Friday, March 24, 2006

If the Gospel is the Main Thing...What is the Gospel?

I keep saying that the gospel is the MAIN THING. But what exactly do I mean? Heaven forbid anyone walk away from this series (if anyone is still reading this series) not having a clear understanding.

The apostle Paul wrote: "I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you...For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:1,3).

From The Cross Centered Life:

First importance. The Bible tells us that, while there are many different callings and many possible areas of service in the kingdom of God, one transcendent truth should define our lives. One simple truth should motivate our work and affect every part of who we are.

Christ died for our sins.

...He sent His Son into the world to live a perfect life and go to the cross to bear His wrath for sinners like you and me.

This is the "main thing," the very essence of the cross centered life. ...Nothing else--not even things that are biblical and honorable--are of equal or greater importance.

And this isn't just C.J. Mahaney's main thing. It was Paul's main thing:

The cross was the centerpiece of Paul's theology. It wasn't merely one of Paul's messages; it was the message. He taught about other things as well, but whatever he taught was always derived from, and related to, the foundational reality that Jesus Christ died so that sinners would be reconciled to God and forgiven by God.
I have several other great quotes from the book about Paul's cross-centeredness, but suffice to say, Paul "resolved to know nothing...except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). His final exhortation to Timothy:

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.
This is my gospel.
(2 Timothy 2:8)

(All quotes [besides Scripture] from The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney.)

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