Thursday, October 13, 2011

Understanding the Gospel

For people to know when they hear another gospel they must first know and understand the true gospel.  For us as pastors, that means we need to be preaching the gospel well enough, often enough, and thoroughly enough so that our people will be grounded in the gospel.  As Hebrews 5:14 indicates, it is the knowledge and practice of the truth that gives discernment.

The gospel is the message of salvation, what God has done in the person of Christ to provide for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to men.  The gospel is not having our problems fixed, dealing successfully with stress, being a better _______, overcoming addictions, or overcoming our past; it has nothing to do with health or wealth, prosperity or poverty, unleashing the champion inside every person, thinking positive thoughts, or feeling better about ourselves; and it does not include anything that man can, must, or should do to add to what God has accomplished through Christ. 

Overcoming addictions does not save.  Being a better _________, does not save.  Feeling better about yourself does not save.  Making peace with your past does not save.  Only one thing saves, and that is placing the entirety of your trust on what God has already done in Christ as complete and sufficient for the salvation of your soul.  Anything less does not save, and anything more does not save. 

The Scriptures are saturated with the gospel.  Preach and teach through them, in context, and the gospel in all its richness and fullness will be presented; and your people will come to know, understand, and appreciate it.  People who know and understand the gospel are the ones most likely to share it, and they will be rooted and grounded in their own spiritual life. 

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