You and I communicate the gospel we believe by the way we live our life. Whether it’s in our conversations, our associations, what we hate or what we admire. Reflecting on your conversations, your passions and your life will give you great insight into the gospel you believe and the gospel you share with others.
A woman shares about a wedding she attended. The wedding was beautiful, gospel centered yet the strongest point made was both the bride and groom came to the altar virgins. Coming to the altar virgins is a glorious gift to your spouse and a way to honor God but it is not a noble badge to wear. I’m not undermining the importance of honoring God with your bodies. God’s ways are good and to embrace them is right. However; when we boast in virginity we unintentionally disqualify others who are not from thinking they are worthy or able to have a meaningful, gospel-centered, God honoring wedding. Statements focused on obedience to the law convey a gospel that is all about self-righteousness and right living. Yes, the Holy Spirit in believers does a glorious work in our messy, stain-filled, corrupted heart despite us. Holiness is God’s glorious work, not ours. Many may get defensive saying we make choices and we need to be obedient. Yes, we do, but don’t you see…even our obedience is God’s work in us; we’d never be obedient on our own. Any good in us is only God and God, not the “Good Christian”, should be glorified. When we communicate right living is what matters most, we communicate a moral gospel. A moral gospel disqualifies sinful people from ever thinking Jesus could love them. This is not the true gospel, because Jesus came to save sinners. While we were still sinners He saved us. There is no doubt the woman at the well could have one amazing God glorifying wedding and she would not be coming as a virgin. The true Gospel redeems lives despite past choices.
A woman is passionate about a cause or particular people group. Her heart is incredibly passionate about justice for select people. In her passion, a hatred arises of anyone who may be contributors to the wounds or injustice of her select cause or group. The gospel being communicated is only good for those who are oppressed, not the oppressor. This is not the true gospel. Jesus saves wicked people, not just under privileged people. Jesus gospel is for both the oppressor and the oppressed. Paul is a clear example of this. We read and recite his letters yet hate those who are like him. If this is the gospel you communicate, I challenge you to love those who are not in need of you. Love those who don’t want anything you have to offer. Love those who won’t follow you, but may follow Jesus. Love those who won’t jump on your bandwagon. Love those who you can’t make a project or a part of your work. Love the oppressor and the oppressed without partiality or favoritism. Loving the oppressor may not feel as noble, but your nobility is not the point, loving others is.
Jesus has given us clear commands and demonstrated in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension that His Gospel is for everyone. It isn’t for a select people group or a reward for behavior. The Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t exclude and elevate people based on their passions and lifestyles. It’s not purpose driven, its heart driven. God so loved the world He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. World includes everyone. Whoever believes is not a people group, formula or moral code. It’s those who have put their faith not on what they do, but on what Jesus did.
Take notice of the gospel you communicate and check it with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Where are you communicating an exclusive gospel?
The Gospel is faithful to work in us as we seek to share it with others. If we aren’t seeing our need for the Gospel in sharing the Gospel, we can be sure we are communicating a wrong gospel. Genuine desire to know Jesus and make Him known will purge us of our biases, our crooked thinking and our corrupted hearts. That is what the Gospel does…it saves sinners and makes them right with God.