The Church is Central to the Gospel

“The gospel which some us proclaim is much too individualistic. ‘Christ died for me,’ we say, and then sing of heaven: ‘Oh, that will be glory for me.’ Both affirmations are true. As for the first, the apostle Paul himself could write, ‘The Son of God..loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Gal. 2:20). As for the so-called ‘glory song’, the gospel does promise ‘glory’ for believers in heaven. But this is far from being the full gospel. For it is evident from Ephesians 3 that the full gospel concerns both Christ and the ‘mystery’ of Christ. The good news of the unsearchable riches of Christ which Paul preached is that he died and rose again not only to save sinners like me (though he did), but also to create a single new humanity; not only to redeem us from sin but also to adopt us into God’s family; not only to reconcile us to God but also to reconcile us to one another. Thus the church is an integral part of the gospel. The gospel is good news of a new society as well as of a new life.”

– John Stott, The Message of  Ephesians, p. 128-129

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Mission Accomplished

“None of this language [of the atonement] in the New Testament refers to something potential, a mere possibility, or an option; rather each image refers to something that actually accomplishes its end or purpose. So, for example, he can we say that God and sinners are reconciled if these “reconciled sinners” were then cast into hell? Or what kind of propitiation would it be if God’s wrath was not assuaged, or what kind of redemption if the hostages were not set free? The point with all these images is that the benefit envisioned has not merely been made available; it has been secured not by mere the teaching or the ministry of Christ but by his death an resurrection.”

– Mark Dever, The Gospel & Personal Evangelism, p.38-39