Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Radical Gospel: Biblical Salvation (Part 1)

In order to lead people to salvation in Jesus, we must first understand the radical nature of the gospel. It is vital to not only get the gospel out but to get the gospel right. I believe something is drastically wrong with the way we have presented and practiced the gospel. The gospel is reduced from its radical nature.

A bullet point model of salvation is most common. It has become “say this prayer so you will go to heaven.” We then warehouse people until they die. Discipleship becomes “optional”.

The Gospel According to Jesus

Mark 1:14-15 “The time has come. The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe this good news.”

First and foremost, Jesus’ gospel is about God and not about us. The true gospel is not a consumer item we acquire, securing us for a blissful “happy-ever-after” eternity. It is about a present reality through the person of Jesus. Jesus’ gospel was about the kingdom of God.

To enter God’s kingdom, we first repent. We examine our whole way of doing life.

Second, we believe, placing our confidence in Jesus and the gospel. We act and live as if we actually trust it is true (Matthew 7:24-27).

Jesus’ Gospel is an invitation into the Kingdom of God. The kingdom is the realm in which what God wants done is done. When Jesus tells us to lose our life in order to find it (see Matthew 16:24-25), he is showing how we are to give up an inferior life outside the Kingdom for a superior life in it.

The goal of the gospel is formation in Christ in this present life. Bob Roberts, Jr. states, “The problem with evangelism (and any other tenet of Christianity) is not so much the sharing of our faith but the living of our faith.” Through the gospel, we are called to become a people who demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom in this life.

The gospel of the Kingdom of God is indeed radical to our religious culture today. As the church, we must renew our devotion and commitment to Christ’s gospel and to live radically in God’s kingdom in order to see transformation take place in our world.

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