December 2, 2010

The Gospel is NOT... A Datum

(This is the third post in the series "The Gospel is NOT...")

3. A Datum: Sorry to use such an unconventional word here, but my main point in this post is that while the Gospel is factual, it is not merely a set of facts.

When talking about the Gospel, we must recognize that we are presented with radical truth claims about who God is, who Jesus Christ is, who we are, what our greatest need is and how that need can be met. On one hand, this means that we cannot simply say we believe in the Gospel and not understand what that actually means. This is why we must be so careful to present and understand the Gospel correctly. Yes, it can be presented in a variety of ways and in different contexts but the core truths cannot be changed. Otherwise, we will not have the Gospel, but a false one.

On the other hand, simply agreeing with these truth claims does not equate a reception of the Gospel. These truths must be understood and accepted, but they call for radical change. The truth of Jesus Christ calls us to confess and repent (turn away) of our sin and to trust and rely on Jesus alone to save us. One can agree with the truthfulness of Scripture and still not have saving faith. One may even be able to know how to defend Christianity historically and logically and still not have saving faith. We cannot simply say that we accept these things; we must trust in them. 

It may help to have an example. I believe that the Earth is 93 million miles away from the sun and that it orbits it every 365.25 days. I can validate this scientifically and mathematically and I can show you well documented proof of these facts. However, they have nearly no effect on my daily life. I don't get up every morning and think about how the light had to travel 93 million miles to get to where I am. I don't adjust my daily routine because the Earth's orbit is 365.25 days. 

Those who have saving faith are entirely different.  They take the facts of the Gospel and stake their entire life on them. They will not be able to go on living as they once did before their encounter with these glorious truths. True saving faith will produce a radical change in their hearts and in their lives, a radical change that is not the basis of our faith, but the result of it. 




© 2009Mind in Renewal | by TNB