Relearning the Gospel

Relearning the Gospel November 21, 2011

I wonder how many Christians would do well to relearnthe gospel. I’m not saying they need to relearn what the gospel means,but I think they would do well to relearn what it does. They need tobecome aware of its importance in daily life, not just at the Judgment Day.They need to tune in to its role in day-to-day Christian living, not just itsrole way back at the start of their Christian life. One of the most importantlessons I ever learned was this: I need the cross, the gospel of Jesus Christ,every single moment of every single day. 

What do I mean by “the gospel”? Simply this: thegospel is the good news that God sent His Son into the world to live a perfectlife, die an atoning death, and rise again in triumph for sinners like you andme. Jesus Christ absorbed the unrestrained fury of God’s wrath against us sothat you and I could enjoy the unreserved benefits of God’s pleasure inHim. 

What changes when we learn to live in the good of thegospel every day? First, it affects how we relate to God. The gospel frees usfrom emotion-driven concern about whether we feel close to God. How? Itexplains that Jesus truly has brought us close to Him. When we reallyunderstand the gospel, we are released from the fruitless struggle to earnGod’s favor and the constant tendency to despair because of our failures.

Second, the gospel affects how we relate to others.The gospel allows us to be who we really are—no secrets, no façade, no desireto impress. After all, Jesus already knows about all our sin, and He’s taken careof all of it! The gospel also causes us to take our sin against othersseriously—no rationalizing, no blame shifting, no minimizing; after all, thegospel reminds us that the perfect Son of God had to die to atone for it. Andthe gospel opens the way for us to forgive their sins against us, since our sinagainst God will never match what someone else could do to us.

Third, the gospel affects how I perceive myself. Ittells me that what defines me, the essential answer to the question “Who amI?”, is quite simply that I am God’s. No matter what else might be true aboutme, because of the cross, I belong to God. And that’s good news!