If you Google the phrase, “the Gospel according to,” you’ll find everything from St. Matthew to The Simpson’s. From Disney to Mary Magdalene. From secular to saint. You’ll find “the Gospel” in this phrase to be defined all the way from the good news of Jesus to a single man or woman or company’s opinion of how life or art or business should be done or run. “The gospel” is often used to mean, “what I believe the truth to be about this topic.”
Let’s hold up a mirror for a moment and take a look at ourselves. I promise I will and I encourage you to.
What exactly is “The Gospel According to insert your name?”
Let’s consider two areas.
First, what are the differences of my gospel to The Gospel? Where do I put my own spin? Apply my own ideas and thoughts? Tag on my mindset to the truth of Christ? In short and to be blunt—where do I write out what to believe and then sign, not my name, but Christ’s? Where do I forge Jesus’ name on a tenet that He would not sign off on?
Second, what gospel would the people around me say that I live “according to?” “According” being defined as “agree with” or “to grant.” What gospel would those around you say you agree with or grant to them?
Mature Christians know to answer this question of someone by lining up against Scripture. But non-Christians don’t have that reference. They don’t know where the plumb line is. So, there is immediately a very personal criteria they apply. Simply this for most—do I see something different and real about your life? If I get into trouble, can I count on you for authentic spiritual help? They say, “I need help. Do you know the Gospel according to Jesus or just yours? ‘Cause right now, I need Jesus.”
Here’s the bottom line—every life is preaching some kind of gospel. That’s why Google is all over the map with references and many that are outside the evangelical realm.
It’s a healthy, powerful, humbling exercise to not only ask God what gospel we may be telling the world that He desires to line back up with His. But also to evaluate if non-Christians are interested in the Gospel we are preaching with our lives?
The good news of the (real) Gospel is God can change us when we submit to Him and make our lives into the light He desires to set on a hill that will shine for Him. Wouldn’t it be great to confidently join Paul in saying . . .
Christian brothers, I want you to know the Good News I preached to you was not made by man. —Galatians 1:11 NLV