-worker or neighbor asked you to tell them the message of the Gospel, what would you say? Are you prepared to respond to that question?
Paul tells the Roman church, who he’d never met, that he is “not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” He has conviction, but is that it? Is that a full explanation of the Gospel? Now, with every ounce of respect due to the Apostle Paul (I have no doubt he could articulate the Gospel far more clearly and completely than I will ever be able to), I still don’t know what to do. I am still not sure HOW salvation comes for everyone who believes. We may think it’s simple, but this is a very important question; what is the Gospel? It’s also one we cannot afford to get wrong. The very souls of people are at stake.
Not long ago I was reading a blog where this question was asked. I am not sure you would believe me if I told you how many very different answers were given. I should mention that this was the blog of a popular ministry that serves mostly evangelical pastors. Some of the answers were long and winding, others were overly simplistic, but the thing that stood out to me the most was the variety of words and content that these, mostly, pastors used to articulate the Gospel. I thought, “Is it really this hard? With so many differences, can we hope to share a succinct message of hope and reconciliation between God and a lost and dying world that says all it needs to say without adding things it does not mean to?”
Our Saviour Evangelical Free Church is committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not sure I can understate the tenor of this commitment. We are not just Gospel-oriented, we are Gospel-centered. We are Gospel-saturated. It is the first in a list of four things we are committed to and it is by far the most important. The Gospel of Jesus Christ defines and shapes everything about who we are.
As we continue speaking this Sunday about our purpose and what we are committed to, I’m going to try to simply and clearly define what the Bible says the Gospel is. Then, we’ll have a better understanding of what the Gospel calls us towards. This may seem like an easy task, but it is harder than we think. However, I want to be clear. I am not going to tread on new ground this Sunday as much as I will identify old truths that should have never been forgotten. I hope you will join me. This is the message of our faith. It is what makes a Christian a Christian and it is what EVERYONE needs.
In closing, I want to let you know that over the next couple of months we will have some new worship leaders on a Sunday morning here and there. In order to fill out our schedule I have asked Bill, a man who has served this church for many years as pastor and Tim, a college student who has made this his church home to lead the music portion of our worship services. I can personally vouch for the humble, sacrificial, Gospel-centered lives of these two men and look forward to worshipping along with them as they serve in this capacity on occasional Sundays.
For the sake of His name,