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The ABCs of the Gospel
Theme of the Week: Doctrine: Why It Matters
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Dig Deeper: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

The sum and substance of the church's defined doctrine is the gospel itself, the good news of how our Creator has become our Redeemer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Modern usage tends to shrink the gospel to a threefold declaration, often set forth as an ABC in evangelistic contexts:

  • All have sinned and now stand under God's judgment.
  • Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
  • Confess Christ as your Savior and Lord. Commit yourself to lifelong service to him. (Two C's for the itemrice of one.)

Though this is certainly its [central application], the gospel says far more than that. In the New Testament the gospel includes all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed: creation; the incarnation, dying, rising, reigning, and return of the Son; and the ministry of the Holy Spirit generating the holy universal church of forgiven sinners, who no longer fear condemnation but anticipate heaven's eternal joy. The gospel is the full declaration of this gracious saving plan that God is fulfilling in and for his spoiled world, plus the full demonstration of the proper response: faith in Christ and repentance, good works, and love both Godward and manward, with gratitude and joyful hope.

—J. I. Packer in Taking God Seriously

My Response: How has the gospel message impacted my life?

Thought to Apply: To preach the gospel is really to unfold the heart of God, the person and work of Christ; and all this by the present energy of the Holy Ghost, from the exhaustless treasury of Holy Scripture.—C. H. McIntosh (Irish preacher, writer, magazine editor)

Adapted from Taking God Seriously by J. I. Packer (Crossway, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Author of Truth, open my eyes to the truths that come to life in your Word and in your true gospel; may I never stop seeking to learn, understand, and apply them better.

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