The gospel or “good message” of the Bible is NEVER anything that sounds like a condition you have to meet, like “you can be saved if….” One of the essential elements of the good message—evident all through Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament—is that “YOU CAN’T HAVE TO.” Consider an example of someone who offers … Continue reading Podcast: You can’t “have to”
How should we be sharing the good news with others? What does it really mean? The way most people experience the good news message in their encounters with Christianity doesn't sound like good news at all. How can we begin conversations in a compelling and grace-filled way that reflects the actual good news of the … Continue reading Podcast: What is the actual good news?
In the last post, we considered the gospel on Judgment Day. Only people who succeed in contradicting, renouncing, and despising the gospel will experience a resurrection to judgment. Such people not only opposed God in time but also in eternity, body and soul. Consider the rich man who wouldn’t even give the beggar scraps from … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 10–A Peculiar Way of Understanding Law and Gospel?
But what happens to us on Judgment Day? Even if all the blessings of the gospel considered so far were true, what if we are still condemned at the end of the world? According to Jesus, such a shocking reversal of the gospel is not possible. For everyone generated by and living in His Word, … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 9–Judgment Day
All of God’s good news for us and good work for us moves through us as goodness toward others, in word and deed. In Matthew 7, Jesus explained that “a good tree bears good fruit . . . it cannot bear bad fruit.” Fruit can’t make the tree that bears it. Neither can our good works make us good. God’s … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 8–Good Works
While our soul is regenerated by God’s inspired Word and, therefore, fully convinced of truth and grace, the corruption in our human nature always contradicts that. Doubt is an inescapable and relentless characteristic of the corruption in us that opposes God. Therefore, God gives confirmation (physical evidence) of His grace toward us through the sacraments. … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 7–Dependability
Now we know of four aspects of the gospel: three of them taking care of the contrary nature of our body (forgiveness, atonement, imputation of righteousness) and one that re-creates our soul in the image of Christ. Next, consider how God feeds, energizes, and animates that regenerate soul with His inspired Word. Just as God’s … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 6–Inspiration
The gospel, as we have considered so far, includes three elements: forgiveness, atonement, and imputed perfection. Next, consider that God actually regenerates our soul. He makes it new, recreating our essence in the image of His own Son, Jesus. Consider the following Bible passages: “Unless a person is generated from above, he cannot enter the … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 5–Regeneration
So far, we’ve gone over how the gospel includes a universe of forgiveness in which we live AND the atonement of Jesus under which we exist. Next, the Bible explains that the perfect life that Jesus lived is imputed, or applied, to our account as a gift of God’s love and grace. God makes an … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 4–God’s Great Exchange
The gospel or “good news” of Jesus Christ confirms that all has been forgiven for Jesus’ sake, as last week’s post discussed. The gospel also teaches us about ATONEMENT. Atonement is a covering that brings satisfaction. In the Old Testament, the cover for the Ark of the Covenant was called the “mercy seat” (“hilastarion” Exodus 25:17ff). … Continue reading What is the Gospel? Part 3–Atonement