August 15, 2014

Are We Supposed to Live the Gospel?

I've often heard the young, restless (and sometimes reformed) types talk about living the gospel. I want to ask, though, should we live the gospel? Can we?

Short answer: no.

Here's the longer answer:

All this talk about living the gospel is what I like to call bumper-sticker theology. It's short and pithy. It sounds nice and pious, but, in reality, it's actually shallow and simplistic. With the proper qualifications and explanations, it might even be true, but, taken on its face, it's just wrong.

We can't live the gospel (and we shouldn't try) because the gospel is the good news of the sinless life, substitutionary death, and miraculous resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. These events are unique. Unrepeatable. Christ lived the gospel. We are called, not to live the gospel, but to believe it. We are then enabled by it (through the indwelling power and presence of the Holy Spirit) to live in a way that is consistent with the gospel. If that's what people mean when they talk about living the gospel, then they should say that instead because words matter, and there is a big difference between living the gospel and living consistently with the gospel.

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