The Gospel is the message we are to preach, teach, and build our lives on as Christians. There is no more important message that we are commissioned to tell and equip others with. In a nutshell the gospel message is this. All humanity is sinful and has fallen short of the glory of God. As a result we are all under God’s wrath and righteous judgment, condemned to spend eternity in hell. However in His mercy, God sacrificed His Son to atone for our sins. Through faith in Christ and accepting what He did for us on the cross with a repentant heart, we are justified before God. As a redeemed people we are spared the righteous wrath of God and able to live in union with Him, enjoying and marveling Him forever. Now that’s good news everyone needs to hear!
Clearly this is a message for all those who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. However this message is also crucial for Christians to hear and build their daily lives on. It’s not just for those who don’t know Christ. It’s sad when church leaders don’t feel this way and don’t invest more energy into building people up and equipping them with this life-saving message.
There are many reasons why this message enriches us as Christians, however I am going to mention two. I welcome you to highlight others.
1) It keeps us humble. We can not be saved through ability to “earn” our right into heaven. We are all sinful and therefore there is nothing we can do before our righteous and holy God to prove our worth and enter through heaven’s gates. Knowing this helps us rely on the mercy of God every day which we need to be freed from the crippling power of sin and live victoriously for God. This is also crucial in the life of the church. Too often we experience people proudly displaying their ‘gifts’ as a means of exerting authority or self proclaimed piety. It may not be deliberately intended, but how easy this can seep into the attitudes of our church leaders in the manner in which they view themselves and treat others. There is no room for boasting in our salvation or service for God, because none of us deserve to be saved and none of us could serve God effectively if it wasn’t for the enabling work of the Holy Spirit within us. There is no room for using our gifts to fuel our political agendas, when people’s souls are at stake! Our “gifts” and ability to serve are there to build up the church (Eph 4, 1Cor 12). All Christians have an important part to play in building up the church, whether big or small, so that it may enjoy, and be a more effective witness to, the mercy and glory of God!
2) Whilst arrogance is one form of pride, self pity and insecurity is another. They are both symptoms of focusing on ourselves instead of on Christ. The Gospel message is there to help us see our daily need for Christ and therefore to rely on Him to live holy loves for God. One strong way Satan attacks our souls is by condemning us as Christians. Although we are commanded to turn from sin and live holy lives, we all stumble because we are sinful by nature. Having a repentant heart is a daily challenge for all of us. We all have our struggles. However the gospel message clearly tells us that we are not declared righteous before God by our efforts, but by Christ’s efforts. Christ has earned us the right to be secure and without condemnation before God. To not embrace this is to dishonor the sacrifice He made for us. We must never under-estimate how much God values us, how much God loves us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)! God paid a huge price so that we could no longer be caught up in condemnation from others and ourselves, but to break the shackles of torment that sin enslaves us with and live victoriously for God. In Christ we have won the war. However we must rely on Him anew each morning to win the daily battles that will come our way.
The Gospel message is full of riches for our soul, whether you are a Christian or not. It is a message we all need to hear every day, whether it is to draw hope and strength, or to humble us before our God. Let’s not get distracted from teaching it frequently in church, if not every week, as it’s the only message that will lead people to freedom from the torment and eternal punishment of sin and to live secure and victorious lives for God. In Jesus alone we will know and enjoy God forever!