This update is from the February 14th meeting of ASK Daegu. Each member contributed something to the message that follows. We pray that our group encourages you in the same way that it encouraged all of us.
Have you ever heard the gospel of Jesus? Do you know the gospel of Jesus? What did you hear? What do you know? Did it affect you? Did it change you?
These questions emerged as we read Galatians 1. For most Christians, the answers to these questions are all instinctively affirming, but are tragically confined to the past tense. Many Christians began with the gospel but eventually saw it as a step to other future steps. We once found the gospel refreshing, but over time felt we exhausted it of all of its information, interest and power. Many Christians will revisit the gospel via a Sunday sermon or a Bible reading plan, but when asked whether they still personally read and enjoy the gospel of Jesus in the same way they did when they first became a Christian, the answer for many would be “no.”
The truth is, there is no other gospel. Being a Christian is grounded in the foundation of Jesus Christ. While the other books of the Bible help us to understand the ministry and purpose of Jesus, the rest of the Bible is incomplete without Jesus. He is the key. He is the purpose for all other chapters in the Bible. By removing Jesus from the Bible one effectively removes all purpose from the Bible. Without Jesus, aside from being a historical resource or reference for the nation of Israel, the Bible is useless.
When we come to Christianity seeking something other than God through Jesus Christ, we fail to understand his gospel and our Christianity is pointless. When we come to Christianity with preformed ideas, assumptions, conditions and theories of our own that we apply to the text, we will never meet God, we will never understand Jesus and becoming a “Christian” from this place is equivalent to being a disciple of Santa Claus. It’s embarrassingly foolish and idiotic.
Many Christians grow bored with the Gospels. Many Christians actually grow bored of Jesus and His words. We must never stop being overwhelmed by Jesus and what he accomplished in the Gospels for us. If we have stopped being overwhelmed in waves of ecstasy and joy by Jesus and his ministry we must ask ourselves why. What gospel do we now prescribe to? The gospel of our own knowledge? The gospel of our own professional success? The gospel of our bank account? The gospel of our physical appearance? The gospel of control? The gospel of popularity? Nothing should ever challenge what we have been given by Jesus in his salvation work on Calvary. In Christ alone is our joy and the gospel is where we are privileged to reread and revisit that joy. Have you ever had that joy? Have you lost that joy?