What is the Gospel? - Lesson 8
The Gospel for All of Life
The Gospel for All of Life
TH106-08: The Gospel for All of Life
I. Understanding the Gospel
A. Definition and Importance
B. Historical and Theological Context
II. The Gospel and Everyday Life
A. Personal Relationships
B. Work and Career
C. Society and Culture
III. The Gospel and Spiritual Growth
A. Sanctification and Transformation
B. Prayer and Worship
IV. The Gospel's Impact on the World
A. Evangelism and Discipleship
B. Social Justice and Compassion
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the gospel's significance, its historical context, essential components, and implications for Christian life and relationships.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you'll understand the importance of Creation, the biblical account in Genesis, the Fall's consequences, and the Gospel's role in restoring creation.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteBy studying this lesson, you learn about the biblical perspective on sin, its origins, effects on human nature and society, and the restorative power of the Gospel message.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain insight into God's faithfulness in both the Old and New Testaments, from covenant relationships with Israel to the fulfillment of promises in Jesus Christ, guiding your life and encouraging others.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain insight into Jesus as the Messiah, His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and the profound impact of His life and ministry on humanity's salvation.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain a thorough understanding of the atonement, its theories, biblical basis, and practical implications for personal salvation and spiritual growth.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteIn this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the Gospel, its power in salvation, and its implications in your life, emphasizing the balance between God's sovereignty and human responsibility.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you'll learn how the Gospel shapes all aspects of life, from personal relationships to societal issues, and fosters spiritual growth, ultimately guiding your approach to evangelism and social justice.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThis lesson equips you to recognize and address challenges to the gospel, including pluralism, relativism, and secularism, and offers biblical guidance for defending your faith.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you learn effective strategies for communicating the Gospel, addressing objections, and building bridges between your message and your audience.0% Complete
This course is designed to help believers reconsider their understanding of the Gospel. What is the Gospel? How is the Gospel related to the eternal plan of God? What does the Gospel mean to each believer today? Dr. Cortez answers these and other critical questions.
Dr. Marc Cortez
What is the Gospel?
The Gospel for All of Life
[00:00:01] The following lecture is provided by biblical training. More information is available at WW w dot Biblical training dot org. In our first lesson together in this process of exploring what is the gospel, we talked about the idea that the gospel was not just a ticket, not just that which you use to get into the Christian life, but was much more like a key and the key that you would use to operate a car. Certainly that was which you need to get into the car. But what we talked about was that the gospel connected to more than just how one becomes a Christian, how one gets into the Christian life, but really has a lot more to do with everything about the Christian life. And in many ways in that listen, I made a little bit of a promise is what I promise was that as we went through this study of understanding the gospel, you would learn some things about the gospel and you would come to understand how the gospel informs everything that it means to be a Christian, not just how you become a Christian, but how you live as a Christian in every area of life. And now that we've reached this stage in the process of understanding the Gospel, I guess it's time for me to fulfill that promise and give us a little bit of time to reflect now on if this is the amazing story of the gospel. Really, what does that have to do with all of life? Now, before we go on to that, though, let's pause a moment and reflect and make sure that we understand what we have been saying up to this point about the gospel. Let's go back to that definition of the gospel that I gave us way back in that first lesson together.
[00:01:41] We started out by saying that the gospel is the good news. Of course, that being what gospel means. And it's the good news that through Jesus Christ, he's certainly any attempt to understand or unpack the Gospel will need to center and focus attention on Jesus Christ. What was God doing in Jesus Christ? Who was Jesus Christ? And we spend time together reflecting on Jesus Christ as the Son of God, as the Messiah, as the promised one, as God Himself. And so our gospel story absolutely needs to center on the good news that through Jesus Christ or through Jesus Christ, What? Well, through Jesus Christ, God has accomplished. And we reflected together on why that was so important, because what we needed to know was that God has already done everything necessary to bring about the good news, to bring about the gospel. And certainly we're involved in this, and we'll get to that in a second. But we want to focus again on the fact that the story is about God. And when God worked through Jesus on the cross in his life, on the cross, in the resurrection, God accomplished everything necessary. This is a story that has a climax that has happened. So it's the good news that through Jesus Christ, God has accomplished all that is ultimately necessary to bring about His glorious plan. And we spent a fair amount of time reflecting together on that plan. It's a plan that we really traced all the way from the beginning of Genesis, and we looked at God's creative plans and what he was doing in his purpose, to manifest his glory in creation through his people, that God's presence might be made known everywhere. And we talked about how amazing that plan was and our role in that as his image bearers.
[00:03:40] And we talked about that being a plan of God that extended throughout the whole story, a plan that God remains faithful to it despite our fall into sin, a plan that God remains faithful to in promising that he would address it, a plan that he remains faithful to in sending the Messiah, a plan that he remains faithful to throughout this age, and a plan that he promises he will fulfill. So we look forward to the final completion of God's plan when he is again glorified and honored throughout creation through his people. So we talk together about God's glorious plan and how important it was to understand what God was trying to accomplish from the beginning, all the way through to the very end. And we talked about that through faith in the grace of God. You and I can participate in that glorious plan. Again, this is God's story. But the tremendous news in all of this is that he invites us into it. He extends us an invitation, opening wide the doors to the kingdom, opening wide the doors to the garden, the doors to shalom, and invites us inside as a gift that we accept by grace through faith. And in that we are brought to the father in the son, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel. If the good news that God has this amazing plan that he has been about from the very beginning, has remained faithful to throughout and will continue to accomplish all the way to the end, and that he invites you and I to participate in it. If that is the gospel, if that's what we have been reflecting on together, then so what? Really? So what difference does it make? How does any of this really matter for life? It's been a fascinating process.
[00:05:39] I think we've probably enjoyed. I hope we've enjoyed unpacking the story together. But really, what difference does it make? Well, how we understand the gospel impacts every area of our life. At the very least, if we get this story down right first, we want to say that we will develop a gospel centered perspective. A gospel centered perspective, a gospel centered way of looking at life so that we realize how central the gospel is to everything. Just think of the story that we've told. What lies outside of that story. A story that goes all the way from creation to the future to the end. A creation. That story that encompasses all of creation and every person in it. A story that encompasses me both as one fallen and now as one redeemed and now one called to live out a kingdom life, to be an image bearer in creation, to manifest God's glory wherever I go. So that my task now as an image bearer is to make sure that the good news is proclaimed, to make sure that the Gospel is made known, to make sure that the blessings of the Kingdom are displayed, to make sure that God's presence is recognized wherever I go. What could possibly lie outside of that story? It's a perspective that allows me to see that everything about me, whether it's school or work or family, my leisure time, all of that is a part of. Or is touched by the Gospel as I am brought into the story of God. And then I go out as one who seeks to extend the story into all of the areas of my life. So a gospel centered perspective perspective should help me to see that everything becomes an opportunity to image God, to manifest the kingdom.
[00:07:44] Everything in my life is connected to and informed by or should be the gospel. So this should alter how we view everything. It should completely reorient our perspective. So when I walk outside now and I look at creation, I don't just see trees and mountains and clouds and sky. I do see that. But I don't just see that because what I see now is I see God's land in which He manifests his glory. It's not just stuff. It's stuff that God created for a purpose. So I look out at creation and I see the glory of God. The next time I see a person do this, the next person that you see, look at that person and think. Created in the image of God to manifest His presence in creation and be a blessing to everyone everywhere. My perspective on people has to change The next time you walk into church, when you walk through those doors and you see the people gathered together, you look at that from a gospel centered perspective and you think God's people in God's land to God's glory is a manifestation of the kingdom. This isn't just a group of people who've gathered together to learn about the Bible. Certainly they'll do that. This isn't just to people who've gathered together to sing songs or to worship. Certainly they do that. This is God's people from all the way. In the beginning of Genesis one, God was about creating a people all the way to the end. In the new heavens, in the new Earth, God celebrates His relationship with his people. I walk into church on Sunday morning. I see God's people. Amazing the Kingdom of God displayed on earth. My perspective shifts the Gospel reorients how I see everything.
[00:09:48] So at the very least, I'm not sure how least that is at the very most. Maybe the gospel gives us a new perspective on every aspect of life. Certainly a second thing that we would want to say is that this understanding of the gospel will give us a gospel centered understanding of conversion of salvation itself, because we'll come to understand that salvation is from God. Salvation begins with him and we don't begin salvation because as we discussed together, we're dead. So anything that we have, we get from God. We'll spend a little bit of time together in the next lesson talking about some of the challenges that arise to the gospel, some of the ways in which we might misunderstand or misconstrue the gospel. One of those is we'll have a tendency to think that we accomplish our own salvation. A gospel centered understanding of salvation will convince us that that is simply not the case. We do not accomplish our own salvation because salvation is always from God as a gift. From the father through the son and the power of the Holy Spirit to his people that we might be what He wants us to be. And so Acts 412 tells us that there is no there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. And what name is that? It's the name of Jesus Christ, because salvation is only through God. A gospel centered understanding of conversion is going to convince us that salvation is only from God and it only leads to God. A gospel centered understanding of salvation is going to help us understand that being saved isn't fundamentally about having the best life that I can possibly have.
[00:11:35] That certainly is one of the blessings of salvation, that I am able to be human as God fully and originally intended me to be human. But that's not the point. And but this is a story about God, about manifesting his glory in creation. A gospel centered understanding of conversion takes the focus off of me, places the focus on God where it belongs. Certainly there are blessings that are poured out on me as a result of that. Yes. And amen. And that's outstanding. But the focus is that salvation is from God and it leads to God. If I have a story of salvation that doesn't rejoice and celebrate glory and the fact that this road, the salvation process that I'm on, leads to God as my ultimate satisfaction, that I'm telling the wrong story. So a gospel said an understanding of salvation is going to flip my understanding of salvation around so that I recognize salvation comes from God, not me. Salvation leads to God, not me. Salvation focuses, as always, on God and not me. And we should also be developing as a result of coming to appreciate this story a little bit better a gospel centered understanding of discipleship. So we have a little bit of a tendency, as we've talked about, to think that the Gospel is about the beginning of the Christian life. It's about conversion. It's not about growing as a Christian, about sanctification. We have this sense that you become a Christian by grace through faith. But you grow as a Christian through hard work. Really. If you want to grow as a Christian, what do you need to do? Well, you read the Bible, you go to church, you pray, you tithe, you maybe go to Sunday school. You have this this rather lengthy checklist of things that you need to accomplish to grow as a Christian.
[00:13:22] And really, growing is about really working hard at accomplishing those various things. If you're not growing spiritually and you go to a fellow believers say, really, I'm struggling in my spiritual life. I don't feel like I'm making the progress that I should. The advice that you'll often receive is, Well, you need to read your Bible more. You need to pray more, you need to go to church more. You need to check the boxes off a little bit more effectively. You need to work harder. You know, don't mishear me. I'm not saying that any of those things are unimportant. All of those things are fundamentally a part of what it means to be Christian. But we've got to get them oriented in the right way. According to a Ephesians two eight through ten four by grace, you have been saved through faith and this is not of your own doing. It is the gift of God, not as a result of work, so that no one may boast, for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. So Paul wants to make sure that we understand that being saved and understand again, that being saved isn't just about becoming a Christian salvation biblically speaking. It covers all of what it means to be a Christian. Being saved is about grace and faith from beginning to end. We are saved by grace. We are saved through faith. Our works flow from that. You must hear that our works as Christians, those things that we do flow out of our lives transformed by grace through faith. We do not accomplish our salvation either at the beginning or in the middle or at the end through our works.
[00:15:06] That was Paul's concern about the Galatians. If you go back and look at the first few verses in the book of Galatians Chapter three, Paul is concerned that the Galatians have failed to understand that salvation throughout is by grace, through faith. He even calls them foolish Galatians. And what is his concern? Well, his concern is they have misunderstood the way that works function in discipleship. They think that you get saved by grace and that you grow as a Christian through works and he wants them to understand how fundamentally wrong that is because it undermines the nature of grace in the Christian life. Now, certainly there's a role for works. Paul does not in any sense neglect the importance of living out our Christian life and living out our Christian life in observable ways, wholly lifestyles, spiritual disciplines. And Paul absolutely sees those as a fundamental part of the Christian life, but we don't do any of them to earn growth. It isn't as though the Christian life is made up of a bunch of milestones and you earn them one at a time as you more and more effectively go about accomplishing these various tasks. Salvation is a gift. Salvation is a gift at the beginning. It's a gift in the middle, and it's a gift at the end. God loves us and He wants to pour himself into us. He gives us the spirit to transform our lives, to transform our hearts that we might come to love the things of God and out of our new heart, out of that new love, out of that transformed life as an awareness of how gracious all of this is and that it's all a gift out of all of that, then we live. That orients the works in a proper way.
[00:16:50] Again, think of a marriage relationship. How pleased would my wife be if she knew that I was doing the things that she liked? Because I had a little checklist in my pocket and I didn't really want to. But I know that I need to do these things. And so one at a time, I check them off, I come home, give her a kiss, say I love you, give her a hug, talk to her about her day. Jack, I've got all those things. I'm doing just fine. All right, Put the list. My pocket. At the end of the day, I'm good to go. The marriage relationship isn't working very well. What I really need to do is I need to check those boxes off more often. Come home at the end of the day, kiss her twice to hugs, ask more questions about her day. Seriously, is that how a love relationship works? Well, of course not. And yet we take that same framework into our relationship with God, and we think that's how it works. Now, as we soak in the story of the gospel, hopefully we come to understand that this is all a gift that God's grace extends to us from the very beginning of our creation. He created this out of grace. He sustained just out of grace. He redeems us out of grace. He pursues us out of grace. The whole story is about grace. And as we become really overwhelmed by that story, as we become amazed by the power of God's grace, as we become transformed by the Spirit working in us, as our hearts are renewed, then we can live out the lives that God has called us to live. So when I go home this evening, do I give my wife a kiss? And do I tell her that I love her? And do I ask about her day? Yes.
[00:18:33] And I do all of those things because I love her, not because I'm checking off boxes. So a gospel centered understanding of discipleship will cause us to really flip our understanding of discipleship around and see that grace has to start. The process works, flow from that. Any alternative, any other way of doing this creates a relationship with God that is based on task and list and obligation. And that's not how the gospel teaches us. Discipleship. A gospel centered perspective will also lead to a gospel centered understanding of ministry in the church. The ministry is much bigger than we think that it is. If ministry is living out of the gospel, if ministry is being an image bearer and creation, if ministry is extending the kingdom wherever I am, then ministry is as big as the gospel. To a gospel centered understanding of ministry is going to cause me to realize that ministry isn't just about what I do in church on Sunday morning. That is ministry. But ministry is more than that. And for those of you who work in secular non-Christian contexts, when you walk into your workplace, that's ministry because you are an image bearer. You are one called by God to live out the gospel wherever you are and extend the kingdom, wherever you are, to manifest God's presence, wherever you are. When you walk into the workplace, that is ministry. We have an unfortunate tendency to separate our ministry lives, our church lives, as though that was something different than our work lives. No, they're both ministry. If you work at home, that's ministry. When you're parenting, that's ministry. Every time we have the opportunity to live gospel lives and to make sure that God's presence is known in creation, that's ministry.
[00:20:40] So a gospel centered perspective of life will help us see that life is ministry and we need to live our lives that way. We need to live our lives in recognition of the fact that every opportunity is ministry. We are ministers of the Kingdom. Wherever God has placed us. So a gospel centered perspective is going to give us a gospel centered understanding of ministry that's going to really unpack and expand our horizons. That means that a gospel centered perspective is going to give us a gospel centered understanding of our families. What does it mean to have a gospel centered family? It will certainly. We could take a whole nother series on what does it mean to be a gospel centered family. But at the very least, it means in our families, in our homes were attempting to help each other understand the gospel. So when I go home and I see my wife, I'm seeing image of God created to manifest his presence as a gift of God's grace, to be a blessing to everyone everywhere. And when I see my four year old daughter, I'm seeing exactly the same thing. And I'm helping my daughters understand the gospel. So that when we talk about life and I'm helping them think through decisions, I'm helping them see how their decisions connect to and are informed by the Gospel so that my daughters themselves come to see themselves as image bearers created to manifest his presence. And my daughters, even at their age, begin to see themselves as ministers of the kingdom. And my daughters begin to soak in the gospel. A gospel centered family is going to spend time together telling the gospel story to each other so that we understand the gospel and we soak in it and we come to appreciate all of it.
[00:22:37] A gospel centered family is going to develop a gospel centered perspective in the family so that when we talk about money and we talk about time and recreation, vacation plans, ministry plans, all of those kinds of things, we're going to see all of them as connected to and informed by the gospel. So a gospel centered perspective is going to reorient and rearrange how we understand our families. A gospel centered perspective, as I mentioned earlier, is going to reorient and rearrange how we understand work again so that we walk into the workplace and we see it as an opportunity for ministry. We see it as really the place where we spend the majority of our time when we're not sleeping. And we don't separate it from the gospel so that the majority of our time is spent doing some non gospel thing. We recognize that. No, that itself is an expression of gospel. God created us to work. Think back to the garden. God created Adam and Eve and who gave them the garden to care for it. We fast forward all the way to the end and the new heavens in the new earth. And God has things for us to do. God's created us to work as an expression of being an image bearer. God has created us to work so that throughout all of creation we will be a blessing and manifest his presence. So when you walk into work, you're not just making money. Hopefully you are making money, but you're not just making money. That is an opportunity to be an image bearer. If you're not working, if you're unemployed, then whatever else it is that you are doing with your time is an opportunity for ministry because you are an image bearer.
[00:24:12] Minister of the Kingdom called to manifest God's presence wherever you are. So a gospel centered perspective is going to re-orient and really reshape how we view every area of life. So if we go back to what I said at the very beginning, the gospel is not just a ticket. The gospel is not just something that you need to understand to get into the theme park, and then you take that and you put it away and you go on about your business and you go to church to do church things, and you go to work to do work things. And at home you do family things. What is in it at all. The gospel is so much bigger than that. The gospel is so much more shaping and transforming than that, so that when we go to church. We worship with the people of God and together manifest his presence. When we go to work, we see it as an opportunity to be a minister of the kingdom and manifest his presence when we come home. We see that as an opportunity to be image bearers together and remind our selves as families. What an amazing story this all adds. When we approach our own spiritual development, our discipleship or the discipleship of others, we remember that this is all a gift. The gospel is not a ticket. The gospel reshapes and transforms the way that we see everything. That's tremendously good news. So we go on into the next lesson, though. We're going to spend a little bit of time reflecting together on what are some of the challenges? What are some of the things that we face that can cause us to misunderstand the gospel? What are some of the things that we need to be aware of so that we don't go on and lose sight of this story and confuse the gospel in ourselves or in the people around us? That would really be the task now for our next lesson.
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