Assuming the Gospel

Over at Kyle’s blog, he posted a video of Matt Chandler talking about the dangers of ‘assuming the gospel’.  He pointed to Colossians 1, probably my favorite chapter in the Bible (right now at least), to how Paul describes the gospel.

In verses 15-20, Paul gives what is possibly the fullest description and hymn of his Christology (ie of his gospel) that I’m aware of and launches into the implications of this good news.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

I’ve color coded it to, as Matt Chandler recommends, clarify the distinction between sanctification and justification.  There are four colors here.

  • Depraved
  • Justified
  • Sanctified
  • Endurance

We clearly see here the movement of the message.  We were depraved, and yet he justified us in order to sanctify us (as long as we endure).  That may make sense if you don’t mind using theological labels for this stuff.  We could just as easily say that we were enslaved in Egypt, and yet God had mercy on us and came to save us, in order to bring us to the promised land, as long as we endure the trip. Or you could point out that we’re enslaved to our passions and drives and that our Savior has come to heal and repair our will, our hearts, as long as we’re willing to remain pure.

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