What is our Gospel message?

God_Is_Love_BrideIs our gospel message “the good news that brings great joy?” Or, have we been preaching something else? It continually amazes me how differently people respond to us than they did Jesus.

In light of this, maybe we should re-think what our gospel message actually is? Just a thought…

We cannot read the Bible like Jesus never happened. He absolutely changed everything! And because of what God has done in Christ, our relationship to Him has forever changed.

Notice how Paul frames this new reality in the following passage:

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Cor.5:14-20 NIV)

I will have to unpack this further at another time, but for now I would like you to notice some summary points:

Christ’s love is what motivates us, not fear of punishment (vs. 14).

When Christ died, ALL died with Him, whether they know it or not (vs. 14).

Love is other-centered, therefore when we receive God’s love we become other-centered (vs. 15).

We no longer define anyone by their current behavior or circumstances. We define them according to Christ (vs. 16).

The human race was forever changed (exchanged) at the cross. We are now a new creation (vs.17); God has put all things in Christ (see Col.1:16-17).

God was IN Christ, reconciling the human race to Himself (vs. 18-19). He did not abandon Jesus on the cross for one moment; He’ll never abandon us either (Heb.13:5b)

To reconcile means “to change, exchange, to restore, make compatible.” Christ put Adam to death (Rom.5:14-15), exchanging our broken Adamic identity with Christ’s identity, thus making us compatible to live in the Godhead in Christ (Eph.2:6; Col.3:3).

God is not counting our sins against us anymore (vs.19).

Ambassadors represent a country or kingdom, a leader or king. We represent Jesus and His Kingdom, which means we should interface with all people exactly like Jesus interfaced with them (v.20).

Our gospel message is delivered by God through our renewed minds and transformed lives; it’s an appeal to accept His reconciliation and live in union with Him in Christ. (vs.20)

One last thing here. I want you to notice what’s not included in this message of reconciliation.

We may struggle with this description of the gospel, partly because the unrenewed part of us hates grace. Without being compelled by love, we will feel compelled to add other requirements.

From God’s point of view we are reconciled, whether one believes it or not. He seems to think all are forgiven, all are reconciled.

From our point of view, we will only benefit from this wonderful reality by being reconciled, living in union with Him as “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4).

Otherwise, we will stay on the treadmill of religion, separated from God in our minds, trying to save ourselves and attain something He’s already done for us.

So, again I ask, does our gospel message line up with this appeal? And if this isn’t our message, shouldn’t we repent (change our thinking)? Selah.

Here’s a song from Jonathan David & Melissa Helser’s latest album, “Beautiful Surrender” that inspired me to write this post. As you listen to the song, please consider (or reconsider) what our message of reconciliation actually is.

And be blessed. Our message IS good news that bring great joy!

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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4 Responses to What is our Gospel message?

  1. AfroScot says:

    I have been listening to “Free at Last” by Steffany Gretzinger. This is exactly my story. We often talk about freedom from addictions etc but rarely about religion. I have finally understood the gospel message and it is really good news of great joy.

    My prayer is that most will experience this joy.

    Thanks Mel for this beautiful article.

    God bless

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s a wonderful song. And it’s so true about the addiction of religion. I think it’s instructive that this Latin word basically means to “re-bind.” So we can go from being bound up in drugs to being bound up in religion! Religion, in the sense we’re talking about, is a form of bondage. We can even become addicted to the Bible but never have an intimate relationship with the Living Word, who is Jesus. I’m with you on your prayer! That everyone would experience this joy is why I write. 🙂
      Thanks for your comments, AfroScot. Blessings to you too.

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