1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, (10) the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
What is the gospel? Most professing Christians would say that it is a simple, short sentence. Something like: “Jesus died for your sins on the cross and if you believe in Him as your Savior, you will go to heaven.”
But I can remember, even many years ago, wrestling with this question – “just what is the gospel?” And I can tell you that the answer cannot be condensed down into 25 words or less.
You see it in the scripture passage above. See that last verse? “…in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” Hmmm.
What is in accordance with, what is in agreement with, what is part of this gospel that God entrusted to Paul? Answer: Just look in the verses right before it – “understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just.” In other words, Paul is saying that the gospel is in agreement with God’s Law. And that Law condemns all who are included in this list of sins here, and more.
The gospel of Christ includes the Law. The good news begins with bad news. It begins with an announcement of God’s judgment upon sin and upon the wicked who hate Him. The Law condemns. This is the work that God intends the Law to do. The Law came first – it came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Christ.
Here then is the point I want to make in this article. The gospel includes the judgment of the Law. We see it again here:
Romans 1:16-18 ESV For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Any church then that is going to truly preach the gospel must include the whole message. Otherwise it is not good news because it lets the wicked off the hook. It fails to announce to the domestic abuser that God sees his evil and hates him and His wrath is upon him. All the phoney gospel will say is, “no matter what you are doing, God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”