There are many things within Christianity that are tough to deal with for many people. The concept of hell, being a sinner, or sin needing to be punished can be hurdles for people to jump over to get to Jesus.
When we read Scripture, we see that some love the cross, and it is foolish to others.
I Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Depending on what your view of the cross is makes you love or despise it.
We need to be careful of setting up barriers that Scripture did not set up for the Gospel. There are times that Christians make up rules or concepts that are not found in Scripture. These could become new stumbling blocks for people to believe.
I am not advocating for removing barriers that God has set in place. This is not a call for ecumenicalism or watering down the Gospel. It is a call to think about how we communicate the greatest message the world has ever known.
What is the Gospel? The good news that Jesus, who is God , came in human form and was sinless, died on the cross for our sins and rose again to pay for those sins. When we put our faith and trust in Him, we will have eternal life with God.
The problem is most of us share the gospel with the truth that people are sinners as a starting point. Are people sinners? Yes! Is this a part of the Gospel? Absolutely. If you don’t believe you’re a sinner you don’t believe you need a savior. Is this actually where the Gospel starts?
I think we do injustice if we start the Gospel there. I’m not saying that starting point won’t lead to true repentance and salvation for people. I am saying we create a misconceived reality of who God is by starting there.
Where does the Gospel start? I believe it starts in the creation narrative. So for us to understand sin, we have to understand His perfection. We have to understand God’s goodness.
God starts creating in Genesis. How does He create? In perfection. What is the phrase that He uses after and over and over after He saw His creation? Genesis 1:31b says, “and God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” He created a good, sinless planet.
This is not an attempt to start with something positive and speaking the Gospel to someone else for the sake of being positive. It is to start positive because that’s where the story of God starts. When we are sharing the Gospel with someone, let’s not start with people are sinners. The starting point is God created the world perfect and good. We will get to the sin part – but sin is not the beginning.
How do you think that this changes your perception of the Gospel? How might sharing the gospel this way change people’s perception of God? If the Gospel starts with goodness, even with sin in the middle, how does that help us better explain the greatness of the Gospel in the long run?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.