Every day thousands of messages pour into my head. Messages from the world around me and messages from the world inside my head. People send me texts, Facebook notices, Twitter comments, emails and some even call me! I read, I watch TV, I am on the internet (How many sites did I visits today?). 83% of us have smart phones and 73% of us send and receive text messages. 24% of teens are online constantly. If all of these are communicated by satellite, then what is that doing to my brain as millions of messages penetrate my body. One interesting fact is that 50% Benedictine monks can no longer meditate (the others are asleep) because subliminally they are bombarded by so many electronic messages through the airwaves they cannot concentrate. Well, that last statistic was made up on the spot. Lastly, there is the accumulation of all the messages that I have received since birth. There is no way I can consciously process all these messages, the ones that are subliminal and the ones that are perceptible. How about you?
The Gospel is both a message and a way of life. Its message can get muffled in our over-stimulated media-saturated world. What chance has the Gospel to shape our lives? Can its message go deep and really make a difference? It so easy for us to misunderstand the Gospel and what it means on a day to day basis.
The Gospel has been understood as a genre of music, a message of salvation, the first four books of the New Testament or telling the truth ("That’s the gospel truth!"). Christians have sometimes reduced the Gospel to a way to go to heaven or doing good deeds to show God’s love. While the Gospel has some of these things, it is so much more.
The Apostle Paul summarizes the Gospel. He said,
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me.
Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
-- 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
Paul is warning this church and calling them to remember the Gospel. That it is what defines our lives.
What is the Gospel?
- It is good news.
- It is good news about Jesus Christ.
- It is good news about Jesus Christ who came to save us from our sins.
- It is good news about Jesus Christ who came to save us from our sins so that we could live new life.
What is the The Gospel?
- The Gospel is for everyone.
- It is for Christians and people who are not Christians.
- Pastors are called to preach the Gospel.
- Christians desire for more people to believe the Gospel.
- If you believed the Gospel once, you never out grow it.
The Gospel is both a message and a way of life. The message is that we can be made whole. That we can be made righteous before God. That we can know God and he pours out his righteousness on us. It is a way of life lived under God.
He rules. He gives. He loves. He lives in and through our lives. The Gospel is powerful. It is alive. When its power is released and we understand it, it changes us. Its message grows within us and renews us daily.