Last week, Dave Black posted a little entry on his blog about the gospel. And, primarily, he’s talking about “living the gospel” not the “facts about the gospel.” There is a difference…
While he later relates this comment to teenagers (since he was planning to speak to teenagers soon after writing the post), he also recognizes that the comments relate to all followers of Jesus.
This is what he wrote (Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 5:41 a.m.):
I have long been convinced that there is no substitute for living the Gospel and not just talking about it. Biblical truth (i.e., doctrine) has a built-in power to make us different people. Too many Christians are suffering from theological shellshock. They’ve been taught that doctrine trumps everything else. With all due deference to theologians and Bible scholars (I is one!), we can state as a categorical fact that spiritual birth always leads to spiritual life! We have no right to claim a personal relationship with God unless our lives bear clear-cut marks of being His children. This is the point Jesus is making when He says “Follow me.” The mark of a true follower of Jesus is that more and more of our actions toward our fellow men, including our enemies, is governed by the love that God has poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That is the Gospel.
Being born by the Spirit is a prerequisite for living by the Spirit. In the same way, living by the Spirit is the (super-)natural result of being birthed by the Spirit. Like he said, this is the gospel… new life and new living in Jesus Christ.