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The Explicit Gospel

Rick Warren is right when he says, “If you read only one book this year, make it this one. It’s that important.

This book blew me away, not because it repainted the Christian faith or brought something new to the table, but because Matt Chandler is relentless with the Gospel. Everything is about the Gospel. We are saved on an individual level by the Gospel and yet the Gospel is so much bigger then a bunch of individuals. It is about God restoring ALL of creation back to the way it is suppose to be. These are great truths and with any truth when you remove some of the truth or distort some of it you have changed all of it. Chandler discusses the dangers with emphasizing a personal relationship with God or God is working to the good of all. We have to remember they are both there and if we have forgotten that then we have forgotten the gospel.

I keep saying gospel and some that are reading this might not understand. Heck, sometimes I don’t even understand. The gospel is this:

People are imperfect creatures trying to stand in front of a Holy Perfect God.

The weight of His perfection will crush us, kind of like a father with his infant son. The son runs to his dad and jumps in his arms when he gets home from work. Lets look it from the other way around. The father jumps on the infant son. He crushes him because the dad is too heavy. That is compared to the glory of God. Glory means weight. God’s glory is so strong that we must be perfect to be in His presences. That is where my favorite person comes in, Jesus Christ. Jesus is God wrapped in human flesh. He came lived a perfect life and paid our price: Death. Why did Christ have to die? Because our God is perfect and a perfect being has to execute justice. Jesus was and is God. His blood is enough to pay the price for our sin. He did this so that we could be with Him. Not because our God needs us. Our God needs nothing, but because He loves us. This is the central point: Jesus Christ did everything. He paid the price. He died so that we might live.

He screams, “It is finished” from the cross.

He did everything. Our salvation is found in Christ alone. Your works without Christ blood on them are like dirty tampons (don’t get mad at me, its biblical Isaiah 64:6). That is the gospel, the good news. When we receive that good news and when we receive it as good news we want to spread it. We want to show everyone what Christ has done for us. We are like children who’s Father is throwing a party, He says we can invite anyone and everyone. So we go out and try to help everyone get to our Father’s party, not because we throw a good party or because we paid for the party but because our Father is AWESOME.

The Gospel can get distorted in many different ways, but there are two major ways. They are easy to remember just think US government and screw up. One is the conservative route. The conservative believes that if he does everything right then he can win God’s favor. He believes that without himself God’s will would not have been accomplished on earth and therefore has earned his place in heaven. Also, a conservative is more likely to think I am a good person and when asked why they think they are good would respond with, “Well look at the world around me, of course I am getting an A.” Its too bad God doesn’t grade on a curve.

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)

The second is the liberal. They look at the gospel and say so Jesus on the cross can forgive all sin, then that means I can do whatever the heck I want and it doesn’t matter because God forgives all. They misunderstand the gospel. They are no different the people who praised Jesus with palm leafs on Friday and then spit on His face and screamed “Crucify Him!” on Sunday. They do not understand the Gospel in what Jesus has truly done for them. For example, if someone paid your million dollar debt and then you turn around, cry, and call injustice at a man who owes you twenty bucks.

God’s love is presented to all. How will you respond? Like a conservative? Like a Liberal? Or like a servant?

-Michael Esch


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