Multivitamins are useless if they remain in the container. They must be eaten. Would anyone be so foolish as to buy a jar and leave it unopened on the kitchen counter? Yet perhaps we do that with the gospel. You see, the idea of “the gospel” is like the unopened pot. Sometimes we think that buying into the gospel by becoming Christians is enough. However, if we don’t absorb it into our everyday lives it is about as wasted as the multivits on the top shelf.
“Gospel” is one of those Christian words that everyone thinks they are expected to understand and supposed to explain to others but too embarrassed to admit that they are not sure they have it all straight. Mention it in a gathering of Christians and I bet there are at least a few who nod and smile but are glad you don’t put them on the spot by asking for an explanation. So, for everyone’s sake, let’s look at what the biblical gospel container says about the gospel. Like a multivitamin pill it has many aspects, all vital to real life.
Most vitamins are concentrated in certain plants or animal products. Often the New Testament speaks of the gospel (or better, good news) in terms of God or Jesus. It is the gospel of God, His Son, or of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1, 14). In a sense, the source of the good news is God through His Son Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross is the source of every ingredient of the good news. In another sense, the good news is concentrated in Jesus. We need Him in our lives.
But what is it about Jesus that is so good? The bible lists several ingredients found in Him and in what He did.
- Matthew makes a big deal about the kingdom of God. “Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” (Matt. 4:23; 9:35) Kings rule over kingdoms. The good news that Jesus proclaimed was that our King is wonderfully good and His power is unsurpassed. What’s more, He cares so much about human problems that He uses that power to make a difference right where we live.
- The Christmas angel announced good news of “a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10). It is good news about salvation (Eph. 1:13). We have been saved from an oppressive tyrant, Satan. We have been set free from slavery to sin. And because sin results in death, we have been spared from spiritual death.
- Another facet of salvation is peace (Rom. 10:15; Eph. 6:15). The biblical idea of peace is well-being or wholeness in every area of life. God through Jesus has provided a way for us to be His happy family.
- Paul called it “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).1 Grace means favor. God did us a favor by providing Jesus as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin and restore us to relationship with Him as our Father and King.
- It is “the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4-6). Jesus showed us what the glory of God looks like when it is condensed into a human life. That’s certainly nice news, but the really great news is that we are now destined to share that glory (2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 2:8-10). It begins today—if we take the pills.
Directions (adults and children)
Jesus made it clear that good news only gets out of the container and into our lives when we “repent and believe in” it (Mark 1:15). Repenting means changing the way we think about life and then making practical changes to the way we behave. When we believe (or have faith in) something or someone we trust so much that we invest everything.
One pill is not enough. To experience the greatest benefits of life as a reconciled child of the King we must continue to ingest the good news. That means we repeatedly choose to trust Him so much that we do what He says even when His way is not as tasty as the alternatives (2 Thess. 2:15).
Side-effects include but are not limited to: what unbelievers call “rash” decisions to do what God says out of love and faith, irritation of family and friends, spiritual growth spurts, excitement, occasional anxiety, peace that passes all understanding, and everlasting longevity.
Become a Distributor
No special qualifications are required to promote the good news. Don’t worry if you can’t remember all the ingredients. What Jesus did in your life is good news worth sharing. Start there. And, when God shows you a wound or a deficiency in someone, that’s an opportunity to offer a sample from the pot.
The goal of Bible Maturity is to promote spiritual growth and faith in God. Please share these short Bible devotions with your friends and family and pray for revival.
- In the next verse Paul links it to kingdom. [↩]