As we continue to talk about Rest and the life of God in us, I want to share an excerpt about the power of the gospel. The author’s definition of “gospel” is not just praying the prayer, but the death-to-life transformation that God has begun and will complete according to the promise through His Resurrected Son.
“In much of the popular writing on spiritual formation there is a tendency to convey a very stunted view of the gospel. We get the idea that what unbelievers need is the gospel, and then, once they accept Christ as Savior, they move on to “needing discipleship,” which consists of learning about Christ, developing the fruit of the Spirit, learning how to have a quiet time, and so forth.
However, the picture that the New Testament gives is remarkably different.
We must remember the description of the gospel as the power of God for the beginning, the middle, and the end of salvation. Often we do not really understand all the vast implications and applications of the gospel. Only as we apply the gospel more and more deeply and radically —only as we think out all its truth — does it bear fruit and grow. The key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the persistent rediscovery of the gospel.
All our spiritual problems come from a failure to apply the gospel. This is true for us both as a community and as individuals.”
page 32 of Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered, James C. Wilhoit