The same friend who previously asked via Facebook, “What is the GOSPEL?”, posted this:
“Follow-up question: Which is MORE important, preaching the GOSPEL correctly or living the GOSPEL correctly, and why?”
Some of the comments were beginning to mix Law and Gospel.
Below is my “comment”/response:
The two are so intertwined. They have their own distinctions, but the preached gospel is infused in the gospel life. There is no gospel life apart from God’s Word.
The gospel life is wonderful and glorious, and must always come from Christ. It is always God’s work. It’s not our work. We are dead to sin. Dead meaning can’t do nuthin’, bro. The Law strikes us down and strikes us down hard to death. We’re gonners. Now, God is merciful and gives us life in Christ. Any fruit from the Gospel life is sourced from the Jesus on the Calvary tree.
We can’t go back 2,000 years to that Calvary tree to claim the fruit. It’d be cool if we could. Firstly, we can’t go anywhere to find God. The Law is written on our hearts, our sinful hearts, and we really, really want to use the law by our will and our standards to get to God and ultimately make our own god. We’re so broken. It’s God that finds us. Read the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10). The coin can’t flip back up into the owner’s hand. It’s motionless. We’re that coin, man. God finds us. And God then uses us, the coin, to do good things. God’s use of the coin is THE gospel life. I love that story.
Secondly, how does He deliver Himself to us? How does He give us that Calvary fruit? God uses His Word.
The Bible tells us that through the ordinary means of water coupled with Jesus’ words, shared by the tool of the pastor, God gives Himself to us in Baptism. He puts His holy name on us by forgiving our sins in the stead of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection. We’re in His family from Baptism. It binds the church and our lives. We belong to Him. It’s His work.
God gives Himself to us in the Lord’s Supper, Christ’s body and blood. The real deal. Crazy, crazy stuff. No man can rationalize it. It’s the work of God after all. His Word is true and it’s His Word that delivers His body and blood for our forgiveness. It’s right there. Holy blessings abound! The Supper is a direct conduit to Christ on the cross who won our sins once and for all. All these blessed things are given to us in God’s overflowing love. That’s Gospel. From there we live the gospel life, a gospel life of God doing His holy work.