A correct understanding of the gospel is central to Christianity. The good news that Jesus Christ died for sinners who repent and believe means we are not justified by anything we do but purely by what Jesus has done for us at the cross. As humans we are always tempted to think that there is something we need to do to save ourselves from hell. Sometimes this may be from pride – we are not all that bad in God’s eyes. Sometimes this may be from fear – we are not really saved and we need to add something to what Jesus has done. But the Bible is clear:
‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.’ (Ephesians 2:8-9) As Christians we need to keep reminding ourselves of the great sacrifice of Jesus and never attempt to do good works to obtain eternal life.
As your preaching elder I have committed myself to including the good news of Jesus Christ in every sermon. This is partly because I do not want to miss the opportunity to share the gospel with unbelievers who may be present, but also because Christians need to be reminded of the gospel as well. Spurgeon said: ‘We have an unchanging gospel, which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay; but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah.’ Christians should never think that we have heard enough of the gospel – it should always warm our hearts. Moreover Christians should be regularly meditating on the gospel because they need to be ready to share it: ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ (1 Peter 3:15)
I am going to be asking members to spare me an hour every six months for me to come and visit. At the first of these visits I want to hear about your conversion because such accounts of the gospel’s impact are always encouraging. Additionally I will be asking you to quickly tell me what the gospel is. This is not a test to be scared of but an opportunity to hone your presentation of the gospel and clarify any questions you may have. Hywel R Jones said ‘The church is the fruit of the gospel’. Let us make every effort to see Drummoyne Baptist Church as the fruit of our clear and regular presentation of the gospel.