Can your gospel do this?

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Christians claim to be the ones who believe in the good news of Jesus Christ.  They say they believe in His existence, His death, and His resurrection.  They make it their goal to proclaim Him and all that He said – every word that He said.

Every Christians has a version of the gospel that they believe and proclaim.  It usually includes the cross, the resurrection, and a collective of commands that those who call themselves Christians should follow.  There is also an underlying tone about God’s view of those who do not believe.  It usually includes some anger, angst, and disapproval.  Those who believe this way often develop the same attitude toward those who don’t believe.

In order to be Christians who believe in every word of Scripture and of Jesus, our good news must include and make room for every word that Jesus said.  We must believe in the totality of who He is, what He said, and what He came to do.

As you think through what you believe, can your version of the gospel include these words from the mouth of Jesus?

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  John 12:47

 And these words penned by John about Jesus?

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:17

These paint a very powerful picture about the intentions and heart of Jesus toward those who do not believe.  Sadly, these intentions and words don’t fit within the attitudes and belief of many who call themselves Jesus followers today.  No condemnation?  No judging?  How can this be?  How does this fit with the rest of what Jesus said?  How does this fit with the rest of the New Testament?

They fit perfectly within the heart and mind of Jesus.  They are part of of the entirety of who He is.  There is no gap, contradiction, or incongruity.  They are part of the whole of who He is and what He came to do.

In order to be Jesus followers, we must also have this as part of our entirety.  This must fit within our heart and attitudes as well.  They should make up who we are. It must be part of our message of good news. Without it, we are believing and proclaiming a distortion.  We would be only telling part of the story.  We would be proclaiming another gospel.

What kind of gospel do you believe?  When it comes to no condemnation and judgment, can you gospel do this?

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5 responses to “Can your gospel do this?

  1. Dear Brian
    The Gospel according to me is actually so simple and I have never heard it explained in a church in my 45 years of church attendance. In Eden man lost his spiritual life, God’s life. In order to be made spiritually alive again, we need to come to Jesus who became like us and lived life on earth as a human, so that we, as we live in Him, can be spiritually alive again, living in His presence through His life.
    I think religion has totally lost the wonder of eternity in another Kingdom, Pappa God’s Kingdom of Life. Religion made something simplistic sooo….. complex!
    Bless you
    Mia

  2. John 3:16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 3:18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 3:19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 3:21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.

    12:44 But Jesus shouted out, “The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me, 12:45 and the one who sees me sees the one who sent me. 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness. 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not obey them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 12:48 The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has a judge; the word I have spoken will judge him at the last day. 12:49 For I have not spoken from my own authority, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. 12:50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. Thus the things I say, I say just as the Father has told me.”

  3. As I re-read this you seem to be saying that there is no judgement or condemnation for anyone! Which if you read what Jesus said in context–that is clearly NOT the case. (See my post above for the context, or better yet read it in your Bible).
    What does the Bible say about judgement and condemnation for believers? First and foremost there is no condemnation for “those who are in Christ’ (Romans 8:1).
    The second is a little more nuanced. The believer is NOT judged, however, the works of the believer are judged. This is most clearly stated in 2 Cor 5, esp verse 10 (For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.) Notice the “we” Paul is including himself. We see the same judgement of believers works in James 3:1 (Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.) The Believer is “saved,” and his or her eternal destiny is never in doubt but “but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Cor 3:15).
    If you exclude any judgement or condemnation from your gospel then it is you who is only telling “part of the story” and “proclaiming another gospel.”

    • Ken,

      I agree completely that we must see understand and consider the whole of what Jesus said. We must understand context. Here is a broader part of John 12:

      44 But Jesus shouted out, “The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me, 45 and the one who sees me sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not obey them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has a judge; the word I have spoken will judge him at the last day. 49 For I have not spoken from my own authority, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. Thus the things I say, I say just as the Father has told me.”

      What is important here is the intention and heart of Jesus. By His own words and actions, He made it clear that He did not come to condemn and judge. He loved us while we were still sinners and enemies. His intentions were to save, rescue, heal, and set the captives free. For those who do not receive His love, there is a judgment. It happens as a result of their refusal to believe that they are loved and made whole by faith alone. They continue to measure their worth or lack of worth by their actions. They live self-absorbed. They reject the only love that could free them. In rejecting the only thing that can free you, the only thing left is judgment. It was and is not the intention of the Father or the Son that any man experience such pain.

      Those who believe and receive the love of Christ experience the freedom of no condemnation!

      This is also what is described in John 3.

      16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.

      Jesus does not come to condemn. Those who do not believe already live under condemnation. Their continued refusal to be loved only intensify the condemnation in their own heart. Their lifestyle only reveals what is true in their heart.

      Intention here is key.

  4. Pingback: Excuses | The Grace Revolution·

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