Why the Gospel Isn’t Just for Unbelievers

I have fallen in love with the Gospel, and I’m not afraid to say it. I’ve been a Christian for more than 30 years, and even more than 30 years later, I feel like I’m starting to understand what the Gospel is about.

Maybe I’m a slow learner or have been busy with other things, probably yes. But maybe also the Gospel isn’t just for unbelievers; maybe believers are meant to fall in love with the Gospel over again.

We are tempted to think that the Gospel—literally the "Good News"—is the telling of the Good News to unbelievers who have never heard it before.

But the Gospel is more than that.

By the "Good News," I mean the news that Jesus took the penalty of our sin onto himself, died on the cross, resurrected from the dead, and ascended to heaven, thereby buying us from death and placing us in God’s family forever, where we have complete acceptance and righteousness apart from our efforts.

But the Gospel isn’t just the Good News for unbelievers, it’s for believers as well.

Listen to the Apostle Paul writing to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica:

“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials…” (1 Thessalonians 3:2)

From this verse, we see that:

  • Timothy was sent to spread the Gospel to the Thessalonians
  • The goal was to strengthen and encourage them in their already existing faith
  • Their trials might have the effect of dampening their faith

What’s more is that earlier in 1 Thessalonians, we learn that these people are not unbelievers at all. In fact, they are vibrant believers who:

  • Had become a model to other believers (1 Thess. 1:7)
  • Had faith that had become known everywhere (1 Thess. 1:8)
  • Turned from idols to God (1 Thess. 1:9)

About the Thessalonians, Paul is saying: “I wish there were more believers like you!”

And yet, Paul sends Timothy to them to spread the gospel of Christ to strengthen and encourage them. Already in Christ, they needed to be reminded of the Gospel of Christ to stay strong.

What we see here in 1 Thessalonians is not a one-time incident where they needed the Gospel because of their personal situation. What we see here is instruction for living a strong Christian life.

According to Paul:

“Hey Christian, if you want to remain strong, hear the Gospel! If you want to be a model to other believers, hear the Gospel! If you want your faith to be known everywhere, hear the Gospel!”

Boy, do I need to hear the Gospel every day!

Every day I need to hear the Gospel because regularly I:

  • bargain with God to bless me for good behavior
  • punish myself when I mess up even though God has forgiven me
  • seek people’s approval above what God thinks of me
  • forget to live as a forever son in God’s family

But I don't need to do any of this! My place is already secure, God already sees me as perfect, I'm already as loved as I'll ever be, Jesus already suffered my punishment, the penalty has already been paid in full!

This is why after 30 years, I'm falling in love with the Gospel. Yes, the Gospel is for unbelievers the power of salvation for those who don’t yet believe, but it is also the power of God for those who already believe.

Now this is Good News for us all.

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