the good news

What is the gospel that is taught and proclaimed at Westminster? It's a good question, because there are "other gospels" (see Galatians 1:8-9). There are other versions of the "good news." 

One version of the gospel tells us that even though Jesus died for us, it's really what WE do that matters. People have to get their behavior right and their morality straight in order for God to accept them. The main thing is to get others to stop doing bad things, and become good, respectable, church-going people. Then God will welcome them. Until then, not so much. 

Another gospel says that God's love is so deep that God affirms everyone and everything, no matter what. The gospel gives us a hug, and makes no claim on our lives. All that matters is being a good person, believing in God (in any way we like), and not hurting anyone else. 

Still another gospel announces that if we enter into a deal with God and keep our end of the bargain, then God will do his part and give us the life we want and deserve. It's a basic quid pro quo: you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Be good, and God will make you happy. Have faith, and God will help you avoid hell. Pray, and you'll get what you ask for. Give money, and God will give you back even more; it's a win/win. 

Of course, each of these gospels have elements of truth. God does, in fact, want us to avoid sin and do good. God does love us unconditionally. God does make amazing promises. But the gospel of Jesus Christ that we strive to proclaim and live out at Westminster is more than this. And less.

It is simply the announcement, revealed in God’s Word, that in Jesus Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. By a daily living faith in Jesus, God's free gift is made ours, and we live no longer for ourselves, but for the One who loved us and died for us. We live no longer by our own wisdom and power, but in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, who sends every one of us out, every day, into every area of life as ambassadors of God's ministry of reconciliation. And in responding to God, we become transformed. Our worship and obedience are not a duty, but become a delight. All of this results in God's glory and our inexpressible joy, now and forever.

What could be better?