There seems to be a ton of confusion in the visible church concerning the biblical gospel. The basic questions that have been misunderstood are: How is a person reconciled to God? How as Christians do we convey the gospel to those outside of Christ? Though the mistakes on what the gospel is are numerous, they seem to have one common theme. The error is usually because the gospel is viewed as something that has more to do with what we do than what Christ has accomplished in history on our behalf. For example, I just heard one evangelical pastor say the gospel constitutes "a full surrender to Jesus." Many emergent pastors say, "Christians need to be the gospel to the world." Even "America's pastor," Rick Warren of Saddleback Church fame, sees the gospel as "God giving us a 2nd chance or do-over" (Warren's illustration of the gospel is that of getting a 'mulligan' in golf!?). Many pastors believe the gospel is carried out by getting people to come forward at an altar call to say "the sinner's prayer" (still looking for this tactic in the Word). None of these descriptions constitutes the true "good news" of Christ, but all sound like pretty bad news! Is a full surrender to Jesus the criteria for justification in the New Covenant? Can we truly witness effectively for Christ if the gospel depends mainly on what we do? Is a do-over or 2nd chance at full obedience going to earn us a pardon by God? Does the so called sinner's prayer really provide assurance of salvation?
My plan here at Gospel Polemics is to lend us some assistance on what the gospel is each Friday. Hopefully, it will help us in our own understanding of the gospel and in our communication of the good news to our unsaved neighbors! This Friday, we have a helpful gospel quote from Dr. Richard Barcellos and short video from Dr. Michael Horton to get some clarification on the gospel started.