I love well researched and written works. I believe that God entrusts us with gifts and means to communicate. With that our obligation is to do the best with what we have and leave the rest to God’s Spirit. Any communication of any message, any preaching of God’s Word must be done well.
Matt Chandler (with Jared Wilson) have done a splendid job in a great work, “The Explicit Gospel“. I will do a review of it when I’m done with it. It is probably one of the best books (besides the Bible, of course) that communicates the Gospel in a non-complex, yet accurate way.
The reason I write this post is because of something that struck me as I read. It is a statement that wowed and convicted me, all at the same time:
The gospel doesn’t terminate on individual salvation… – The Explicit Gospel
I know that ultimately, God’s plan is for a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). I’ve also read the Romans 8:19-25 and just focused on how creation just can’t wait for the sons of God to become perfected…
Something I’ve overlooked for a while is how the culmination of the Gospel is not just individual salvation. That our salvation (as a result of the Gospel) is connected to nature as well. Man’s fallenness also brought bondage and decay to nature. I feel embarrassed to admit that I’ve, in a sense, ‘forgotten’ that part of God’s plan is that, with man’s restoration through his salvation, God wants to and will restore creation as well.
Another trap that we can easily get caught in is to think that God is just about saving us and restoring creation. This kind of thinking puts us at the centre of the Gospel. Though we benefit from the Gospel, though creation will ultimately benefit from our salvation, we are not the ultimate object of the Gospel.
The ultimate object of the Gospel is God’s glory and the consolidation of Christ’s supremacy [Click to Tweet]
Creation sings of God’s grandeur, power and majesty. It has been somewhat limited in doing this because of sin. I must remember that though I am a beneficiary of God’s grace through the Gospel, I’m not the object. No!
God’s glory is. I would love to think that God went through all the trouble He did to save me and that is all, but that is only a part of the story.
This also means I should be careful that my worship of God is God-centred and focused. I could think of God’s saving me from sin and its power for the sake of me and forget that His glory trumps that, to say the least.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. – Colossians 1:15-20 [NLT]
God, help me to keep you at the centre and circumference of everything.
We’re stunting the gospel when we think it starts and ends with our individual salvation [Click to Tweet]
[disclosure: book link is affiliate]