By Jarod Belcher
What is the gospel? It’s a word that’s tossed around in Christian circles but is sometimes misused. It seems this is especially true in our own time since the gospel is often used as an adjective.
We’re told to live the gospel in every way as if the gospel is something we do. But this is not so. The gospel is not something we do. It is the message about something that God has done for us. Paul explains the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15 where he says, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
So the gospel is not merely good advice about how we ought to live our lives. There’s a very popular phrase that sums up the inclination for our present culture to get this wrong. WWJD: What would Jesus do? This catch phrase was so popular that it was put on bracelets and someone somewhere made a lot of money on it.
But the gospel isn’t what would Jesus do. The gospel is this: What has Jesus done? The typical human response is to try and please God with our actions for salvation. “If I’ve lived like Jesus won’t God accept me into his heaven?” The trouble is no one lives like Jesus. He was without sin and we’re not. The book of Romans tells us that we’re not justified by works of the Law. We’re justified by faith in what Jesus has done. WHJD: What has Jesus done?
I probably won’t make a lot of money off of a bracelet with this phrase. But if the church can truly understand this concept I’ll be content.