The Whole Gospel, Part 1

Last week, I brought up a popular definition of the gospel that has shaped the way we attempt to live out our faith. I called it the “Salvation Worldview.” In a nutshell it is the idea that the gospel story begins with the fall of mankind and ends with our redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus. In very simple language, living out this version of the gospel consists of helping people see their sinfulness, leading them into a personal commitment to Jesus, and helping them stay spiritually on track so that their soul is saved for heaven and from eternal hell after death. The salvation worldview is a really important part of the gospel picture, but it’s not the whole story. It has actually devalued much of the work and effort that we invest with our lives every day.

Please hear me out: I believe that each of us is faced with an eternal hell without the redemption of Jesus, and that his decision to live, die and rise on our behalf was our only way out of experiencing that eternal hell. Those realities cannot be avoided, ignored or overlooked in the story of God and his relationship and plan for his people.  But, embracing these things as the complete gospel has misplaced our sense of purpose and priority as God’s people. It has given “sacred” status to efforts that are focused on the harvesting and preserving of souls for heaven. And it has lowered most other actions and work as “secular” or “personal,” with far less value to God’s mission and kingdom. This incomplete view of the gospel has confused and discouraged many of Jesus-followers who are not clergy, christian educators or evangelists. We have trouble seeing ourselves and our work in this picture of the Gospel.  

Over the next few posts, we will pull back the camera view and look at chapters of God’s story before the fall and after Jesus’ resurrection. We will have a truer sense of our purpose when we see the work that God gave us in the beginning and the work that he has entrusted to us here and now. If you are like me, you will see yourself in the Whole Gospel, and you will be challenged to approach your life and work differently.

I welcome your comments,
Doug Cooper | City Gates Initiative


No Comment


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.