Belief in the gospel is not a one-time decision or a conviction that we need salvation only for our past lives and future afterlives. Belief in the gospel is an ongoing expression of our ongoing need for Jesus. Standing firm in it means we continue to put our faith in him for our past, our present, and our future.
When it comes to the gospel, we can struggle with walking the walk much less talking the talk. This book addresses both. We throw out Christianeese clichés but many times our deeds are not behind our words and our words our meaningless when we don’t understand the gospel. The text is written in three parts- The Gospel In Me – The Gospel with Us and the Gospel to Others. Unless you are not applying the gospel to yourself, you cannot apply the gospel to others. This is vital and this is where we often fail. What comes to mind when asked how does Jesus save? Why does Jesus save and what does Jesus save us from? Salvation is giving ourselves a new identity and believing the work of the trinity for salvation. It is not a self-help or name it to claim it, but a belief on who Jesus is and what he came to do.
The text goes into depth of how the gospel fights sin. Not my behavior change but by applying the truth of the Gospel. The text goes into the beginning with Adam and Eve and how God went to the root which is belief. Why are you hiding? Do we apply the gospel that way with our children, our spouse, or community? It takes time and intentionally by getting to know others in a deep intimate way. I loved how there is opportunity for the gospel in our disagreements.
We don’t believe correctly when we lack truth about God, we believe lies about God or we fail to put our faith in what we know to be true of God. Doing so in turn, we start to believe lies about ourselves and others. Vanderstelt’s own struggles with approval reveal how we too can believe a false gospel. We all have at one time or another. The gospel gives us a deliverance from the lies we believe when we apply Gospel truths. It also frees us from the idols we make. Whom do we make our god. A father/mother/job/friends/etc. who fail to give us the approval we need? We also not only look to others for the gospel but ourselves when we strife to do more or hide.
This book is really a book of opportunity. What the gospel looks like and what a false gospel looks like. With a true gospel, we see our need and we see our hope. We desire to become more immersed in the Good news of Jesus. We want more of Him and less of me. We come to understand Jesus is enough because we have applied gospel truths. We begin to see gospel instead of problems. The world needs the gospel and it needs us to embrace the gospel.
A Special Thank You to Crossway Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.