Friday, February 22, 2008

The Gospel: Compare & Contrast

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (ESV)
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.

John 14:6 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (ESV)
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Romans 1:16a (ESV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

So, is this the proclamation of the gospel?

Or is this the proclamation of the gospel?

For more on the true, biblical gospel of Jesus Christ:

The gospel is the good news of God’s saving activity in the person and work of Christ. This includes his incarnation in which he took to himself full (yet sinless) human nature; his sinless life which fulfilled the perfect law of God; his substitutionary death which paid the penalty for man’s sin and satisfied the righteous wrath of God; his resurrection demonstrating God’s satisfaction with his sacrifice; and his glorification and ascension to the right hand of the Father where he now reigns and intercedes for the church. Such news is specific: there is a defined "thatness" to the gospel which sets forth the content of both our saving faith and our proclamation. It is objective, and not to be confused with our response. It is sufficient: we can add nothing to what Christ has accomplished for us--it falls to us simply to believe this news, turning from our sins and receiving by faith all that God has done for us in Christ.
(Jeff Purswell, Covenant Life Church; Dean, Academic and Student Affairs, Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Ministries)

John Piper's God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself (Crossway Books, 2005)

The Gospel, by Tim Keller (MP3)
with Study Guide

What is the Gospel?, by D.A. Carson (MP3)

Desiring God Ministries

The Gospel for Real Life, by Jerry Bridges
Description: The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most explosive news of freedom the world has ever heard. Yet, why do so many of His followers experience so little of the gospel’s liberating power? The poverty of actual Christian experience is the result of an impoverished understanding of the depths of the gospel itself. The key is not to try a little harder, but to know more fully the incredible work of Christ on the cross - and to live in a more vital awareness of that grace day by day. Without a knowledge of the depth of our sin, we cannot experience "the unsearchable riches of Christ" that are available to us in the gospel. And when we know those riches, we are empowered to live every day "glorying in a sense of acceptance and the experience of grace."

The gospel is Christ. It is the good news that "directly addresses the ultimate bad news ... that we were by nature objects of God's wrath (Romans 1:18; 3:10-12; Ephesians 2:3)." It tells me that if I have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ, that I am "accepted by God, not on the basis of my personal perfection, but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ." It was Christ who paid my debt, exchanging my sin for his righteousness, making me no longer an enemy and object of His wrath, but rather, an adopted son, heir, with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:16-17). (Quotes taken from Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life, NavPress 2002)


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