This post introduces an upcoming Bible Study series. Since I will actually be teaching, I respectfully ask that men other than my husband and my pastor (both of whom have spiritual authority over me) refrain from reading these studies. Thank you.
Some years ago, I attended an adult Sunday School class in which the teacher asked whether or not anyone could define the Gospel. At first, I thought he'd asked a trick question, so I sat in the same confused silence that hovered over the rest of the class. The silence visibly frustrated the teacher so that he began begging for someone--anyone--to say something.
So I finally raised my hand and proffered, "Isn't it that Jesus died for our sins and rose again?"
Yes. Such a basic message.
Evangelicals, having little understanding of or appreciation for the Reformation in the 16th Century, now complicate the Christian life with so many side issues (ranging from political agendas to self-improvement techniques) that we lose sight of the very Gospel that Luther, Calvin and the other Reformers sacrificed so much to recover. Even though postmodern evangelicals can dutifully recite that Jesus died and rose again, few grasp the implications of His death and resurrection. In attitude, many evangelicals say, "Yeah, okay...now let's move on to the good stuff!"
But Christ's death and resurrection is the good stuff! The very word, "gospel," means "good news." Because 21st Century evangelical sensibilities now eclipse this Gospel with humanistic teachings and aspirations, I want to spend a few posts reviewing the wondrous message of the Gospel and exploring its implications. By the time I finish, I pray that all of us will gain a richer appreciation of the Gospel.