Monday, March 10, 2008

The Gospel is Everything!

In yesterday's message, we looked at Peter's Separation, Paul's Confrontation and the Gospel Implications in Galatians 2:11-16. We saw that the Gospel is a "straight edge" against which we measure our lives. We noticed the shocking insight that Paul confronts Peter, not only FOR THE SAKE of the Gospel, but also BY MEANS of the Gospel.

This is modeled for us and demonstrates that the way to confront and overcome sin in our own lives is not by beating ourselves up or by enlisting others to beat us up or by devising more rules and rituals for us to do and keep, but by preaching the Gospel to ourselves. Asking ourselves in our struggle and sin, "What about the Gospel?" It is only by grace that we are saved and it is only by grace that we will

Hope you'll listen and catch up if you missed it!

We've learned so much about the Gospel of God's free grace in our Galatians series so far. Here's just a partial list in review:

  • The Gospel is Historical (1:4): Jesus gave Himself for our sins in real space and time

  • The Gospel is Personal (1:4): Jesus gave Himself for OUR sins and to rescue US

  • The Gospel is Cosmic (1:4): It involves us, but it's bigger than us. A new creation and an entirely new age

  • The Gospel is God's (1:4-5): It is according to His will and for His Glory

  • The Gospel is Experiential (1:3): It is grace and peace to us

  • The Gospel is Revelational (1:11-12): not man made, but God revealed

  • The Gospel is Transformational (1:13-16): it changes us from self-centered (I, I, I) living to God-centered living (God, God, God)

  • The Gospel is Missional (1:16, 24): it gives us a new purpose and direction for the glory of God

  • The Gospel is Trans-Cultural (2:3-4): it is not bound to any one culture, but enters all and challenges all

  • The Gospel is a whole new way of living (2:10): not just a cold creed, but truth to be lived

  • The Gospel is One Message (2:7-10): there is only one Gospel message, but lots of Gospel ministries

  • The Gospel creates an entirely new community (2:12): people from every nation, tribe and tongue

  • The Gospel is the way to confront sin (2:15-16): only by grace are we saved, only by grace will we grow

  • The Gospel changes everything (2:14): from who we eat with to how we age. Everything!
Isn't that cool? And there's still lots more to come in our Galatians series.

Here's a GREAT recent article from Christianity Today entitled, "The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel" that touches on some of these same Gospel dimensions.

And to end this monster post, here's a quote from the article that ties in well with last Sunday's message:

A robust gospel has a grand vision. The little gospel promises me personal salvation and eternal life. But the robust gospel doesn't stop there. It also promises a new society and a new creation. When Jesus stood up to read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue at Nazareth, then sat down and declared that this prophetic vision was now coming to pass through him, there was more than personal redemption at work. God's kingdom, the society where God's will is established and lived, was now officially at work in his followers. That society was overturning the injustices and exclusions of the empire and establishing an inclusive and just alternative. We find this in Jesus' opening words (Luke 4:18–19), the Beatitudes (6:20–26), and in his response to John (Mark 7:22–23). This vision for a just society led to the radical practices of generosity and hospitality in the Jerusalem churches (Acts 2:42–47). Any gospel that is not announcing a new society at work in the world, what the apostle Paul called the church, is simply not a robust gospel.

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