Assuming the Gospel is the height of arrogance. It is as if we were saying, “We all know what God has done for us in Jesus, so we can go on to teach and learn other things today.” St. Paul gave much apostolic direction for living the Christian life – “bearing with one another” (Colossians 3:13), “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), “walking by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), and seeing the “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Yet Paul always put such admonition in the context of Christ’s saving work for us. In fact, Paul was adamant about the priority of the cross: “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2: 2)… No matter what else Paul had to say, the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation are the center, the essence, the focal point of all Christian preaching. Whether the subject is justification or sanctification, it all comes back to the cross. No preaching, no Christian teaching is complete unless it brings us back to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ on the cross. Indeed, anything else the preacher might proclaim is meaningless, unless it flows into or out of the message that Jesus died and rose for us. Every doctrine of Scripture is designed by God ultimately to bring the comfort of sins forgiven and eternal life in Christ to the penitent sinner.Herbert C. Mueller, Jr., “The Gospel Assumed is the Gospel Denied” in Concordia Pulpit Resources 15, no. 3
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Gospel Assumed...
Often as Christians will admit that we live life assuming the gospel. By that, we mean we "move past" the gospel to other things. Gospel becomes those things that are elementary and then we stop declaring them to "move on" to other things. Then when we assume the gospel, we confuse the gospel (because we never talk about it and forget it). Then after we confuse the gospel we deny the gospel. I came across this selection recently and think it is appropriate to share: