Sunday, March 4, 2007

God Is the Gospel -- Chapter 2

  • many true and precious aspects of the gospel can be
    affirmed, and yet the final and greatest good of the gospel be missed.
  • Interestingly the Bible
    (including the Greek Old Testament1 and New Testament) uses the
    noun “gospel” (eujaggevlion) seventy-seven times and the verb for
    “preach the gospel” (eujaggelivzw) seventy-seven times. In the vast
    majority of these uses the meaning is assumed rather than defined.
  • There simply can be no good news without a living God who
    created the universe.
  • In other words, the reign of God has broken into this world to set things right for the sake
    of his people; therefore repent and believe this good news. In fact, if
    you do, you are part of his people. In a world so full of brokenness
    and sin, there simply can be no good news if God does not break in
    with kingly authority. If God does not come with sovereign rights as
    King of the universe, there will be only hopelessness in this world.
  • when he sheds his blood, it will be for others, and it will obtain the longpromised
    “new covenant” that promised, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34). That much Jesus made plain.
  • The Holy Spirit is the down payment,
    a guarantee of the fullness of joy we will know in the perfected
    fellowship with the Father and the Son in the age to come
    (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5).
  • The trouble here is that we need to distinguish the experience of
    salvation in particular persons and the promise of salvation through
    believing in Christ. The actual experience of a particular person’s
    being saved is not part of the gospel. But that experience happens
    when the person believes the gospel, and part of what they believe
    is the promise that on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus
    they will be saved. So the way we should say it is that the promise
    The Gospel—The Biblical Scope of Its Meaning 31
    of salvation is part of the gospel, but the actual experience of salvation
    in particular persons is not part of the gospel, but the result
    of the gospel.
  • The King must die before he reigns. Otherwise the
    justice of his reign would only bring judgment and not salvation. So
    all the kingdom blessings demonstrated in the Gospels had to be
    purchased by the blood of Christ. This is why the cross must ever
    be the center and foundation of the gospel and why the blessings of
    the gospel should only be called gospel in relation to the cross.
  • The actual salvation of the nations comes
    through the blood-bought promise of Gentile salvation in the
    gospel. If the gospel were parochial, it would not be the gospel.
  • The death of Jesus in our place was the act of God’s grace that makes all acts of grace righteous in God’s sight.
  • every blessing that comes to redeemed sinners
    comes on the ground and by the power of God’s grace. By grace God
    sent the Son to die, and by that death everything we need in order
    to be eternally happy in God is ours. “He who did not spare his own
    Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously
    give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). The gospel is the good news
    that because God did not spare Christ, he will not spare any
    omnipotent effort to give us everything that is good for us.
  • But for the most part the good things mentioned in this chapter
    as essential parts of the gospel are not the final good of the gospel
    and would not prove to be good for us at all if the unmentioned
    supreme good were not seen and embraced. That good is God himself
    seen and savored in all his glory.
  • If you embrace everything that I have mentioned in this chapter about the facets of the gospel, but do it in a way that does not make the glory of God in Christ your
    supreme treasure, then you have not embraced the gospel.
  • They have come for one great reason: that you might behold forever the glory of God
    in Christ, and by beholding become the kind of person who delights
    in God above all things, and by delighting display his supreme
    beauty and worth with ever-increasing brightness and bliss forever.

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