Tuesday, March 27, 2007

what is the gospel?

If Christians are going to strive for unity, one non-negotiable area of agreement must be the answer to the question, "What is the gospel?"

I did some research yesterday to see how Wesley defined the gospel. I found his explanation in the sermon "The Way of the Kingdom":
8. The gospel, (that is, good tidings, good news for guilty, helpless sinners,) in the largest sense of the word, means, the whole revelation made to men by Jesus Christ; and sometimes the whole account of what our Lord did and suffered while he tabernacled among men. The substance of all is, "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners;" or, "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end we might not perish, but have everlasting life;" or, "He was bruised for our transgressions, he was wounded for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
Agreement on the substitionary atonement of Christ as being the center of gospel ministry is non-negotiable if The United Methodist Church will reclaim faithfulness to our founder's intent and the good news of Christ.

7 comments:

Brett said...

Yes, it is critical. What do you think of the Together for the Gospel statement? It is one thing to have to defend core issues of the gospel to a lost world, but it is quite another to have to defend it in the church.

Jason Woolever said...

i agree with their statement. you are right about defending it to the church.

but, apparently this is an issue that has been going on since the beginning. Note Jude 1:3-4: 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Brett said...

Very true. But it handled differently - it was fought against instead of tolerated or ignored.

Jason Woolever said...

wow, that's so true.

JD said...

Jason,

I like your approach to this discussion. Confrontational and challenging, but with love.

PAX
JD

Dana said...

Hi, brett! *peer* I think the T4G statement goes past "core gospel" and into "important doctrine." I agree with a good deal of it, but I don't think it's all gospel.

Jason Woolever said...

thanks jd.