When I preached recently, I reminded us of where the New Testament writers got their word “gospel.” They borrowed it from their culture: the gospel was the proclamation of a herald that the king had won a decisive victory and would soon return in triumph. New Testament writers seized on that language to tell us what God has given us in the death and resurrection of Christ; he has won the decisive victory over sin and death and will someday return in triumph.
But the gospel – the good news about Jesus – can grow stagnant if we don’t “pay it forward,” if we don’t look for opportunities to share that good news with people who need to hear it.
I want to recommend two resources to refresh our commitment to the gospel.
Ray Ortlund’s book The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ is a simple, straightforward examination of exactly how the gospel is good news, for each of us individually and for us as a covenant community of faith in Christ. I am reading it now. A few copies are available on the Discipleship Resources shelves across from the children’s ministry welcome desk.
RightNow Media’s Gospel on the Ground provides two excellent videos on what it means to make our lives a conduit of the gospel to people around us who need to hear the good news about Jesus. The videos are accompanied by several questions for reflection and application.
Read Orlund’s The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ, and check out RightNow Media’s Gospel on the Ground. But regardless of what you read or watch on your screen, pray faithfully for your neighbors and co-workers who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God will open doors for you to cultivate a relationship with them so that you can be the herald who proclaims the good news: Christ has conquered death and sin.
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