Friday, May 23, 2014

Creation to Restoration 1

The Gospel: The Full Story is Good News Indeed

The Meaning of Gospel
In the Bible, the Story of God’s plan to save mankind from its sin and restore them in relationship to Him is called “The Gospel.” In Greek, euangelion, means good news. More than one Christian leader has mentioned to me in the past few months that they have a hard time finding “Good News” in the Gospel. They think there is too much emphasis on sin and the fact that we are helpless on our own. However, euangelion meant good news in the context of a victory. The victory of a good kingdom over a dark, oppressive, hopeless one. The Romans saw Caesar bringing hope to the world. In the Bible, the Kingdom of God is the true hope. You have to have an evil, a bad situation from which you need saving, for such a good news to make sense.

No Simple Sales Pitch of an Ideology
Perhaps it is the way we have oversimplified our message over the past couple generations that is to blame. In the past a sales culture combined with a largely Christian context led people to short-hand the Gospel in a way that worked at the time… perhaps. Today, in a post-Christian culture where people have also become skeptical of everyone trying to sell them something, it is not so successful. The question that has to be asked is: were the shortened, bullet point Gospel presentations ever enough? Does the current state of Christianity in the Western world really reflect a Biblical understanding? Is ticking notches in belts representing “converts” really the same thing as “making disciples”? Perhaps not.

The Most Wonderful Story Ever Told…
The fact is, the true Gospel is the whole, complete message of the entire Bible. When reduced to four sentences, or even coaxed out of a single verse, it is missing something. Those methods are fine as a part of a larger effort, but the story of the Gospel should be told in its entirety. It is too beautiful to be converted into a bumper sticker or a billboard.

2 comments:

  1. Pull sin and helplessness out of the gospel and why do we need Jesus? I find that continuing desire to "water down the gospel" disturbing. Maybe it's because we keep trying to sell the gospel. Selling has the idea of gain embedded in it - we shouldn't be telling the gospel for gain (unless it be for God's gain), rather out of love for our fellow man. That changes things I think and encourages us to tell the whole truth.

    ReplyDelete

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