The gospel message is central to the Christian faith. But what is the gospel and who is it for? Is it a religious doctrine, a book of the Bible, or a spiritual fairy tale? And what do we do with it after we hear it?
While the gospel message is timeless, the way every generation understands it is subject to change. It is crucial that the church in every generation should seek to thoughtfully and lovingly teach the central truth of the good news of Jesus Christ that rescues the lost and rejuvenates the church.
Recently we taught on the story of Paul’s conversion: the story of how one of the most predominant persecutors of Christians, and the hater of all things Jesus, became one of the greatest proclaimers of the message of Jesus. Paul went from declaring the church of Jesus Christ as public enemy number one, to declaring the centrality, exclusivity, and majesty of the gospel of Jesus. And Galatians is his letter that puts the gospel on unique display.
While there is so much for us to explore and unpack in Galatians, one thing in particular that we hope to show is how the message of the gospel speaks to both Christians and non-Christians. There is a tendency to simply view the gospel as a message for unbelievers who need to repent and believe in Jesus. Certainly the gospel is no less than this, but it is indeed much more.
The good news of Jesus does not cease to be good or relevant to someone the moment after they believe. On the contrary, the day you come to believe in the gospel is the day that you realize how much you need it every day. The gospel message of Jesus is vital for the believer and for the non-believer. As Tim Keller puts it, “The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A–Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom.”[Keller blog]
As we journey through this letter of Galatians, it is our prayer that the power of the gospel would continue to break through the darkness in our lives as we come to see the truth that this gospel is our only hope in life and death. There is no other.