Quiet Time Coaching Episode 516 | New Creation Series — Part 8 | “New Creation – New Picture of the Gospel, Part 2” | Malcolm Cox


A new creation! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to this series on ‘A new creation’.

Introduction: Reflecting on Our view of the Gospel

What is your picture of the gospel? Doubtless it is affected by your personal spiritual biography and formative spiritual experiences. Is it possible that your view could contain an incomplete or even distorted view of the gospel? For many, the gospel is mostly about forgiveness, going heaven, and avoiding hell. Is that all?

Good News

The ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’ (from the Greek, euangelion). The Scriptural idea is encapsulated in this verse:

“How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” (Isaiah 52:7 NAS95)

The image is someone running from the battlefront, bringing good news of a military victory. Watchmen were trained to notice how these specialist runners ran. If they were doing the survival shuffle it was bad news. If their legs were pumping, and the dust was flying, it was good news.

In essence, this is the gospel. God has won the victory; we are part of his victorious people and we share in his celebration.

Have a look at Romans 10:15 and Ephesians 6:15 for further development of these ideas.

How did Jesus define the good news?

Jesus connected the good news with the coming of the kingdom. They are one and the same.

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”” Mark 1.14-15

Why did he see the gospel as the coming of God’s kingdom? Because it is where God reigns and gets his stuff done. Because his stuff is good (love, mercy, justice, forgiveness, healing, wholeness), it is good news that the kingdom is here. It is an attractive place! That is why we pray: “‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6.10

A completely different kind of life is now available: “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14.17

What does this mean for us?

It means that a skinny gospel of forgiveness and going to heaven needs fleshing out into the full picture of what Jesus was teaching, demonstrating and offering.

a. Mission

Accepting Jesus means a personal, global and cosmic impact:

”The gospel is personal but never private.” Trevor Hudson

Joining up with Jesus means joining him in his mission. Have a look at Luke 4:16-21. What was his mission? Among other things, it was—and is—justice for the poor, healing for the sick, liberation for the oppressed. We are called into this mission. You are a portal for God’s justice, mercy and liberation.

b. Life

In John’s gospel the word ‘kingdom’ is used less than the other gospels. Instead he uses the word ‘life’ (‘zoe’ in Greek) as a rough equivalent.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17.3

This fullness of life containing eternity starts now – not in heaven. The gospel is knowing God, not simply going to be with God. As Richard Foster put it,

“The goal of the Christian life is not simply to get us into heaven, but to get heaven into us.”

Conclusion: Cultivating a Healthy view of the Gospel

For reflection

Do these thoughts challenge your understanding of the gospel? What does it mean to you to live out Jesus’ mission? How do you think God is trying to get heaven into you?

God bless, Malcolm

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

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