“The gospel helps us pray, and get into the Word more and become more like Christ.”
“The gospel directs our hearts to love as Jesus did.”
“The gospel saves us so we can glorify God”
“The gospel leads us to remorse and salvation.”
Do you see the confusion? Look again and notice how these answers are EFFECTS of the gospel. Each answer using an action verb; helps, directs, saves, and leads. Paul say’s we are saved by Grace not by works.
What Is The Gospel? The Announcement Of Jesus
- Creation couldn’t save itself, so God came down in the flesh of Jesus. The promised One (Gen 3:15) to save back His people. Jesus lived a sinless life and willfully went to a cross as the propitiation (In place of) death, the wage of sin. Not only did He sacrifice Himself as payment for sin, Jesus proved His sacrifice was enough with the resurrection. We can be confident Jesus paid the price towards a holy God. By faith, we reunite to God through forgiveness because the debt has been paid on our behalf.
The fullness of the gospel goes beyond understanding and reasoning. Psalm 147:5 “Great is our LORD and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” The overlying principle is God’s availability and willingness of reuniting with those who want too.
1, Know The Gospel
We just covered our first step to apply the gospel to culture, knowing the gospel. How can we give something we don’t have? Misunderstanding the gospel will result in a misrepresentation.
2. Know The Culture
This leads us to our second step, contextualization. This is a fancy word that implies, “To know the moment.” In the book Center Church by Tim Keller, this is a continual theme. His definition is best.
“Contextualization is giving people the Bible’s answers, which they may not at all want to hear, to questions about life that people in their particular time and place are asking, in language and forms they can comprehend, and through appeals and arguments with force they can feel, even if they reject them.” ~ Tim Keller
Contextualization is translating and adapting the communication and application of the gospel to a particular culture without compromising the meaning and details of the gospel itself.
- This does not mean we are surrendering the gospel and changing Christianity to fit within the world view. Instead we adapt the gospel to a particular culture or audience.
In other words, contextualization confronts and completes each society’s cultural account with the gospel as the solution.
3. Share It
The best way to share the gospel to culture, is to share the gospel to culture. Let us be intentionally active. Steps 1 and 2 are meaningless unless it is used. In military terms, we can know the mission and the target, but without activating the missile the mission fails.
How can you be intentionally active within your culture?
~Grace & Peace
Jeff Perry is a writer at Absolute Aspiration. The goal of his work is to encourage others to share the Gospel of Christ to a hurting world. You can follow Jeff on his website or on Twitter. He lives with his wife and three children in Buffalo, New York. They attend church at the Chapel in Cheektowaga.