Published on February 24th, 2017 | by Jayson Byrd0
Gospel Calibration(Part 1)
We’ve all been in that dreaded situation where we’re out on the road and our GPS or map app on our smartphone was not calibrated correctly. It could have been for a variety of reasons, out of date maps, poor signal, weather, being a Marshall fan :-), but whatever it is, it’s just not working. There needs to be a time of updating and calibration to bring it back to reality. For me, 1 Corinthians 15 was the passage God used to calibrate my heart and ministry focus onto the Gospel. This is a post series that’s a sort of philosophy statement and guides for Gospel partnership, doctrinal boundaries, primary vs. secondary doctrines, etc.
I Cor 15: 1-4
Christians tend to forget the Gospel.
Paul opens the passage by saying “I would remind you brethren” of the Gospel. Sometimes in our study of scripture, we miss the obvious. Paul is addressing the believer’s need to be reminded of the Gospel. Logically this calls the conclusion that Christians on this side of eternity have a tendency to forget the Gospel.
As Paul Tripp puts it, in our fallen condition we all suffer from “Gospel Amnesia.”
This is why we need to preach the Gospel to ourselves often. Luther said that religion is our default mode. We are quick to slip away from the great truths of the Gospel. Believers carry a low-grade guilt fever because they have a weak view of substitution and imputed righteousness.
Christians tend to limit the Gospel.
Jerry Bridges points out in “The Gospel for Real Life” that we limit the Gospel to either being truncated, that is seeing the Gospel as simply the beginning of the Christian experience in the conversion aspect and then “moving on to deeper things” or a utilitarian view, that simply focuses on the personal gain or benefits of the Gospel.
“The Gospel isn’t one class among many that you’ll attend during your life as a Christian –the Gospel is the whole building that all the classes take place in!” ~C.J. Mahaney
A robust view of the Gospel frees the believer from the good day/bad day vortex of performance-based Christian living in which we are either living defeated and guilty lives or being self-centered Pharisees that cherry-pick sins.
If we are going to grow in our Christian lives we have to keep reminding ourselves of the Gospel.“Preaching the Gospel to ourselves every day addresses both the self-righteous Pharisee and guilt-laden sinner that dwell in our hearts.” ~ Jerry Bridges
In part 2 we’ll look at the priority of the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Until then, I’ll commend the resources below to center your life and ministry on the Gospel.
Recommended Gospel-Centered Resources to help you “Preach the Gospel to Yourself.”
- The Cross Centered Life, By C.J. Mahaney
- The Gospel for Real Life, Jerry Bridges
- The Gospel Primer, Milton Vincent
- Complete In Him, Michael P.V. Barrett