Jesus Christ is the Gospel Part 1

I have just recently returned from a concert where the gospel, or I should say half-gospel, was preached from the stage. After being turned onto this half-gospel preaching trend by my friend, I have been keeping my eyes and ears peeled. Amazingly I am seeing it pop up with more regularity. I am more saddened to realize that this half-gospel preaching didn’t show up on the radar when I began to take notice to it. It has been around for quite some time. The reason why half-gospel preaching is sad is that a half-gospel equals no gospel!

This is the half gospel that I and about 999 other people were presented:
1. Is your life really hard? Are you going through some rough spots?
2. Give it over to Jesus. He will take care of it.
3. If this is you and you want to be saved, pray a prayer similar to this.

Now at first glance this seems alright. But when you ask a certain question the half-gospel is revealed for the falsehood it is:

Q: What are you being saved from?

In the above presentation you are being saved from hardships. This is simply not the biblical diagnosis of the human condition. Jesus did not come to save his people from hardship. The biblical diagnosis of the human condition is that we are wicked, depraved, rebellious, transgressing, God offending, sin loving people. Apart from Christ we run to sin day after day accumulating thousands upon thousands of transgressions toward God and his holiness. Because of our choices we deserve eternal separation, eternal condemnation, and eternal wrath from God.

The gospel (or good news) is that God is just and the justifier. God is infinitely holy and infinitely righteous. God can not be just and ignore transgressions made toward him. For God to be just his wrath has to be spent on sin, and He did just that. He spent his wrath towards sin on Jesus, and found the sacrifice of Jesus to be perfect in every way. Now it is Jesus Christ and his blood sacrifice on the cross that perfectly pays for our sin, and not us if we place our faith in the resurrected Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26 & Romans 10:9)

Now that is good news.

God’s love for the sinner:
“…
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…” (Romans 5:8)

Jesus Christ’s payment for our sin rebellion:
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit… (1 Peter 3:18)

How do you respond:
“And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. (Acts 16 29-32)

Resources:
Pierced for our Transgressions
Jesus’s Final Hour–His Last

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  1. Good, good post, Jonny.

    If you really contemplate the severity of Christ’s suffering, then the half-Gospel you describe makes absolutely no sense and really makes God out to be a massive jerk. Christ did not give his life because God saw that we were hurting so bad. Christ gave his life because God hates our sin. And our sin is the real reason that any of us hurt. So instead of dealing with the symptoms, God utterly demolished the problem at its root.

    Of course, the other downside of the half-Gospel is that it implies promises that God never makes. We are not promised that God will eradicate our hurts. At best, we’re promised that we’ll exchange our old hurts for new ones – hurts that produce sanctification. And for the redeemed, that’s the glory of it all.

  2. Chase,

    I am indebted to you for pointing the increase in half-gospel preaching. I am thankful more and more by the week that I have a pastor who faithfully expounds the scripture. I am thankful to have a shepherd who feeds his sheep the full gospel of Jesus.

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