Saturday, February 8, 2014

What is the Gospel?

Our faith tells us that we are taught to preach the Gospel, but I have often wondered exactly what that Gospel is. Its direct translation from Greek put simply means the Good News. OK, but what good news?

From a personal standpoint, I know well the good news Christ brought to my own life--the renewal, the hope, the transformation, and the strength. But how did He do this? Well, through His suffering, death, resurrection, you say. That's right. He has done all this through His Holy Redemption.

But that's not quite it. I think there's more.

I know what Christ did--born of a virgin; lived and taught the New Covenant principles of love, humility, and sacrifice; performed miracles; died an undeserved and public death, then rose first from it and then from the earth itself. But the key to all this isn't His activity, it's Him.  

Everything Christ did only mattered because He did it. Other people performed miracles. Other people have died, then come alive again. Other people have died sacrificially for someone else. Other people live exemplary lives. But they do not carry the same weight.  Christ does not call us to preach what He did, but the One who did it--the Son of God, Son of Man, Creator-Redeemer, Jesus Christ. The Gospel, the Good News, is not what Christ did because, had anyone else done it, it would be no news at all.

Christ didn't enact the Gospel. He is the Gospel.

So, this is how I preach--deferring attention from the act to Him, lifting Him up. I know we all love to tell our stories of redemption, and we should. Believe me, I do too, but my story doesn't begin to come close to explaining the miracle and wonder of God. Nobody's does. My story, I think, is mostly for me--to remind me who God is--how intimate and mighty and, well, involved.  It helps me stay on the road toward Him.

So how do I preach? Well, if the Gospel is not what He did, then it's not what I do either. If the Gospel is who He is, then as I am called to follow Him and resemble Him, the Gospel is me. Myself. My very person. If you are saying, 'Whoa, there--we are not like God,' well then, I say that if we are not like God, if people can't see God in us, we are not equipped to preach. If people cannot see God in us, then we have no real knowledge of the Gospel at all. 

My very presence should say, 'Here He is, friend--Jesus Christ--Savior, Redeemer, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God. He's in me and in you, too.' My life should make people long for God. I have to live the new life Christ has put in me, living primarily before the Lord, but all the while in the company of everyone He has put in my path. I can live so that when people see me, they see Christ. I can do this because God says I can.

Is this hard? Of course it is. At least until it becomes very, very easy. In the end, I don't have the responsibility for anyone else's salvation. I just have to look out for Christ as He shows the way. And that is very Good News, indeed.

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified--1Corinthians 2:2
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, Christ in you, the hope of glory.--Colossians 1:27


  1. Amen to every word in this post, we are all resembles of God and are responsible of doing and showing the good or gospel as we se so.

    1. The whole concept of being rather than just speaking the Gospel seems kind of odd, but I can't figure out any other thing that makes sense in the context of what Christ taught.