Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Bigger Gospel

Do I really know what the gospel is about?
Well, I thought I did... until my youth group started studying the book of Romans. It wasn't that I was incorrect about what I had known before, but it was that I was missing the bigger picture of what the gospel is truly about. Because of a few misconceptions I had about the gospel, my view of it was narrow. However, the gospel is deeper than I ever realized.

The Gospel is for Believers, Too
I think it's safe to say that most Christians think about the Gospel in terms of those who are not Christians. But notice that Paul writes the book of Romans to the Roman church. In the first chapter of Romans, Paul commends the Roman church for their faith because it's known "in all the world" (1:8). If anyone should know what the gospel is about, it should be the Romans. Yet, just several verses later, Paul says that he's "eager to preach the gospel to them" (1:15). Why would they need to hear the gospel?

The reason that the gospel is for believers as well as non-believers is because the gospel is not a one-time event. Salvation is the first part, but then it continues to feed the Christian. The gospel is living and is to be a part of our lives every single day. Believing is not what I did yesterday -- it's present tense, it's continual. Yes, it has a starting point, but it keeps on going. I want the gospel to play an active role in my life, and I want my entire life to be about the gospel.

The Gospel is Not About Me
While it's true that my salvation is definitely a part of the gospel, I don't think that's what the gospel is about. The very first verse in the book of Romans mentions "the gospel of God." So often, I see the gospel in relation to myself. I think of it in terms of my salvation, how Jesus saved me, or how I have been forgiven. But it's not about me.

Before the gospel is about me and my salvation, it's first about God and His righteousness. Next time you read Romans, I challenge you to mark every time the word "righteousness" is used. (It's a LOT, by the way.) The gospel is all about the righteousness of God! Because God made a way to pay in full the penalty for sin AND therefore justly forgive sinners, the gospel displays His righteousness. It screams with the righteousness of God.

The Gospel Has Power Because of Christ's Righteousness
Jesus came and died so that we can be forgiven, right? Well, yes, but there's so much more to it. You see, there's a problem with forgiveness. A big problem. God could have just wiped out our sins and forgiven us all, but... it's not right. If a convicted criminal goes before a judge and pleads for forgiveness, the judge would not be just if he just pardoned the criminal and let him go. Consequently, if the judge gave the criminal what was rightfully due him, he would be upholding justice.

That's what it's like with God. He can't just freely pour out forgiveness to everyone who asks for it because He would be marring His righteousness. To forgive guilty sinners would go against God's character. But God solved this problem. He made a way to forgive sinners AND uphold His righteousness: justification. When I placed my faith in Christ, God could declare me "not guilty" because He imputed Christ's righteousness on me. Jesus died, taking my sin, so that I could have His righteousness. This is what justification means; I am made just (or righteous) in God's sight.

The Gospel has power to save because of God's righteousness. Romans 1:16-17 says that "it is the power of God for salvation... for in it the righteousness of God is revealed...." Without God upholding His righteous character, the Gospel would be powerless.

Do I really know what the gospel is about?
The Gospel is so much bigger than I ever realized. It's beyond myself and all about God. Now that my perspective of the Gospel has changed (from being about my salvation to about God's righteousness), I get so excited when I hear the Gospel preached! Before, it used to be that I'd already "heard it, done that." Now, I can't help but thinking how great, how glorious God is! The Gospel is not just a thing of the past - it's about the present and the future.



  1. This is incredibly insightful...
    The Gospel is "living and breathing" the Gospel is God- and his loving grace. Not OUR salvation.

  2. Wow, I've never really pondered about this much. I totally agree with what you said! The Gospel is about God, not us. Well, I guess it's all about God. He's God! :)

  3. It is a common mistake to think the Gospel was about how God solved the mystery of how one is able to be "just" one hand and "merciful" on the other hand. That's simply not what Paul had in mind.

    When Paul speaks of the "righteousness of God," he is talking about "righteousness of God the Father," not some separate "righteousness of Christ". This righteousness of God is to be understood as fulfilling His promises to save mankind, which is precisely why Paul says the Law and Prophets testify to this. For example, Jeremiah 33:14-18 speaks of the righteousness of God within the context of restoring order to our world and sending someone who will take David's throne.

  4. Isn't that just so awesome when you have these "revelation" type things? When you finally realise how BIG God is and how the Bible is in relation to us. :)

  5. Hey Chloe!

    Yes I did design them! Though I do not get full profit for them, I do get enough to be able to donate to IJM! Thank you for your prayers! You are welcome for inspiration, but all the thanks goes to God! I am just thankful I can be used to help bring about Justice! Love you!

  6. I LOVE this. That photo is beautiful!
    God is so good.

    God bless you, sweet girl!

  7. Wow! just, wow. another post of your that i'm adding to my favourites so that i can go back and read it.


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