The Biblio-Files

bib·li·o·phile (bĭb'lē-ə-fīl') n.

1. A lover of books.
2. A collector of books.

29.6.07

A Gospel Primer

Eron and I each received a copy of this small book from our community group leaders about a month ago. When I finally got around to reading it I was so glad that I did and so encouraged by this short 78 page booklet. "A Gospel Primer- For Christians" is written by Milton Vincent, former faculty at The Master's Seminary, and current Pastor-Teacher of Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church in Riverside, California. On the very first page is the following quote from C.J. Mahaney:


If there is anything in life that we should be passionate about, it's the gospel. And I don't mean passionate only about sharing it with others. I mean passionate about thinking about it, dwelling on it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world. Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us. And only the gospel out to be.

(C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life, 20-21)

The purpose of the book is summed up in that quote. This book is mainly meant as a tool to help Christians think about and preach the gospel to themselves daily. As Vincent states in the introduction:

This booklet is offered as a handy guide to help Christians experience the gospel more fully by preaching it to themselves each day. It is also offered as a correction to a costly mistake made by Christians who view the gospel as something that has fully served out its purpose the moment they believe in Jesus for salvation.

This booklet is broken into three parts:
Part I- Reasons to Rehearse the Gospel Daily
Part II- A Gospel Narrative- Prose Version
Part III- A Gospel Narrative- Poetic Version

Part I goes through 20 reasons to rehearse the gospel to ourselves each day. Here are some great quotes under a few of these reasons that Vincent covers:

Freedom from Sin's Power
"As long as I am stricken with the guilt of my sins, I will be captive to them, and will keep re-committing the very sins about which I feel most guilty...The gospel, however, always slays sin at this root point and thereby nullifies sin's power over me. The forgiveness of God, made known to me through the gospel, liberates me from sin's power because it liberates me from sin's guilt; and preaching such forgiveness to myself is a practical way of putting the gospel into operation as a nullifier of sin's power in my life."

Resting in Christ's Righteousness
"On my worst days of sin and failure, the gospel encourages me with God's unrelenting grace toward me. On my best days of victory and usefulness, the gospel keeps me relating to God solely on the basis of Jesus' righteousness and not mine."

Perspective in Trials
"The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ."

Cultivating Humility
"Nothing suffocates my pride more than daily reminders regarding the glory of my God, the gravity of my sins, and the crucifixion of God's own Son in my place."

and I could go on and on....

Part II and III are practical ways to rehearse the gospel daily. Part II is a prose version of the gospel. It is a 10 [small] page summary of the gospel that you can read to yourself each day. Part III is a poetic version of the gospel for the same purpose. These are both very helpful and very quick reads because the pages are filled with scripture references on the bottom, and not just the references, but the whole verse written out, so it is all there in front of you. The author even suggests writing one of these versions out on notecards to have with you to read daily wherever you are.

I highly recommend that every Christian pick up a copy of this booklet and use it as a tool to remind ourselves of the gospel and the reasons why we need it each day.

Ordering information and PDF download---HERE

6 comments:

Eron said...

Kar,

Thanks, Hon. That's a good post with good quotes. I am glad you liked this primer and were dedicated to get through it. Thank you. It affects me and our house when you read things like this. Love you.

Hub

Ryan Bebee said...

Kari,
Thanks for helping us keep the gospel central in our lives. Good quotes, especially the one about resting in Christ's righteousness. It's funny (or sad) how a good day of battling with sin results in us resting in our own righteousness. You would think the opposite to be true. Oh how we have a crafty enemy.

Eron, I expect a post on "Heaven" later this week. Or whenever...

blake white said...

Good post Kari. Sounds like a good book to go to often. Funny how we forget the gospel so often. Ryan is right.

Bethany said...

Nice Kari, way to post on the booked blog! That was encouraging. I especially liked the quote about the gospel reminding us that we are no longer under sin's guilt or sin's power. Knowing the power of the cross in our lives motivates us to battle sin! Its all hope and victory for those who are in Christ!! PTL:)

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Joel Brockenberry said...

Great book, BUT...We have this tendency to get into trends in the church. I can't think of any thing hinting at preaching to myself in scripture, though the book is excellent in reminding me of the truths of the gospel. I'm not in anyway criticizing the book, but I suggest that our culture is pushing us to privatize our religion, to "keep it to yourself", and the trend may be to speak to ourselves, a novel idea, without speaking to our neighbor, amidst the intolerant climate. Scripture seems to tell us to preach outwardly, to proclaim. Maybe the encouragement should be to just "preach the gospel", and as we do so, we will reap the benefits of "preaching the gospel to ourselves".