Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Gospel

N.T. Wright helps us see a Jesus (I believe, the Jesus), from the gospels, who calls us to a repentance that is in terms of the kingdom of God coming in him.

This kingdom comes as kingdoms do. It has a claim. The whole world, no less. But it comes from the God who created the world. And in his Son, Jesus, God reconciles that world, the created order, to himself. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, as well as his ascension and return. And by the Spirit.

Since Jesus' resurrection, the new creation has begun. It is a creation, definitely in terms of restoring humans to God. Restoring humans to each other. Restoring humans to their good work on earth. And restoring humans to themselves, in the sense of becoming truly human in the one, most human, Jesus.

This gospel is a big gospel. Not just about me and God. Yes, that's important. But it can't stop there without damaging even that aspect. It's about all that God wants to redeem and bring back into harmony with himself and his plan. No less than all creation, reconciled to God in the death of his Son, Jesus.

Jesus laid the foundation and did the work, upon which we carry on, as the light of the world, the salt of the earth, a city on a hill- in him. We, as the Jesus community, are the new Israel, blessed by God to be a blessing in this world. In terms of our separate callings, in every sphere of life. Within our communal calling, to be the people of God among whom God's kingdom is making inroads, among us, and out from us into the world.

What do you think?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are many things that could be commented on here but since we are as yet unaquainted I will stick to your paragraph that begins with these words:

"The gospel is a big gospel......."

First off for understanding the Gospel is the promise of God to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.

Therefore it is not a gospel for all of His creation as you have stated; if that were the case then Jesus would failed in securing the salvation of all His creation in that some still end up in Hell.

If some of the creation ends up in Hell then Jesus' sacrifice alone would not be the only condition for salvation; and if He is not the only condition for salvation then one would then suppose that somehow we would make some or all of our own salvation conditioned on ourselves which is total blasphemy.

Ted Gossard said...

anonymous, Thanks for your comment.

The gospel does indeed concern the entire cosmos. Romans 8 makes it clear that creation awaits in expectation (and groaning) for God's children to be revealed. This will occur in the redemption of our bodies at the resurrection, and creation will also share in this release from its present bondage, according to Romans 8.

Certainly hell is for all who are in rebellion against God. Though the gospel is proclaimed to all, not all receive it.

I am not denying that people must repent and believe in Jesus and his work for them in his death and resurrection. But I am saying that the good news of the kingdom of God coming embraces all of creation. Redemption has to do with creation. Certainly judgment is in the picture as well. But that does not mean this gospel is not a big gospel in the way I'm trying to understand from Scripture and describe.

Ted Gossard said...

The gospel/good news of the kingdom of God includes the message that Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not. It has to do with much more than individual's personal salvation. It has to do with all things. God's kingdom coming is brought to bear on the kingdom of this world, and judges all things. It's a good news, but for those who resist, it's certainly bad news.