The Gospel is the story of Jesus.
Jesus is the whole point of the Gospel. Rather than a message of self-help or religious structure, the Gospel is the story of a real historical person. Who He is and what He did (and does) is the essence of the Good News.
This news, however, is not just something we add to the overabundance of news we receive every day. No, this news changes everything… Jesus changes everything.
When we hear about a car accident across town, we are hopeful that there were no serious injuries, but we are not detoured from our daily activities. If someone tells us about a weather front that is causing flooding in another state, we are prayerful that there will be no fatalities, but our plans for dinner go unaltered.
There are a multitude of headlines and news captions vying for our attention every day, but the message about Jesus is different. The message about Jesus is personal and serious. Jesus claims to be our King and our Judge, and this means that we are either in submission to Him or at war with Him. Jesus claims to be the singular remedy for our problem of eternal guilt, and this means either we enjoy His cure for our condemnation or we bear the judgment still.
Growing in Gospel Understanding = Spiritual growth
Christian spiritual growth is experienced as the believer comes to a greater understanding of the Gospel and grows in his/her conviction that the Gospel is actually true. Of course, every Christian believes that the Gospel is true. And yet, there is a progression in every Christian’s practical and active alignment with that belief.
We believe that Jesus is our King, but we still disobey Him in various ways. We believe that His love for us is overwhelming, but we still sometimes imagine that His rules are meant to steal our joy. There are numerous examples, but the point is that each Christian lives with a greater or lesser degree of consistency. We believe the Gospel is true, but we do not yet live exactly according to what we believe. Spiritual growth, then, is our increased understanding of the Gospel and its implications for everything.
Jesus Changes Everything
If Jesus is truly our savior and redeemer, then this changes everything! This changes our heart of opposition to a heart of gratitude. It changes our despair into hope, and our shame into freedom. The Gospel is not just news; it is THE NEWS, the best news, the greatest news, the news that changes everything!
Make no mistake; Jesus changes everything. The Christian life is lived as a daily renewal of perspective, desire, and activity.