If the doctor told you had a terminal illness that could be cured with one pill, you would take the pill! You wouldn’t put it in a display case and look for another cure. You’d take the cure you were given. The gospel is the pill that saves us from sin and death that we all need to take by faith.
1. Gospel Cure
Theologian Peter Kreeft helpfully explains the gospel in medical terms to give us a clear understanding of what we believe. There are the 1) Symptoms (problem), 2) Diagnosis (cause), 3) Prognosis (solution) and 4) Prescription for treatment (how to get the solution)
Problem: Death - Willful separation from God is death itself. Every human being suffers from this spiritual affliction (Col. 2:13; Rom. 3:23)
Cause: Sin - We separate ourselves from God so that we can be in charge of our lives. This is what the Bible calls sin.
Solution: Christ - God doesn’t leave us on our own but pursues us in Christ (Col. 1:18-20; 2:13-14).
Prescription: Faith - We receive Christ and his salvation by putting our trust in him (Col. 2:6-7).
2. Take (and Give!) Your Medicine
There is a difference between my confessional faith (what I say I believe), and what drives me each day (functional faith). I may confess Christ, but function as if I believed performance or approval or sex or money were my saviors. This is why Paul tells us to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” (Col. 3:16): we need to help each other receive the cure of the gospel.
Reflection and Discussion Questions
Why is it so important that we get the gospel right?
Why did God give Jesus as the cure to sin and death? Why couldn’t we just take a pill?
How do we receive the gospel cure?
Why do spiritual outlooks like Buddhism or modernity appeal to us? Why are their problems and solutions convincing to so many people?
What functional faith do you live out of other than the gospel? How would you put it in terms of 1) problem, 2) cause, 3) solution, and 4) prescription?
How does that functional faith contradict confessional faith in the gospel?
Why do we need each other in Christian community to functionally live out of the gospel cure?