Paul wrote in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel…” If we are to be people who live our lives and are unashamed of the gospel we proclaim, we must understand the DNA of the Gospel.
The Heart of the Gospel is Grace.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” (Eph. 2:8) In a recent sermon, Pastor Rob said that “God is not driven by our love for him; God is driven by his love for us.” Understanding grace is vital because it uncovers the heart of God. God’s desire is to have a relationship with us and that we seek a life of intimacy with him.
Grace is what makes this possible. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was an act of grace. He gave his life, in our place, to redeem us, to buy us back. Our faith stabilizes our relationship with God and His Spirit seals us.
The Mind of the Gospel is forgiveness.
Perhaps one of the most well- known Bible verses is John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” While I’ve heard this to be the “gospel in a nutshell” I tend to go a bit further in the Scriptures and include verses 17 and 18 which say, “God sent his son into he world not to judge the world but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”
The mind and the message the gospel proclaims is that forgiveness is found in Christ alone, and his forgiveness is an outpouring of his love for us. To understand the heart of God, John 3:16 clearly reveals his heart loves (the world), his heart is sending (Jesus) and his heart is receiving (those who believe).
Christ came because we all fell short of God’s glory. Christ came to redeem us. Christ came to save us from the power and penalty of our sins and to bring us back into a relationship with God the Father.
The Soul of the Gospel is freedom.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ set you free.” Our freedom in Christ is that we can respond to God, through the very blood of Christ. We can live our lives for God, without the chains religion. The Old Testament Laws were designed to show us that (1) We were imperfect (2) we could never obey the laws on our own strength (3) The laws pointed to Jesus.
God has given us freedom, not in ourselves, but freedom in the Spirit who leads us into all truth (illuminates truth to us) and reminds us of the truth (convicts us). To have intimacy with God, the key is to live out the freedom we have in the Spirit, as we allow the Spirit to guide our lives.
The strength of the gospel is love.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The Gospel in action is seen when we love one another and fulfill Christ’s commandment to love one another. In John 17, Jesus prayed for our unity, which is an aspect of our love for one another. The message of the gospel hangs on our love for each other. Our unity and our love for each other reflect the supernatural love and unity the Father has for us and reveals Christ in us.