Graeme Goldsworthy on distinguishing the gospel from the response or results of the gospel

The main message of the Bible about Jesus Christ can easily become mixed with all sorts of things that are related to it. We see this in the way people define or preach the gospel. But it is important to keep the gospel itself clearly distinct from our response to it or from the results of it in our lives and in the world. If our proper response to the gospel message is faith, then we should not make faith part of the gospel itself. It would be absurd to call people to have faith in faith! While the new birth bears a close relationship to faith in Christ, it is a mistake to speak of the new birth as if it were itself the gospel. Faith in  the new birth as such will not save us.

It is, therefore, important to understand both what the gospel is, so that we include what must be believed, and what the gospel is not, so that we don’t require people to believe more than is necessary for salvation…

Related to the gospel event are other important aspects of God’s work which are not themselves the gospel. If we believe the gospel we will probably also believe these, but they are not the focus of our trust the way that the saving work of Jesus is. We do not preach them as the heart of our message to unbelievers…

The New Testament emphasizes the historic person of Christ and what he did to make it possible for us, through faith, to become the friends of God. The emphasis is also on him as the one who sums up and brings to their fitting climax all the promises and expectations raised in the Old Testament. There is a priority of order here that we must take into account if we are to understand the Bible correctly. It is the gospel event that brings about faith in the people of God, and the gospel that will motivate, direct, pattern and empower the life of the Christian community.

Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan, p. 81,82, 83

About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
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