Monday, June 9, 2008

Assuming the Gospel

Last week’s program at the White Horse Inn considered the question of whether we as churches and believers are guilty of assuming the gospel.

From the introduction to the program:

"Otherwise faithful, orthodox, bible preaching churches can leave Christ out of the picture by just simply assuming everyone knows He’s already in it."

"Taking it for granted that people need the gospel in order to 'get saved'; many seem to think we can then move on in the Christian life and look to other resources for our spiritual development than the gospel."

"When we assume the gospel, we lose not only our sense of wonder at God’s amazing grace, but the only hope of genuine experience and transformation. We end up with what Paul called a 'form of godliness while denying its power'. The power, not only at the beginning of the Christian life, but in the middle and the end; not only for conversion, but for growth and discipleship, is always the gospel of Jesus Christ."

While the focus of the program was on pastors and preaching in local churches, it made me pause to think about the church’s and believer’s involvement in politics. When we get involved in political, moral, and social issues, it can be easy for us to “assume the gospel”.

We may assume people know what it really means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

We may assume people know our standards are rooted in the very holiness and character of God.

We may assume people know our real problems are not political, but spiritual, and that what they really need are changed hearts through faith in Christ and His work on the cross.

If we assume these things, then we may fail to clearly and boldly proclaim the good news as we should.

In all of our relationships and activities, whether political involvement, work, family, or community, or church, let us never assume the gospel, the power of God for everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16)

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