Do We Know the Gospel?
by Marlin Caddell
October 9, 2015
EPHESIANS 2:1-10: 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, is purported to have said, “We need to hear the Gospel everyday because we forget it every day.”
That’s why you hear Jeremy preach the Gospel every week. That’s also why you hear Josh leading us in songs every week that proclaim the greatness of God and the truth of the Gospel.
It’s essential for us weekly (and EVERY DAY) to reset our minds and hearts on Christ and remind ourselves that He is our very life, the treasure of our souls and is better than anything else this world can offer.
There’s also a critical question that you need to be able to answer yourself: What is the Gospel? There’s not enough time in a short blog post to talk about all the things that aren’t the Gospel, but what is this Gospel (good news) that we proclaim?
As ministers of reconciliation, God has sent us out into the mission fields of our schools, offices, hospitals, factories, restaurants and homes. He has given us the mission to proclaim what Christ has done through His life, death, burial and resurrection.
So, if someone got in an elevator with you and asked you directly what the Gospel was, could you explain it to them in 60 seconds? I’m not talking about digging into every nuance of Scripture or going through every important church doctrine.
Could you tell them about how the grace, mercy and sacrifice of Christ brought you back to life and saved you from your putrid, stinking past? Could you talk about being clothed in Christ’s righteousness and being filled with the Holy Spirit who is in the process of making you more like Him? Could you talk about the desperate need to trust in Christ and that all eternity hangs in the balance?
As 1 Peter 3:15-16 says,
“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
Every single one of us needs to be prepared to give the reason for the hope we have in Christ. We need to know the Gospel to share with others and to hold it close in our own hearts.
Ephesians 2:1-10 spells out the Gospel clearly for us. Let’s break it down.
Verses 1-3 talk about our condition before Christ. We were dead in our sins. We weren’t just in a bad way or needing a little religious activity to help us. We were dead. Stinking dead. We followed after Satan and the world’s pleasures and we liked it. We didn’t treasure God; we treasured ourselves and what we could get out of life. This nature and rebellion against God completely separates us from Him. We are helplessly and hopelessly lost until…
Verses 4-9: BUT GOD… These could possibly be the best two words written in Scripture. God’s grace and his mercy saved us through faith alone when we were dead in our sins. He saved us by His perfect life and His death on a Cross, where He took the full punishment for sin. Then, God raised Him from the dead conquering death and the grave. He adopted us into His family and raised us up to be with Christ. We have an eternity to spend with Him, where he’ll be able to continue to show us the “immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness…”
1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-5: 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
This is the Gospel. Grace that is greater than all our sin!