God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)
The gospel is of first importance in the Christian journey (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). It is our means of salvation and our portal to heaven. In grateful thanks for the gospel, our eyes are lifted up to our risen Lord with whom we are even now seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).
The blessings of the gospel
Yet the gospel is so much more: it is not only for tomorrow but it is for today. Not only does the gospel ignite the Christian life, it is also the fuel that keeps Christ-followers going and growing each day. Because of the gospel, we are a forgiving, repentant, reconciled and reconciling people. Through the gospel, Jesus has saved us from the penalty of sin, is saving us from the effects of sin, and one day will completely save us from the presence of sin. Through the gospel, Jesus is redeeming his bride from every nation, and restoring creation in anticipation of a new heaven and new earth.
Village Schools of the Bible
Village Schools of the Bible offers a unique opportunity to go deeper into gospel truth. Through the Cover-to-Cover class we discover that the gospel is anticipated in every book of the Bible — including the Old Testament. We discover Jesus as the central character of the entire Bible. Reading the Bible through the gospel lens helps us discover God’s heart-song through the creation, fall, redemption and consummation plotline connecting all 66 books of the Bible. We discover that we are participants in and carriers each day of God’s ongoing gospel story. As we keep this big picture in mind we learn to think the gospel, pray the gospel and apply the gospel in every situation, for there’s nothing more than the gospel, just more of the gospel.
At Village Schools of the Bible we encourage writing. Writing slows our pace, and helps our concentration so that we can ingest God’s truth more deeply into our thinking as an act of worship and transformation. Also, journaling is a great way to pray. To grow in the gospel, we need to slow down and spend time with Jesus. Journaling helps us commune more deeply and intimately with our Lord as we pray the gospel more deeply into our hearts.
Prayer is crucial in gospel growth. Because of the gospel we can enter into the very throne room of heaven, knowing that we’re welcomed and loved in a place where God is eager to hear the voice of His people. The Good Shepherd is with us even in our darkest nights and deepest valleys. Jesus is in the midst of all the heartache and pain of this broken world and our struggling hearts. Yet with the Holy Spirit’s help, our prayers breathe freely the gospel of grace, resting in the joy of knowing that God’s favor permanently rests on his people. In such loving assurance, we submit willingly to the redemptive love of Jesus who is making all things new, including us and the broken world around us.
The gospel is the soothing, strengthening, challenging and transforming heart-song of God that our hearts most want to hear. It fills our day with holy truth, honest love and real hope. It awakens us to our sin and need of grace, points us to the Savior, and prepares us to walk with the Lord each day. Intentionally and always, come back to the gospel truth of who we are in Christ and who he is in us. As grateful ambassadors of Christ, let us finish the race and complete the task that the Lord Jesus has given us of testifying by word and deed to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).
Prayer and Praise
Lord Jesus, keep our souls engaged with the gospel, so that we can find hope for the day, and grace for the journey. Liberate us by your grace, and launch us into your story of redemption. Thank you for making all things new, including me. Serving you is the greatest privilege conceivable and the purest delight imaginable. Thank you for the blessing! Amen
“To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.”
By Warwick Alcock, Village Schools of the Bible
Mears, H.C. What the Bible is all about. Regal, 2011.
Smith, S. Everyday Prayers. 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith. Baker, 2011.