I just recently came across some quotes by JD Greear on the gospel. He has written a book titled, The Gospel: Rediscovering the Power that made Christianity Revolutionary. I have not read the book, but based on these three quotes that I am going to share, it seems like it might be a good read.
“Being able to articulate the gospel with accuracy is one thing; having its truth captivate your soul is quite another. The gospel is not just supposed to be our ticket into heaven; it is to be an entirely new basis for how we relate to God, ourselves, and others. It is to be the source from which everything else flows.”
What an awesome reminder that we all need from time to time. The gospel must captivate our soul; it is not just our “ticket to heaven.” How often though, do we live as if that were what we believe, that knowing the gospel is my way in and that is all I need. The right understanding of the gospel will not allow the “ticket to heaven” mentality to stay with us for long as we are transformed more and more into the image of God. We will see that the gospel enables us to relate in a New way with God, ourselves, and others. It will help us to apply the next quote:
“In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more, and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.”
In Christ there is true liberty, spiritual freedom from the bondage of our sin. With the proper understanding of the gospel mentioned in the previous quote, we will understand that this knowledge doesn’t encourage us to live how ever we want, but that it enables and encourages us to live God-glorifying lives that point others to our Redeemer.
I think the last quote I wanted to share sums up really well, what I was trying to say.
“The amount which you understand the gospel is measured by your ability to be joyful in all circumstances. If you grasp what a treasure the presence and acceptance of God are, then even when life goes really wrong you will have a joy that sustains you, because you’ll recognize the value of what you have in Him. When life punches you in the face, you’ll say, ‘But I still have the love and acceptance of God, a treasure I don’t deserve.’ And the joy you find in that treasure can make you rejoice even when you have a bloody nose. You have a joy that death and depravation cannot touch.”
That is the power of the Gospel, the power that made and still makes Christianity revolutionary.