If you selected a group of Christians at random and asked them to tell you the gospel, you might be surprised at how many different answers you get! Most responses would probably center on the person of Jesus Christ, talking a little about who He is and what He did. When communicating the gospel, it is important that we tell the whole story.
I think many of us, though, resonate with certain parts of the gospel story, or maybe in our own thinking certain parts of the story are really important. And so our sense of what the gospel is becomes so focused on that one part of the story that we sometimes end up not telling the whole story.
So this week we're going to do a "gospel check" looking at different gospel models to make sure that we are believing, living, and sharing the fullness of the gospel!
The Relational/Role-Model Gospel
STOPS THE STORY AT
WHAT IT SAYS
“The Gospel is that Jesus came to teach us how to follow God and to show us that God loves us.”
WHY WE MUST BELIEVE THIS GOSPEL
Jesus' nature as fully God and fully man is at the heart of the Christian doctrine of salvation. As one early church father put it, “He became like us so that we could become like Him.” We must place great value on the Incarnation when we explain the person and work of Christ. In addition, this gospel model emphasizes both the approachability of God (He was willing to become human for us!) and the value of godly behavior. Part of Jesus' coming was indeed to show us what it looks like to live a life honoring to God.
WHY WE CAN'T STOP THE STORY HERE
Jesus didn't just come to show us what it looks like to follow God; but also because we were utterly unable to do so on our own! Jesus came not just to assure us that God loves us; but also because we were separated from that love! We must make sure that our telling of the gospel carries the story forward to the cross -- that we include the severity of sin and the seriousness of the price that was paid to defeat it.
Tomorrow we will look at what I call, “THE REPARATIONS GOSPEL.”