Ah, do you remember Ron Popeil? The man who introduced the world to the infomercial selling such divine items as the Veg-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman? Not only was this amazing product available for purchase at an incredibly low price, there was always something else to go along and sweeten the deal.
This week, I feel a bit like Ron Popiel. No I’m not going to try and sell you any kind of gadget or gizmo, but I do have something amazing to offer: the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A few weeks ago I posted my definition of the gospel on this website (in 600 words or less). Now for my seminary class on Gospel and Global Media Culture, I’ve been assigned to add 500 more words drawing upon the collective faith and wisdom of my classmates.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…
So here’s the deal… my own definition of the gospel is a pretty limited one. But here’s the joy of the community of faith: the whole is greater than sum of its parts. My understanding of the gospel has grown because of the perspective and wisdom of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Adding onto my previous thoughts on the gospel which at its very basic is: “is nothing but the preaching about Christ, Son of God and of David, true God and man, who by his death and resurrection has overcome for us the sin, death, and hell of all men who believe in him” (Martin Luther).
The gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God for salvation for all who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for all people. Jesus on the cross, opened his arms for everyone. The only requirement is faith.
My friend, Matt Schur, provided a beautiful description of the gospel and is far more eloquent than I can ever hope to be. My favorite part of what he has to say about the gospel is this: “That is where we find Jesus–in the broken things. That is where we see Jesus’ face–in the faces of the lowly, in the faces of the sinner. That is where we experience Jesus at work–on the margins, on the other side of the walls we have built, on the other side of the lines we have drawn”. Both Matt and another person in my small group, Kelly Nieman Anderson point out that the gospel of Jesus is Christ is for now and in the future.
In Isaiah 59:2, it says that our sins have caused a separation between us and God. The cross bridges the gap, bringing us back together.