Disclaimer: 1) I am guilty of this. 2) Please don’t read this and think I’m saying you need to be happy all the time to live out the Gospel. You can display the light of Christ amidst so much that life can throw at us. I’ll be writing another blog post that will reflect on ways to deal with anger, sorrow, sadness, depression, and more, as they are all very real in a Christian’s life at some point. Hint: I’ll be referring to Paul a bit. 🙂
The Gospel is the teaching and revelation of Christ. The word, in it’s earliest form, was derived from the Greek word “euangelion”, which literally means “good news”. Therefore, we can conclude that the Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ.
The good news that this refers to is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God, which is the full payment of our debt to sin. John the baptist summarizes what this means to us the day after Jesus was baptized in John 1:29, when he says “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”.
Do we believe it?
Are we living it?
If we claim that we believe that the revelation of Jesus Christ in this world is good news, then we must live it. If we are not living it but claim it, we are killing it.
It doesn’t matter(most of the time) what your doctrinal stance is on a particular topic or how long you’ve been saved by God’s grace in this life. If you believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died for the sins of the world, and defeated death on the third day, you simply cannot live in any way that would not reflect that belief! Knowing and believing this truth will change the way we talk, the way we listen, the way we look at others, and even the way we see the world. This doesn’t mean you’ll be happy all the time, you can trust me on that. It means you’ll be careful with your words in order to glorify God, you’ll be eager to listen to others in order to know who they really are, you’ll look at others with compassion, grace, and hope, and you’ll see the world as a place that desperately needs you to be the light of Christ for the sake of the Gospel.
My wife recently asked me what I thought Jesus expressed on his face. Honestly, I don’t picture a smile, a frown, anger, or any one emotion when I picture Jesus. He knew the world’s depravity and was aware of His calling, to carry the weight of all our sin and to free us from it, so I believe he felt joy, compassion, sadness, and hope all at the same time. This is why I believe we should express compassion, grace, and hope as Christians(Christ-followers). We know the world’s depravity, because we know and have felt our separation from God without Christ. We have experienced the grace of God at work in our lives, rescuing us from the bondage of sin, bringing us back into communion with God. We can see the hope that is found in Jesus Christ, eternal life with the Father, and we want the world around us to see it!
So here’s the meat. If we go to church on Sunday(that’s great!), sing praise and worship, then leave church and never reflect, meditate, and carry the presence of Christ with us, we are doing no good to the Gospel, and we’re killing it. People will see “fake christians” and “hypocrites”, and that only separates people further from the hope and joy that we claim to have in Christ. That, simply put, is killing the Gospel. Be the light of Christ.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Next blog post will look at Galatians 5:22-24
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.