If you’ve been a part of the Christian world for any sort of time you’ve heard the term “The Gospel”. This has actually become sort of a buzz word. We all say it, but we all don’t mean the same thing. Usually I hear it used in the context of spreading the gospel/getting people saved. We love to quote Jesus saying, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”.
But what does “the gospel” mean?
I’ve heard the gospel explained in these terms, “You are a sinner, and you must know how evil and sinful you are. But Jesus, took the wrath of God on the cross that we were supposed to take. God punished Jesus instead of us. We are now forgiven and when we die, we will have eternal life. Now go, tell everyone else they are broken and need Jesus. Ready, break.”
If we look at Acts, we will find an unfamiliar representation of “The Gospel” that was preached then, compared to today.
The disciples often spoke of the death, resurrection, ascension and the Kingdom. Why did they talk about all of these? Because they all were a part of fulfilling the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants. The people of the day knew about these two covenants. They knew the prophecies. So when the disciples spoke of these things, the people had a light bulb moment and realized that Jesus was the answer. The death and resurrection fulfilled the promise. “The gospel message is the Davidic covenant.” – Jonathan Welton
I’m not sure if I’m being clear enough.
Basically, I see that we often focus on the first half of the gospel and not the other half. We got the, sinner needs saving, part down. We also do a fair job at telling people to go share the gospel. The problem is, we actually don’t know the gospel, the whole gospel.
Jesus died for our sins, yes. But he also resurrected. Why? Jesus had to be resurrected, so that we could be resurrected. He died, dealing with our sin. Rising, he made us a new creation. We were forgiven at death, but the resurrection gave us newness and grace to walk as a new creation.
We often focus on before the cross. But why not the after? Why only tell half of the gospel? I believe it’s because most of us have been taught a lesser gospel. I’m sorry, but we’ve been lied to. And most of the church still lives with this lesser reality of the gospel. It’s tragic.
The truth is that the Gospel is more than saving sinners (Don’t get me wrong, without Jesus dying and forgiving us, we would all be living in sin and a part of an old covenant that I want nothing of). It’s about revealing the true heart of the Father, fulfilling a promise made so long ago, a new creation, a new covenant and ultimately the Kingdom of Jesus that is continuing to grow in power and love. You’ve been made an heir, an ambassador to bring Heaven to Earth. Jesus is King and will forever be.
Photo by Christin Hume.