Is the gospel assumed in your relationships? Or, is the gospel explicit? I have been thinking about this distinction for a few days now. Those who live life under the banner of an assumed gospel simply navigate the waters of life with an underlying foundation that is personal and meaningful. An assumed gospel often means that a person deeply values the gospel and tries to live life according to the gospel.
The issue with an assumed gospel is that it is often too personal and, therefore, becomes private. The person who lives under the assumption of the gospel often knows how it relates to their life, but nobody else does. Their kids never see how the gospel affects decisions, arguments, finances, etc. Their neighbors never hear of the hope within. Their co-workers are left to wonder about what makes them different. Those who live under the assumed gospel often find it awkward to bring it up and talk about the work of Christ. Why? Because they never bring it up and learn to articulate the implications of Christ’s work and their life.
On the contrary, those who are explicit about the gospel in their relationships have a different effect. By living out the gospel and speaking about the gospel and working through the gospel (verbally), they are helping to connect the dots for those around them. Their kids hear how the gospel relates to the family finances or time or relationships or arguments. Their neighbors hear about the hope within. Co-workers are privy to the reality that this person is not simply a moral guy/girl, but one who is forgiven and transformed by the death and resurrection of Christ.
I want to encourage you to begin, and with some of you, continue to make the gospel explicit in your relationships. Don’t waste life by living an assumed gospel; rather, flesh it out and connect the dots for yourself and those around you. Talk with your spouse about how Christ’s Person and work relates to everything. Pass this on to your kids. Mention Christ. Talk about Christ. Point to Christ. Relate to Christ. Oftentimes where the gospel is assumed, it is quickly lost.
*Josh Patterson is the Executive Pastor at the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. This article is from the Appendix in The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, and is from the August 4, 2009 posting from the web site: http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/blog/pastors/?p=308.