The Gospel is Saying

“The gospel is saying that, what man cannot do in order to be accepted with God, this God Himself has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ. To be acceptable to God we must present to God a life of perfect and unceasing obedience to his will. The gospel declares that Jesus has done this for us. For God to be righteous he must deal with our sin. This also he has done for us in Jesus. The holy law of God was lived out perfectly for us by Christ, and its penalty was paid perfectly for us by Christ. The living and dying of Christ for us, and this alone is the basis of our acceptance with God”

~ Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom

Are We Singing the Same Song?

I cannot recall who said this, nor where I first read it, but the following statement resonates with me:

Jesus’ life and teaching always attracted a crowd; he was loved by the irreligious and was outcast and hated by the moralistic, legalistic, religious types. If our lives and proclamations of the gospel are not having a similar effect in our culture, then it is probably a different message we proclaim.

Winning By Losing

Here are two great quotes from Robert Farrar Capon‘s The Parables of Grace:

“Jesus came to save a lost and losing world by his own lostness and defeat; but in this wide world of losers, everyone except Jesus remains firmly, if hopelessly, committed to salvation by winning… it would be funny if it were not fatal; but fatal it is, because grace works only on those who accept their lostness.”

“As I have observed a number of times now, if the world could have been saved by successful living, it would have been tidied up long ago. Certainly, the successful livers of this world have always been ready enough to stuff life’s losers into the garbage can of history. Their program for turning earth back to Eden has consistently been to shun the sick, to lock the poor in ghettos, to disenfranchise those whose skin was the wrong color, and to exterminate those whose religion was inconvenient… But for all that, Eden has never returned. The world’s woes are beyond repair by the world’s successes: there are just too many failures, and they come too thick and fast for any program, however energetic or well-funded… Therefore when the Gospel is proclaimed, it stays light-years away from reliance on success or any other exercise of right-handed power. Instead, it relies resolutely on left-handed power – on the power that, in a mystery, works through failure, loss, and death… For Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to reward the rewardable, improve the improvable, or correct the correctible; he came simply to be the resurrection and the life of those who will take their stand on a death he can use instead of a life he cannot.”

Selling Out the Gospel at the Altar of Politics

Divided Heart (Pink-Green)

I don’t do politics on social media (nor in the pulpit), but I feel an exception is warranted – on social media, anyway. With the exception that I don’t really care that Donald Trump has not previously held public office, nor do I care that neither Ben Carson nor Carly Fiorina have ever held public office, pretty much everything else Peter Wehner writes in his Op Ed for the New York Times, Why I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump, reflects my sentiments. I am disturbed by Trump’s behavior, and even more so by some of his supporters who have compromised core values and beliefs to empower him.

I know. This is politics. And Trump’s supporters have every right to support him, for whatever the reasons.  For a time I was open to the possibility, despite questions about the basis of his present positions.  I accept that people change.  But with no history, or substantive rationale for changes in convictions, I can only wonder how long it will be, or what circumstances might arise, before we see some of these key convictions shift back.

More disturbing to me than Trump are some of his supporters.  Here I do not mean the rank-and-file Trump supporters, who enjoy the bravado, and with whom the simple catch phrase “Make America Great Again” resonates.  I too am entertained, or at least I have been, to a degree. And I appreciate the vision of restoring the greatness of the USA – even if I am a little unclear whether Trump’s definition of what would make America great and my definition are similar; and even if Trump’s specific plans to usher in such restoration seem a little fuzzy to me.  I am disturbed most by those who are endorsing Trump, even when Trump clearly does not represent their core values and beliefs.  In other words, I am most chagrined by Christians – especially those claiming to be Evangelicals – who are compromising their faith to endorse Trump.

Now let me be clear here.  Every citizen of the USA has a right to support whatever candidate they want. I do not believe Christians have a responsibility to restrict their vote to only Christian candidates. Therefore, I support the right of my fellow Christians, even fellow Evangelicals, to support Trump, if they believe he would be the best leader for our country. (Check out Mark Tooley’s thoughtful piece: Trump, Evangelicals & Security.) What I do not accept are Christians – especially Evangelicals – who will rewrite the Faith to justify their support.

The poster boy of my ire is Jerry Falwell, Jr.

In recent months Falwell has made some asinine statements and decisions. Among them was to invite Trump to speak at Liberty University, where Falwell is currently president, on Martin Luther King Day.  Again, I need to be clear. I support Liberty University’s decision to have Trump speak, just as I appreciated them inviting Bernie Sanders to speak. A university is a place of ideas, where a variety of viewpoints should be allowed to be expressed.  So as long as a clear distinction is made between a chapel service (during which any speakers should intelligently and faithfully exalt the One True God) and a convocation (where any variety of ideas could be expressed) I have no problem.  But given Trump’s history, or at least his reputation, of bigoted statements, it seems more wisdom could have been exercised about the date when Trump would be invited to speak.  A day that is designated to highlight efforts to bring about racial reconciliation does not seem the most sensitive or appropriate.  Of course that is just a judgment call. (For anyone interested, my friend Marc Corbett, a Liberty University alumnus, wrote an excellent piece for The Gospel Coalition.  Take a moment to listen to Marc’s lament: Why I Will Protest a School I Love.)

Most disturbing to me is Falwell’s recent total redefinition of Christianity in his justification for inviting Trump to speak on MLK Day, and in his subsequent official endorsement of Trump.  Again, I believe Falwell has the right to support, and even endorse, whoever he wants.  In his formal endorsement Falwell said only that:

“[Trump is] a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”

But Falwell’s previous justification and reasoning was this:

“I have seen firsthand that his staff loves him and is loyal to him because of his servant leadership. In my opinion Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment.”

Falwell has since offered an explanation, an Op Ed in the Washington Post.  And I concur with much of his reasoning, even if I would not land on the same candidate. Nevertheless, his reasoning and his freedom – both as an American and as a Christian – to endorse Trump does not negate Falwell’s compromise of the gospel,  and his misuse of the scripture.

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Symbol of a New Day Dawning

Rooster Colors

From time to time I am asked why I have a rooster for a profile picture, both on my blog and on Facebook.  What’s more, the rooster is also the screensaver on my phone.  I use these images for more reason than just the bucolic tranquility they depict.  The rooster has a long history as an interesting symbol.

While Celtic and Norse cultures saw the rooster as a creature of the underworld – a messenger screeching warnings of danger, and calling for the souls of those killed in battles; most have viewed the rooster in a more positive light.

In art, the rooster has long symbolized the fanning out of brilliance – i.e. showing the world the shimmering facets of ones personality.  As one  scholar has noted, the rooster is used in art to display courage, strength, pride,  honesty, vigilance, watchfulness, as well as flamboyance.  Most of these are excellent qualities. And flamboyance is not entirely bad, though too much of it may be somewhat obnoxious.

In Christianity the rooster is associated with Peter’s denial of Christ on the night of betrayal, leading up to the crucifixion.  So the rooster is associated with Christ’s death – which while tragic, was also God’s intention, the reason for which Jesus was born.  And while not lessening the tragedy, it is important to remember that Jesus himself says of the crucifixion: “I lay down my life, no one takes it from me.”  (John 10.11-18) Jesus laid down his life that those who believe would have life. Yet the effect of his substitutionary death only reached its full effect upon his resurrection – which Jesus hinted at in John 10.17.  In that sense the rooster, which symbolizes betrayal and death, cannot be separated from the purpose of Jesus’ death, and thus cannot be separated from the resurrection.  Therefore, the rooster is an appropriate symbol of the gospel itself.

What the rooster most symbolizes, at least to me, is the dawning of a new day. This is the reason I use it so freely.   The rooster crows at the first hints of new light.  This was a primary reason the rooster was used as a symbol of the Reformation – it was a reminder that the Reformation itself signaled a new day.  Of course the resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate sign of a new day.  And God himself tells us, through his prophet Jeremiah, that “his mercies are new every morning”.  (Lamentations 3.22-23)

So to me, the rooster is a constant reminder of the gospel, and that today is a new day – every day is a new day.  This being New Years Day, the rooster seems to me to be an especially appropriate symbol.

The Deconstructed Gospel

Deconstructed Corner Church

What is the gospel? My first semester at seminary I showed up feeling called by God to become a pastor and I couldn’t say what the gospel was. Sure I had an idea. Isn’t the gospel that we’re “saved by faith” or that “Jesus rose again”? The word gospel comes from the Greek word that means “good news.” Mark 1:1 tells us the gospel is “the good news about Jesus the Messiah.” So what about Jesus’ life and ministry is good news for us?

Just about every Christian I know has trouble answering this question. Usually someone will bring up Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (something I like to call the three days gospel) and how through them God gives us eternal life. That is absolutely true and so beautiful. But what about the other thirty-three years of Jesus’ estimated lifespan? Do those years matter for us too? This is why I break down the gospel into three days and thirty-three years.


“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Day 1 – Friday: “Christ died for our sins”

This is a great starting point for defining what the gospel is. Jesus died for our sins. That’s a huge statement and is summed up in the fancy theological term “atonement.” The Day of Atonement described in Leviticus 16 was the day the High Priest of Israel slaughtered a goat and sprinkled its blood in the Most Holy Place of the temple before God. This sacrifice atoned for the sins of the people for another year. On Good Friday, Jesus atoned for our sins when he became the final sacrifice. He died an innocent victim in the place of guilty sinners.

Day 2 – Saturday: “He was buried”

True, Jesus was buried in the tomb on Friday, but he stayed dead on Saturday. Friday and Sunday of Easter weekend get all the credit, but Saturday played an important part too. Saturday proved Jesus was really dead. He wasn’t just passed out or dying. He was locked away in a tomb with no breath in him. Hebrews 2:9 tells us Jesus “suffered” or “tasted” death. He went through all the pain of Friday so he could be dead on Saturday. This is the same death you and I face for all eternity if Sunday’s miracle never comes.

Day 3 – Sunday: “He was raised”

Jesus rose from the grave conquering sin and death on Sunday morning. Resurrection! He returned to the living in his old yet newly glorified body. This is what we who trust in Jesus will experience at the final resurrection when Jesus returns. Christ will call us forth from our graves to spend eternity with him in a whole new creation. We who trust in Jesus die spiritually with him on Friday. One day our bodies will really be dead, like Saturday. But our hope is in what Jesus did on Sunday so we too will rise again. The resurrection is good news!

The last three days of Jesus’ life matter for you and for me. Those three days are what most people think of when they think of the gospel. We turn to them first because they’re what drive us to put our faith in Christ. Jesus offers forgiveness for our sins through his sacrifice on the cross on Friday, through our fear of death on Saturday, and through the hope we have for eternity on Sunday. We turn to them because they matter for us when we die. Even in our last days, we still have hope.


So what about the rest of Jesus’ life? How are they the gospel? How does how he lived matter for our lives right now? Usually when I ask this question, everyone goes quiet. It’s because we don’t usually think about the gospel from this angle. We love our hope in eternal life, but haven’t considered what Jesus may have done for our present life.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Jesus lived a perfect life: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,”

Jesus was born, and then he lived. But he didn’t live like you and I live. He lived a life of perfect obedience to God, his Father. He “knew no sin.” That means he never lied to his parents, stole from his employer, cheated on a test, lusted in his heart, drank too much alcohol, or got angry for the wrong reasons. He lived without sin through all life’s stages. Jesus was a toddler, but he wasn’t terrible. He was a teenager, but he wasn’t angsty. He was a man, but he wasn’t prideful. He was on his deathbed made of wood, and he died with grace.

Not only did Jesus never sin, he also lived a holy life. This means he always did the right thing. He prayed enough, fasted enough, read the Scriptures enough, and gave enough to the poor. He did all those right things and more. Luke 2:52 gives us a glimpse of Jesus’ godly character. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Jesus was a person like us in his experience, yet unique from us in his perfection. Don’t you wish your everyday was more like Jesus’ everyday? Don’t you wish that you weren’t the sinner you are? Don’t you wish you are as holy and good as Jesus? Here’s the good news . . . you already are!

We get credit for Jesus’ perfect life: “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Jesus trades his righteousness for our sin. This is the great exchange. Through Jesus’ perfect life and substitutionary death, God has taken your sinful life and placed it on Jesus and taken his holy life and placed it on you. That’s what grace does. When God looks at you, he sees the life of his Son! God has permanently credited the righteousness of Jesus to your account. This truth is as old as Abraham trusting Yahweh in Genesis 15:6 and as fresh as Paul writing to the early church in Romans 3:21-26. The gospel is for every believer every day.

This means that when you wake up and blow it sometime this morning, afternoon, or evening—you are holy. This means that when you cuss out the driver in front of you for driving too slow and the driver behind you for driving too fast—you are holy. This means you don’t have to regret your teen years, or your college years—you are holy. This means when you forget to be polite and you don’t help your neighbor because it’s inconvenient—you are holy. This means that the hidden sin you don’t want anyone to know about are forgiven in God’s eyes,—you are holy. This means your worst offense is completely forgiven at Christ’s expense.

Not only does the gospel forgive our outward acts of sin, it cleanses our inward rebellion. Ezekiel 36:26-27 tells us the gospel has changed our very hearts. God takes your old hard heart and gives you a new soft one filled with the Holy Spirit. Where your life was empty, now your life is full. You are awash in righteousness where you once were lost in unrighteousness. When you sin today, remember that God sees you as he sees his son, forgiven and holy. One day your sin will be completely gone, and God’s righteousness will become intrinsic to who you are, but until then God has credited us with a spotless record that you may enjoy today. Thank you, Jesus.

Jesus has traded his thirty-three years of perfection for your whole life of disobedience and sin. This means you no longer have to wallow in despair, guilt, and doubt, because you are seen through the lens of Christ. One day soon our sin nature will go away, but until then we hope in Jesus and enjoy his righteousness. As one friend said when he finally understood the gospel, “That’s so unfair!” My dirty record is gone. Jesus’ fresh record is mine.


The gospel is the good news that Jesus lived a perfect life, died an innocent death, rose again so that we may spend eternity with him, and now credits us with his holy record so that we may enjoy a guilt-free life today. We make disciples by helping the lost believe the three days gospel and we mature those disciples by helping them live every day in appreciation for the thirty-three years gospel. We need the full gospel message to truly make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus.

This post was written by Jonathan M. Romig (M.Div., Gordon-Conwell),associate pastor at Immanuel Church in Chelmsford Massachusetts (CCCC). Jonathan blogs at

Seeing the Cross With Bi-Focals

Bi Focal 3

Is is essential to keep together these two complementary ways of looking at the cross. On the human level, Judas gave him up to the priests, who gave him up to Pilate, who gave him up to the soldiers, who crucified him. But on the divine level, the Father gave him up, and he gave himself up, to die for us. As we face the cross, then, we can say to ourselves both, “did it, my sins sent him there,” and “He did it, his love took him there.” The apostle Peter brought the two truths together in his remarkable statement on the Day of Pentecost, both that “this man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge” and that “you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” Peter thus attributed Jesus’ death simultaneously to the plan of God and to the wickedness of men. For the cross which, as we have particularly considered in this chapter, is an exposure of human evil, is at the same time a revelation of the divine purpose to overcome the human evil thus exposed.

~ John Stott

How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself

Preaching Gospel to Self

Paul, in Colossians 2.6, instructs us: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him…”  Simple words, but powerfully practical when unpacked.

How did we “receive” Jesus?  By faith and repentance – or by repentance and faith.  We are not quite sure which comes first, but perhaps that does not matter.  It may be that the order is different with different people. What matters is that genuine conversion involves both of these elements: Repentance of our sin and of all our desire and attempts to save ourselves through our good behavior; Faith in the gospel – the good news – of what Jesus has done on our behalf, and what is offered to us in him.

If these are the two elements by which we received Jesus then, according to the Apostle’s instruction, these are the two elements that should be characteristic of our day-to-day life in Jesus.  The old Puritan Thomas Watson once wisely noted: “Faith and repentance are the two wings by which we fly toward heaven.”  In other words, faith and repentance are not only the instruments by which the journey of salvation is initiated, these are the practices by which we travel.  These are the ingredients of spiritual growth leading to maturity.

The chart above reflects both faith and repentance, and provides a tool to help us be able to “preach the gospel to ourselves”.

It reminds us that when recognize sin in our lives, our response should not be to simply resolve to “stop it”. We need to discern its source.  In other words, the sin we see, the sin which shows itself in our behavior (and in our attitudes), has deeper roots and causes.  So, like an explorer commissioned to trace the a great river to discover its tributaries and its origin, we are called upon to discover what “root sins” are tributaries of our behavior, and ultimately what idols are the original source.  Once discovered – or even while in the process of discovery – “putting sin to death” requires that we confess it and repent of it.  All of it – the sinful behaviors, the attitudes that lead to it, and the idols that source it.  Growth in grace is greater than mere moral reform.  Growth in grace is a work of the Spirit upon the heart which eventually and inevitably leads to a change in behavior.

Yet growth in grace does not come by confession and repentance alone.  Such may lead to behavior change, if we feel guilty enough and desire to change. But that is not growth in grace.  Growth in grace requires that we believe what grace gives; that we ponder what is true, and good, and beautiful: chiefly among such things is the gospel, the good news of what God promises – and does – when we trust  in Jesus.  (Philippians 4.8)   Reminded of the truths of the gospel, our hearts change; they turn toward God, causing us to hunger to grow more like him, and enabling us to rely more on his promise that what he began he will complete.  (Philippians 1.6)

This is the spiritual discipline of preaching the gospel to ourselves.

Gospel vs. Legalism

Gospel vs. Legalsim

What is the difference between legalism and the gospel?

  • Legalism (or Moralism) says God looks at how well we keep the law.
  • The Gospel says we are hidden in Christ. So God sees how well Jesus kept the Law (perfectly), all his works, and his death on our behalf.  Consequently, because we are hidden in Christ, God sees the work of Jesus when he sees us. The gospel says that, because of God’s grace, all that Jesus is and did is credited (imputed) to us, through faith.  (Colossians 3.3, Ephesians 2.8, Romans 5.2, Galatians 2.20)

So what is the difference between the gospel and legalism? It is the difference between Christianity and every religion in the world.

Galatians For You & Other Resources

In the present sermon series in our church I am working through Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  Rather I should say “we” are working through the book of Galatians, as while I am preaching the bulk of the messages I am sharing the teaching with my Associate, Camper Mundy, and a couple of other pastors who are part of our church.  But in my preparations for each message there are a few non-technical resources I am uising that would also be beneficial for anyone who is studying Galatians – whether a seminary graduate or a typical church member wanting simply to deepen his/her understanding of this letter.

One of these resources is Tim Keller’s Galatians For You.  In the video above Tim introduces his intent in developing this book, and offers some suggestions of how it might be used beneficailly.  And though perhaps to those hearing my message may assume seeming little of Keller’s words may be overtly expressed my messages, without question the depth of Keller’s insights has helped shaped my understanding of this book and how the message applies to us today.

Below is a short list of some of the non-technical resources I am reading (or re-reading) during this series, Freedom: A Study of Galatians.

Gospel Wakefulness

One of the more helpful works I have read concerning gospel-centered Christianity is Jared Wilson‘s Gospel Wakefulness.  Perhaps most insightful to me was Jared’s point that gospel-centeredness can be explained but cannot be taught.  In other words, it requires a grace of the holy spirit.  I do not think this realization moves gospel-centeredness into a neo-gnostic or higher life kind of category.  It simply is the realization that it is God who must work in us in our sanctification.  Thus the phrase Jared Wilson uses is Gospel Wakefulness.

In this video, Jared Wilson explain what Gospel-Wakefulness is.   This is not a short video, by any measure.  But it is worth taking the time – whether in one sitting, or in a series of starts-and-stops.

Counterfeit Gospels

Having begun a new series of messages at our church, Freedom: A Study of Galatians, I am struck anew by the passion with which the Apostle Paul uncompromisingly declares: “There is NO OTHER Gospel!”  What Paul does throughout his letter to the Galatians, and vividly in the opening verses, is to impress that claim upon his readers as he points out and combats the counterfeit gospels – philosophies which purport themselves to be good news, but which are in reality fraudulent teachings dressed in Christianese garb.  Paul’s response to these philosophies is to declare: “Even if we (Apostles, including he himself), or an angel from heaven comes and teaches you something other than the gospel you originally received, let them be eternally cursed!.” The essence of what he says is: “Anyone who tries to teach a fraudulent gospel can just go to hell!”  He is obviously serious about this to offer such a severe retort.

Counterfeit gospels are not just something from the Apostolic age.  They are all too prevalent today – and not only in heterodox churches.  They are present in the best of churches, and in the hearts of some of the most sincere followers of Christ. I suspect it is in our spiritual DNA, part of our broken nature. Are hearts are deceitful. (Jeremiah 17.9)  We are susceptible to gospel distortions – which Paul reminds us “are no gospel at all”.

Some time ago I picked up and read a book by Trevin Wax, Counterfiet Gospels.  I found it to be among the most helpful books I have read.Counterfeit Gospels

In one sense, nothing in the book was new for me.  Still, Trevin does an excellent job of explaining the gospel in it’s various aspects:

  • Gospel Story: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration
  • Gospel Announcement: Life, Death, Resurrection, and Exaltation of Jesus
  • Gospel Community: The Church

Just as important, he takes some commonly held notions and connects them to the different dimensions of the gospel. Included among the categories he connects with and compares to the gospel:

  • Activist Gospel
  • Moralistic Gospel
  • Pietistic or Quietistic Gospel
  • Therapeutic Gospel
  • Judgmentlessness Gospel
  • Churchless Gospel

In exploring these ideas, he shows that while at root they are in may respects good, yet how when misunderstood or misapplied they are contributing to an erosion of  the Faith.

What I don’t think I had ever before adequately considered was the connection of the categories Trevin identifies with the gospel. And what I think I appreciated most is that he identifies and examines not only the negatives of these  ideas, but he also explains their positives points as well.  He astutely points out that it is the very real positive aspects that make these points popular and palatable, and yet which also make them easily confused and dangerous.

In the short video above Trevin Wax provides a quick overview of his book, and briefly explains the categories he identifies.  So even if you find my description of his book a little fuzzy or confusing, take a moment to watch the video so Trevin can clarify what I am trying to convey.

11 Personal Heart Examination Points to Consider


It might be beneficial to periodically take some moments to consider if, to some degree, we are functionally forgetting the gospel.

“Forgetting the gospel?”

Yep.  As absurd as such a thing may sound, it is a very common spiritual issue for all of us.

Consider 2 Peter 1.3-9:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

What Peter is saying here, after reminding us of some of the implications of the gospel (v. 3-4), that we should be diligent about cultivating godly characteristics (v. 5-7) because this cultivation process is part of God’s means of producing spritual fruit in us (v. 8).  Conversely, the absence of, or lack of, godly characteristic and/or spiritual fruit is not primarily from a lack of diligence, but due to a mental disconnect from the gospel (v. 9).  Peter is not at all suggesting that we have lost our slavation. He is simply explaining that when we turn our attention from the gospel – that we have been “cleansed from our former sins” – the transforming power of the gospel is somewhat diminished in its potency.  This forgetting the gospel is the cause of fruitlessness and lack of spiritual growth.

So it is a good idea to consider things like the following descriptions. If some of these apply, it may be an indication that at this point in time we are functionally forgetting the gospel.

  • The gospel doesn’t interest you – or it maybe it does, but just not as much as some other religious subjects.
  • You take nearly everything personally.
  • You frequently worry about what other people think.
  • You treat inconveniences like minor tragedies (or maybe even major tragedies).
  • You are impatient with people.
  • In general, you have trouble seeing the fruit of the Spirit in your life.  (Galatians 5.22-23)
  • The Word of God holds little interest.
  • You have great difficulty forgiving.
  • You are told frequently by your spouse, a close friend, or some other family members that you are too “clingy” or too controlling.
  • You think someone besides yourself is the worst sinner you know.  (1 Timothy 1.15)

If we find some of these description appy, it is not reason to despair. The remedy is simply to remind ourselves of the gospel – ponder it; preach it to ourselves. (Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent is a good resource to remind us of the gospel.)

Remember: We renew ourselves in the gospel by reminding ourselves of the gospel.

No Other Gospel

After learning I would be beginning a new sermon series this week, a study of the book of Galatians, a friend and colleague who is an Army Chaplain asked me if I had read the relatively new book, No Other Gospel.  Though I had seen it, I admitted I was not really familiar with it.  He suggested it would be a good parallel book to coincide with the series of messages we will be offering at Grace Covenant between now and Easter.

I picked it up, skimmed it this afternoon, and expect to commend it to our congregation – at least to No Otherthose who want to do a little digging of their own over the next few months.  (I’ll read it more thoroughly as well.)

In the video above Justin Taylor interviews the author of the book, Josh Moody, who serves the historic College Church of Wheaton.  Moody explains the basis and the gist of the book.