I was talking about the gospel with a couple of young pastors the other day. Here’s some rough thoughts.
If the spreading the gospel were merely handing out meals at a soup kitchen or merely providing shelter for the homeless and afflicted, if the gospel were merely about clothing the naked, if the gospel were simply about freeing the financially oppressed, then what would necessitate Paul’s words in Romans 1:16?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
If the gospel were merely all about relieving societal and financial pressures for people, then Paul and all believers of all times would have nothing whereof to be ashamed. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be foolishness to the Greeks (1 Cor. 1) — unregenerate Gentiles have no problems giving to charities and setting up foundations, etc. Also, it would by all means not be a stumblingblock to the Jews (1 Cor. 1); they were already required to give to the poor!
Paul addresses this issue because the gospel is first and foremost a powerful, life-changing message — one of good news. It is the message of Christ crucified and risen again from the dead — the message that Jesus Christ became sin for us, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. It’s a message of God’s love for the world — that whosoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life. It’s the message of the cross that is offensive___
try to see it clearly