WHY WE PREACH THE GOSPEL EVERY SUNDAY
Why do we preach the Gospel every Sunday to a church full of mostly Christians? Should we not be teaching our congregation to live a more holy life? Why would you not want to preach about how to be a better father on Fathers Day? Or mother on Mothers Day? Or name your event/holiday.
The short answer is because the Gospel, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...” –Romans 1:16.
The answer that I believe is worth reading, and knowing, is expounded upon more in God is the Gospel by John Piper.
To often as Christians we forget that the Gospel is not only good for salvation, but is essential for sanctification. After learning that Jesus lived a perfect life, died the perfect death, and rose from the dead as the propitiation for our sin (took the full wrath of God that we deserved and it was exhausted upon him), the church often asks, what’s next? Now what do I do? In doing so we force the law upon ourselves in a feeble attempt to live up to the standards that God already fulfilled; When in actuality the church should lean into the Gospel, dive deeper and deeper into the Good News of Jesus Christ.
John Piper states that “The Gospel is central, not only in conversion, but in the ongoing transformation of believers” (90). Piper brings the reader to 1 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed in to the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
In an effort to earn what Christ has already accomplished, finished, we often focus on becoming sanctified by our actions. Sanctification is becoming more like Jesus, which is a great thing, and a noble cause, the only problem is that people with a sin nature cannot achieve this without a heart change, that we cannot make happen ourselves.
Piper writes that, “Beholding is becoming. We are transformed into the image of the Lord by fixing our attention on his glory.” What does this mean? As we focus on who Jesus is, on what the Gospel, the Good News of what God has done for mankind is, we are transformed to be more like Christ. As we dwell on the works of Jesus, his love and grace, they infect us like a disease that we crave and desire. Just as we cannot achieve the righteousness of God on our own, but he achieved it for us through the work of Christ, we cannot achieve greater holiness through our own work, but only through the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The old adage of “you are what you eat” is true to an extent, or as Piper puts it, “We absorb what we admire.” Gaze upon the Beauty of the Gospel, the love, grace, and mercy that Jesus has for you. Dive deep into the Gospel, and nothing but the Good News of Jesus Christ.