Its Good News for Christians Too!

Why did Jesus command the gospel to be preached? Why was the gospel the central focus of Jesus’ and the apostle’s ministry? One reason is because God in His providence has ordained that the gospel is the means by which lost persons become saved and believers grow in their faith. John Stott sums this point up well in his book Between Two Worlds:

“One of the most fascinating of all the preacher’s tasks is to explore both the emptiness of fallen man and the fullness of Jesus Christ, in order to demonstrate how he can fill our emptiness, lighten our darkness, enrich our poverty, and bring our human aspirations to fulfillment. To encounter Christ is to touch reality and experience transcendence. He gives us a sense of self-worth or personal significance, because he assures us of God’s love for us. He sets us free from guilt because he died for us, from the prison of our own self-centeredness by the power of his resurrection, and from paralyzing fear because he reigns. He gives meaning to marriage and home, work and leisure, personhood and citizenship.”

As long as we struggle with sin we need to hear the gospel preached to us. “We must always keep focused on the gospel because it is the nature of sanctification that as we grow, we see more and more of our sinfulness. Instead of driving us to discouragement, this thought should drive us to the gospel” (Jerry Bridges). We do not just need to hear the gospel preached every week as we gather as a church, but really we must learn to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. It should make sense why God decided to make all the Scriptures about the gospel. We should encounter Christ as we rightly divide the word of truth every time we open it.

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2 Comments

Filed under Preaching, Sanctification

2 responses to “Its Good News for Christians Too!

  1. I would agree with your assessment. The gospel needs to be preached to ourself daily because we have a tendency to fall into either legalism or libertinism. I have read some criticism of this idea in that we would be in danger of neglecting the commands of Christ. Right now I am reading Jerry Bridges book “The Transforming Power of the Gospel” and really enjoying it. I read Greear’s book “gospel” and I think I like Bridges’ treatment of it much better.

    I am fully for it, but I do think there may be some caution in that we need to consider the lessons that we learn from all the stories we encounter in the Bible. For example we learn from the parable of the good samaritan the importance of compassion. Jesus set the example for how we are to treat the poor. Compassion really doesn’t have anything to do with the gospel per se. It does in the sense that compassion is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So if our focus is ONLY on the gospel per se, then we might be in danger of ignoring clear cut commands in other places in the Bible. I like what D.A. Carson recommends for devotional reading. Our reading of the Bible needs to be both deep, but also wide. We need to encounter God in all of the Bible, not just focus on those parts that are ultimate.

    • The quote above is actually from Jerry Bridges. I forgot to cite him. He is a great author and I agree I think he writes about this topic very well.

      I also wonder what you think about the idea that the gospel gives us the power and the motivation to be compassionate. We love because he first loved us. We can love our enemies and be compassionate to the poor because we were once enemies. We were once poor, but he loved us by becoming forsaken and poor for us. When we realize he did the impossible for us, then we can do these smaller acts of love each day. In that sense I would think the gospel would speak to every area of our lives. This is partly why I wrote the one post about how the gospel “IS” the whole council of God because everything flows from the gospel, comes back to the gospel, and is the center for which everything else holds together.

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