Responding to the Gospel

February 22, 2018

By Erin Bird

We come to the close of our series on "The Gospel on the Ground," which is comprised of God, Man, Christ, Response. We've already looked at the first three, so today we finish this 4-week series with a look at "Responding to the Gospel."

In The Explicit Gospel, Matt Chandler (and co-author Jared Wilson) write:

"The gospel is such power that it necessitates reaction."

I think Matt and Jared are exactly right. Sometimes the reaction to the gospel is acceptance, but sometimes that reaction is outright rejection. The Gospel is a crazy story - God became human to pay the mortal penalty of humanity's sin. It is hard to respond with a simple shoulder shrug to this story. You either accept it because it is so amazing, or reject it because it is so outrageous.

When you look at the Scriptures, you see this gospel acceptance and rejection:

  • When Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, some people believed His teaching (like His disciples) while others rejected it (particularly the Jewish leaders).
  • In the book of Acts, you see the church spreading like a virus (because people accepted the gospel) while enduring intense persecution (from those who rejected the gospel).
  • And when the Apostle Paul came to a city preaching the gospel, you simultaneously see a church start (because people believed the gospel) and Paul get arrested or run out of town (by those who rejected his ideas).

It is apparent the gospel demands a response.

Which leads me to say two things:

#1. If you have not believed this gospel message that the Holy Perfect God came to earth to die for your sins, then I encourage you to take a moment right now to respond through prayer, telling God you believe this crazy gospel story to be true, and you want to make Jesus the most important person in your life. When you respond to the gospel by placing your full faith on Jesus, God responds by raising you to spiritual life through the forgiveness of your sin.

#2. Whether you just placed your faith in Jesus as you read item #1 above, or have been following Jesus for some time, the gospel still demands your response. Responding to the gospel isn't just a one-time decision. It is to be a daily decision. That's why we've been talking on Sundays about regularly learning the gospel, so you can think the gospel, which enables you to live the gospel.

May you respond today to the life-changing gospel with faith that a Perfect Holy Unchanging Almighty God did everything necessary to redeem the bad guy of Mankind by sending His Son the Christ to die in the place of sinful humanity. And let that response impact how you live today.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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