Monday, January 17, 2011

A Two Word Story

In the very near future, the people of metro Detroit will become familiar with a new "catch-phrase", namely the "two word story." I won't elaborate on details here. Such details will become obvious in the near future.

Let me offer a two word story. It is "the gospel." The word "gospel" comes from the old English for "good tale" or more literally "good news." Indeed, that is what the Gospel is. It is good news.

In the midst of many "two word stories" which you might hear in the near future, it must be remembered that, ultimately, there is only one real "two word story."

It involves the announcement of what God did for us humans in the work of His Son, Jesus. While many may be anxious to tell others what Jesus did for them, the proper emphasis must be kept. It is not what Jesus did for ME. It is what JESUS DID for me and for others. In our very individual-oriented culture, my fellow Christians might, inadvertantly, center in on the story of their own encounter with Christ and start and END with that. That would be a dreadful mistake. Their experience is the effect. What Christ did in history for us is the cause.

The good news of the Gospel will be (and is) true whether we have internally experienced it or not. When someone tells others of their subjective experience, what differs that experience from anyone else's experiences? Some might have have a "mystical moment" while looking at a sunset, scoring the winning basket in a basketball game or even the influence of alcohol or some other mind-altering substance. The Gospel is NOT an emotional personal experience.

The good news of Christ as presented in the Bible is an objective announcement. It would be just as true if you live or if you had never existed. It is not about us but rather what Christ did for us.

One of the best summaries of this good news (the Gospel) which I have ever read is found in an article by Michael Horton called The Great Announcement (linked here) I highly suggest you read it and reflect upon what it says. Christ's followers have been privileged to tell everyone about this good news. Once believed, this good news does bring us joy. We cannot help but inwardly (and outwardly) rejoice when we have placed our lasting trust in the living Jesus, whose work on Earth is the core of the Gospel. My two word story is "The Gospel."

No comments: