The gospel is not just a message, it is a world re-creating event that continues to live on in the community of Jesus' friends.
That thought struck me while I was praying for...something...the other day. Many of us, including myself, tend to think about the gospel as just a message, something along the lines of, "Jesus died for my sins so that I can go to heaven when I die." While that statement is true, it doesn't really do justice to the gospel.
The gospel is more than words; it's something that happened. The gospel is the atoning death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus. That's an event, a thing that really happened in history. But this event was so powerful and world-shattering that its effects can still be felt today, thousands of years and thousands of miles from where it occurred.
The death and resurrection of Jesus live on in the community of his friends because that event transforms us; in fact, we live it out each day. Every day we die to our old sinful patterns of thought and behavior, and every die we rise again to new life in Jesus.
The gospel was and is an event that re-creates the world, and it starts in the community of those who call themselves friends and followers of Jesus. More to the point, the gospel is an event that re-creates you. Paul called the gospel "the power of God for salvation." I don't know about you, but I need to be saved and re-created every day.
This is what the gospel says to us: 1) All my sins--past, present, and future--have been forgiven by God through the death of Jesus; and 2) Jesus rose again from the dead by the power of God, the same power that is now at work in me through the Holy Spirit. God has forgiven you through the blood of Jesus. God has given you resurrection power through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. God has given you everything you need to be re-created, to be the person that, deep in your heart, you truly want to be.
In Christ, you are not who you used to be. By the power of the Spirit, you can become the person God is re-creating you to be. Live the gospel today.