Greg Gilbert asks and answers the question “What is the Gospel?” in a three part series. Here are the links: Part one, part two, and part three. All three posts are excellent, but if you only want to read one then click part three. Gilbert (no relation BTW) correctly states that Christ not only proclaimed the coming kingdom, but He also proclaimed that in order to enter the kingdom one must repent and believe. Gilbert writes:
To proclaim the inauguration of the kingdom and the new creation and all the rest without proclaiming how people can enter it—by repenting and being forgiven of their sins through faith in Christ and his atoning death—is to preach a non-Gospel.
I want to also include a lengthy quote from his third post in the series for two reasons. One, it is an excellent thought, and, two, he alludes to Pilgrim’s Progress. That is always a good thing. Here is the quote:
It is wrong to call a person a Christian simply because they are doing good things and “following Jesus’ example.” To be a Christian, to be a partaker of the blessings of the Kingdom, requires one first to go through the gate—that is, to come to Christ in faith and be forgiven of sin and atoned for. Bunyan tells the story in Pilgrim’s Progress about the characters Mr. Formalist and Mr. Hypocrisy whom Christian meets on the path to the Celestial City. After a moment’s conversation, however, Christian realizes that they had jumped the wall to the path rather than going through the Wicket Gate. The upshot: These two are not Christians, regardless of how well they are now navigating the path. To change the characters a bit, there are many people out there (hello emergent church!) who need to realize that Mr. Jesus-Follower and Mrs. Kingdom-Life-Liver are not Christians—not unless they’ve come to the crucified Jesus in repentance and faith for the forgiveness of their sins. A person can “live like Jesus lived” all he wants to, but unless he goes through the Wicket Gate of atonement, faith and repentance, he’s not really come to Christ. He’s simply jumped the wall.
I could not have said it better myself; which is why I included this quote.
My next recommendation is a lucid post by Dan Phillips on abortion, especially how it relates to the feminist reaction to Sarah Palin. It is provocatively entitled “I’ll Just Say it: Women Aren’t Fit to Decide” Everyone should read this brief post.
Al Mohler’s blogposts are almost always worth a read, and that is certainly true of these three:
I most likely will not be posting anything until next week, or the week after, unless it’s a quick sports post. Therefore I encourage you to give the linked articles above your attention.