The Gospel Changes Everything
Strong and Courageous Blog
We have recently been focusing on the aspects of what the gospel is all about. This is important, as many folks do not have a proper or full understanding of this topic. Today I would like to give you some information that is taken from the book titled Center Church by Tim Keller. Tim is a gifted and respected theologian that has affected our nation for Christ.
It is helpful for us to understand what the gospel is, (and also what it is not.) Keller is quick to point out that the gospel is not just the ABC’s but rather the A to Z of the Christian life. He goes on to say that “it is inaccurate to think the gospel is what saves non-Christians, and then Christians mature by trying hard to live according to biblical principles. It is more accurate to say that we are saved by believing the gospel, and then we are transformed in every part of our minds, hearts, and lives by believing the gospel more and more deeply as life goes on.” In other words, this process is not just a one time occurrence, but continues throughout our lives. The fancy word for this is called sanctification. This includes all dimensions of past, present and future. There are multiple layers of appreciation for God’s grace, that He provides for His people on an ongoing basis. There is no lack or shortage. We must realize that it is all about His work on our behalf, not our work on His behalf.
There are challenges present, that will try to disrupt or even negate this full understanding of the Gospel. We need to be constantly aware of the potential pitfalls that can derail us. The enemy of the grace-filled gospel is legalism. Keller emphasizes that there are two types of legalism. One is a theological type that attempts to mix faith and works that is not clear about the source of our justification. The other end of the spectrum is a cultural perspective that places high value on relativism. This is described as an attitude that is afraid to ever say, “You ought,” and refrains from insisting that any of God’s laws are to be obeyed. One of greatest challenges is to be vigilant in both directions at the same time.
Keller goes further to say, “Whenever we find ourselves fighting against one of these errors, it is extraordinarily easy to combat it by slipping into the other. Here’s a test: if you think one of these errors is much more dangerous than the other, you are probably partially participating in the one you fear less.
The healthy perspective to hold is to understand that the gospel truly does change everything in our lives. The power of this gospel comes in two movements of thought. The first says that I am more sinful and flawed than I could ever imagine. The second one says, I am more accepted and loved than I ever dared to hope. The gospel addresses our greatest need and brings change and transformation to every area of life. This truly is the great Christian adventure!
Video Link: Tim Keller The Gospel Narrative