“Getting the gospel right”

April 2, 2008

Graeme Goldsworthy is emphatic that we not confuse the gospel. In order to have a gospel-centered hermeneutic, we must understand what is the gospel. The gospel is what God has done through Jesus Christ for us— His life, death, and resurrection. It is not to be confused with the fruit of the gospel, which is what God does through the Spirit in us. Faith is a fruit of the gospel that passionately embraces its object. Goldsworthy writes:

 Faith is never a vaguely defined thing for Paul. It is always defined by its object: Jesus Christ. Faith means implicit trust in the Christ of the gospel to save and sustain us. To live by faith means to live by the gospel. Paul is saying that the Holy Spirit is given to us to guarantee the final participation of the believer in the kingdom where he will no longer be away from the Lord. How does the Holy Spirit act as this guarantee? He does so by enabling us to live by faith. The Spirit establishes our faith and trust in the living and dying of Jesus for us. The Spirit’s work is to energize our faith; not faith itself, nor in the Spirit himself, but in Christ alone.

(Goldsworthy, The Gospel in Revelation, 177) 



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