"For 'All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.' And this word is the good news that was preached to you." (1 Peter 1:24-25)
Peter writes that the “Gospel” is good news. It is not a recommendation or good advice. It is something that has been done for us. We are ransomed from sin, and ransomed from human efforts, which are futile in making one right with God. The ransom price was not with anything perishable but with the “precious blood of Christ”, v.19.
Second, the gospel is proclamation. The “core message is not a code of ethics to be debated … and pondered, and … not a systematic theology to be outlined and schematized.” [D A Carson ] It is to be announced. Furthermore, the Gospel is not the results of the Gospel. We can live godly before people. We can be exemplary in the workplace or involve ourselves deeply in acts for justice, but good deeds cannot bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Finally, the gospel is about change. Everyone who receives the message of salvation is transformed, born again, not of perishable seed but imperishable. Once again, this occurs as result of sharing the “living and abiding word of God” v.23. “[I]f the gospel is primarily about what God has done to save us, and how we can receive it through faith, it can only be expressed through words. Faith cannot come without hearing.” [Tim Keller]
Sharing the message of the Gospel is a must. Building relationships with the lost is also a must. But the latter is a must so that ultimately we have opportunity of proclaiming the good news and prayerfully gaining a brother or sister.
--E.C. Malone 03/20/15