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I am thinking about how much I make of the Gospel–the good news about what Jesus accomplished for us through his life and death and resurrection and ascension–and wondering if I typically think “big enough” about all that he did for us.

Even understanding that every occasion for talking about the Gospel will not necessarily provide opportunity to share all the implications of the Gospel, I realize that I often share a somewhat reductionistic account of the good news. So I want to let the Scriptures continue to reshape my thinking so that I live more Gospel-consistent and with the hope that as I share with others the good news that I actually share more of the expansive greatness of God’s grace that comes to us in Jesus.

Paul touched on the richness of the Gospel in his letter to the Romans:

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:15-21)

What is included here?

  • Abounding grace that reaches all who have found life in Jesus.
  • Free grace that results in justification before God.
  • Freedom from condemnation and judgment because of God’s work in and through Jesus.
  • Life in exchange for death through the grace and righteousness provided us in Jesus.
  • Grace that abounds beyond the extent and power of sin.
  • Jesus’ obedience and righteousness charged to the account of those who have received this good news.
  • Grace reigning in our lives bringing us into eternal life.

The more I reflect and meditate on this passage, the more I realize how superficial my sharing of the Gospel can be at times. I speak to others as if the Gospel is simply, only about forgiveness. Now that is true; substantially anchored in many Scriptures. But that forgiveness–as sweet as it is, as essential as it is, as much a grace-gift that it is–falls short of embracing all that Jesus has done for us and all that he is for us.

If our thinking about the Gospel became permeated and saturated with Paul’s thinking about the kinds of things that are included in this amazing work of grace, what would change in the way we related to God? Or the way we shared the good news with others? Or the way we worshipped God this coming Sunday? Or the way we prayed today?

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