The gospel

Fables, friendship and living the gospel: why the gospel matters (Part 1)

Did you know that some parts of the Bible are more important than other parts? Yes, all the Scriptures are God-breathed, infallible, inerrant, sufficient and authoritative, but some parts are more important (not more God-breathed, etc.). The Holy Spirit had the Apostle Paul pen these familiar words:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, emphasis added)

Paul knows that the entire Bible is important. He fully grasps the gravity of God breathing out “every jot and tittle” of the Bible (Matt 5:17–182 Tim 3:16). Yet, Paul writes “of first importance”, meaning that some truths in the Word are more important than others. Paul acknowledges a hierarchy of biblical truth. Even though every topic and subject in the Bible is important, something is the most important.

The fairytale gospel

When defining terms or concepts, it is often helpful to describe the contrast or opposite. Before the definition of the Gospel is elucidated in the following essays, what are some of the definitions of the gospel that are incorrect?

What the gospel is not (I have collected these from many people):

  • The Golden Rule
  • God helps those who help themselves
  • Be good
  • Be nice
  • Be like Jesus
  • The Four Spiritual Laws
  • Love the Lord your God
  • Love your neighbour
  • Follow Jesus
  • Have purpose in your life
  • Have a relationship with God
  • Have your best life now
  • Be baptized
  • Feed the poor
  • Be born again
  • Get baptized with the Holy Spirit
  • Speak in tongues
  • Let Jesus be on the throne of your heart
  • Say the “sinner’s prayer”
  • The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man
  • Make Jesus your Lord

Many of the above statements are true. After all, some of them are verses from the Bible itself. What is wrong? Exhortations to do something, that is, statements of an imperatival nature, are what theologians call “law”. Law and gospel are mutually exclusive. In addition, the list’s common denominator is what is noticeably absent, namely, a declaration of good news, or “the gospel”. The gospel says, “This is what God in Christ has done on the behalf of sinners.” Law says, “Do this and live.” None of the above list explicates the person and work of Jesus Christ, who was sent by the unbegotten Father.

Read the full article by Mike Abendroth.