How the Bible Gets in the Way of the Gospel

I believe in the complete inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible.

I had to get that in first before I get walloped for this title.

I still might take heat for this, but hang with me for a moment and consider a few things.

First, my definition of the Gospel is the good news (literal translation of the Greek word for “gospel”) of what Jesus has done for us by being born on the earth, dying for our sins and resurrecting from the dead.

Jesus, the Son of God, paid the full price for our salvation.

I could word that a few different ways but that’s the gist of the Gospel.

It is the good news of what Jesus did for us.

Second, it is easy to cloud the message of what Jesus did for us.

It’s possible to short circuit the story. Here are some ways.

1.   Teaching that the Bible is a handbook for living.

While the Bible is full of truth that certainly does guide us through life, it is not primarily a handbook of ideas for living.

It is the story of redemption through Jesus.

It is the story of how God worked through history to bring us to Himself.

It skews the Gospel when you look to the Bible primarily as a spiritual self-help manual.

Proverbs, among other books, has some amazing truth for living.

I love the parables. I love the letters to the churches. I love the Bible.

But if the Bible is primarily a handbook then Jesus came for nothing.

Moses could have given us everything we need.

2.   Elevating specific passages above the message of Jesus.

You may have a particular viewpoint concerning end time events, women in ministry, gifts of the Holy Spirit, Bible translations, modesty or a slew of other topics.

You may even be right. But that does not permit you to elevate your doctrinal nugget above the message of redemption.

For I delivered to you as of FIRST IMPORTANCE what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3 ESV)

It is always tempting to emphasize scriptures that make our denomination distinct from other denominations.

It makes us feel significant to think we discovered some prize Bible truths that others overlooked.

But to lift up those scriptures for the purpose of drawing lines only dilutes the power of the Gospel.

Keep first things first.

3.  Making Bible knowledge the priority.

Knowledge about the Bible is no substitute for personal faith in Jesus.

God is not going to give you a Bible quiz to determine your worthiness for Heaven.

Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that this was their mistake.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,(John 5:39 ESV)

Bible memorization is great. But it is not an end in itself. The top priority of the Bible is to lead you to Christ.

Stick to the Story

Never forget, it’s not about what you do for God. It’s about what God did for you through Jesus.

We have the greatest story in the world.

It should never take a backseat, not even to the Bible.