How do you seek change?
How can and will we be changed?
Do we even see clearly that we need changing or are we falsely satisfied with our dependence on church attendance, bible studies, and spiritual disciplines as we neglect the power of the gospel of Jesus?
It’s like a newborn baby turning to mom and dad after delivery and saying, “Wow, thanks! Love you guys…I’ll take it from here.”
In For the Fame of God’s Name, David Livingston writes an encouraging chapter titled, What is the Gospel?-revisited.
After covering the meanings of the word gospel in Greek as it appears in the New Testament, he gives a couple of strong exhortations to not only believe in the gospel for our salvation but for all of live transformation.
“…the gospel is regularly presented not only as truth to be received and believed, but the very power of God to transform (see 1 Corinthians 2; 1 Thess. 2:4).
Failure to see this point has huge and deleterious consequences. I shall mention only two. First, if the gospel becomes that by which we slip into the kingdom, but all the business of transformation turns on postgospel disciplines and strategies, then we shall constantly be directing the attention of people away from the gospel, away from the cross and resurrection. Soon the gospel will be something that we quietly assume is necessary for salvation, but not what we are excited about, not what we are preaching, not the power of God. What is really important are the spiritual disciplines. Of course, when we point this out to someone for whom techniques and disciplines are of paramount importance, there is likely to be instant indignation. Of course I believe in the cross and resurrection of Jesus, they say. And doubtless they do. Yet the question remains: What are they excited about? Where do they rest their confidence? On what does their hope of transformation depend?”
“….a rich grasp of what it means to “preach the gospel” ought to be definitive for establishing our strategy. We are constantly urged to develop mission strategies, vision documents, strategic plans, and the like. At a certain level, I am all for such encouragement, so long as the primary strategy of God, disclosed in Scripture, is preserved, such that what we are really doing is nothing more than carefully working out tactics in submissions to the grand strategy that God himself has laid down. That gospel strategy, laid out again and again, is the heraldic announcement of the gospel. It is gospeling…”