The Gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pinnacle of the Christian faith, and most necessary and singular theology necessary for “true” salvation. Also, I think, the most misunderstood, misconstrued, and misread tenant of the Bible.
Growing up, I often heard, if not weekly, the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Believing the facts about that Gospel wasn’t enough. They would stress the Belief plus, Faith in his saving grace would be where you salvation resides. However, what if the facts of the Gospel, have nothing to do with salvation? What if the Gospel creates a template for followers of Jesus, to exemplify, utilize, and live out in an entirely different way?
I very recently had an “epiphany” about this Gospel. Most of my life I have viewed the Gospel as only that information, that leads to a saving faith. My life has changed much in recent years. I had come to see Jesus as a relatable, loving, and utterly beautiful individual. One who came to earth, despite his anger at mankind’s disregard for his creation, and his perfect wilderness, to teach a message of love, peace, community, and resistance to those who would corrupt the perfect wildness of His creation. However, even after my change in belief of what Jesus came to accomplish, and who Jesus came to save, I still had a misunderstanding of the Gospel. His death, his burial, (and most importantly) his resurrection, maybe had less (in action) to do with our actual salvation, than we think.
Jesus came to save. No doubt in my mind, and I think most, if not every “Christian,” would agree with that. However, my theology in Jesus has changed recently. I truly have come to believe that Jesus’ Gospel was a love story. A story in which a perfect, and wild man, was born into a wicked, and imperial culture, taught a message peace, love, communal faith, and resistance to an empire created by fallen men. And was willing to sacrifice himself for the very people who took his life, because of that great Love.
Jesus’ Gospel is a love story. And I don’t think this is a revolutionary idea, I just do not believe many people have thought about this in a way that is life changing. The Gospel is a love story about one man’s absolute love for the very people who resisted, and despised him. The Gospel is a love story, a love story of God and his fallen lover. The Gospel is a love story about the God-man, and his absolute sacrifice for his lover. And when we, as Christians, think about the Gospel, our first thought should be his Love. When we, as Jesus Followers, think of the Gospel, our first thought should be his sacrifice. But not as a personal sacrifice for “me,” as many would say. But for “us.” Jesus came with his love for US. The Gospel is a love story, and Jesus message was communal. When Jesus followers tell others of his Gospel, it should absolutely not be a message of damnation, and salvation. It should a message of his absolute love, forgiveness, and community.
Our lives as Jesus Followers should not be spent “telling” others of the Gospel of Jesus, and his message, but LIVING, His Love Story. A story in which our savior sacrificed all for his true love, and was willing, and able, to do so. Jesus Followers should not be people who talk, and preach, but people who act, upon the Gospel. It is absolutely NOT just a fact. It is a template.
Jesus’ Gospel is a guideline for salvation from this fallen world, not just a fact that saves us from the fallen world. And when we live his Gospel in an actual way, it inflicts change on our world in a way that no other can even imagine.
Living the Love of the Gospel, is how people will see Jesus; the world needs to see him, not hear about him. The world needs his Love, not his words. We need to be that Love. We need to be the Gospel.