Christians Need The Gospel Too

 Everyday in every way we are getting better and better. Really? 
by Don Matzat
Theology is systematic. All the pieces are supposed to fit together. Within Protestantism there are two very distinct systems of theology. One is a Theology of Glory and the other is a Theology of the Cross. I believe that it is very important that we understand the differences between these two ways of thinking. In so doing, I believe we will arrive at the conclusion that these two systems cannot be mixed.
The Place of the Gospel
The Protestant theology of glory begins with a one-time trip to the Cross of Jesus Christ. The preaching of human sin and divine grace is only directed at the unbeliever in order to "get him saved." The person who gets saved can sing, " At the Cross, at the Cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my sin rolled away . . . and now I am happy all the day."

Very often, when discussing on the radio (Issues, Etc.) the place of the Gospel in preaching and teaching, someone will call-in and say, "I’ve already been to the Cross. I’ve heard the Gospel. I’m saved." In other words, in the thinking of that person, the preaching of the Gospel is directed at unbelievers. Once unbelievers are saved the Gospel in no longer relevant.

The theology of the Cross is quite different. The preaching of sin and grace or Law and Gospel is not only intended to convert the unbelieving sinner but is intended to produce sanctification in the Christian. The preaching of the Law continues to convict the Christian of sin, leading to contrition, and the Gospel continues to produce faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.


Alden said…
Good news to those of us "who are being saved!" (1 Cor 1:18)
I am sad to say this, but many perceive that the Gospel is the starting point of the Christian life and then many Christians move on to Law. Our growth is never away from the cross but always into the cross.
Anonymous said…
When one becomes a christian that person cannot perform the requiremets of the law any better then he could as a unbeliever.If the holy spirit is doing the work in the believers heart and mind he will find himself still a 'law breaker' ( that's the bad news ) and therefore still someone who needs to return to the cross , not to be 'saved again' but for confession and forgiveness of sin. 1st John 1:9 God does the convicting, God does the forgiving and cleansing. He is just as much involed and the initiator of our sanctification as he is in our salvation and that is very good news.