A Dangerous Message

“If we do not preach and represent the Gospel in a way that sounds dangerous at first, we are not preaching it truly.”-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

     The above quote was taken by Lloyd-Jones’ commentary on Romans.  He wrote this phrase in connection with Romans 8:1 which says: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  The Doctor was speaking about the radical nature of the Gospel of Jesus. Specifically, how our union with Christ promises us that all of our sins past, present, and future, have been dealt with once and for all. 

     But how could a Gospel message about grace and forgiveness sound dangerous to people?  It sounds dangerous because when the gospel is faithfully proclaimed, the grace of God is put on full display, and that makes people uncomfortable.  This message tells us that we bring nothing…zero…nada to our own salvation.  Our sins have been completely dealt with forever, and we have no part of it.  All we can do is trust Jesus with a helpless dependence, looking to receive the kingdom of God like infant receives their food and care.

      Is that a dangerous message?  It is to religious people who are banking on their good works to merit God’s favor.  Its a dangerous message to all the “pretty good” people out there who have done more good  in their lives than bad. These are the people who are banking on the fact that God grants admission into Heaven based on a divine system of weights and measurements. You know the thought…if your good outweighs your bad, then your in, because God must grade on the curve. This way of thinking does not understand what the Bible says about God’s holiness and man’s depravity.  There is no “pretty good” when it comes to a holy and righteous God.

   Both Christians and non-Christians need the constant reminder of the Gospel message.  We need to know and understand that the Gospel is not about what we can do for God, but instead,  what God has done for us through His Son.

     It is so easy for the church to lose the dangerous nature of the Gospel message. It is so easy for the church to become simply a social club where life lessons are taught…. a place where Christless moralism is extolled…and a place where you  learn how to conquer and cope in life.

      No, the church must be the home of the Gospel of Jesus.  The church must be the place where  the message of God’s unmerited favor is proclaimed. It must be a place where God’s amazing love is seen on display.  It must be the place where the great narrative of the Bible,  the Divine search and rescue mission, is taught, embodied, and lived.  The Gospel message makes Christianity distinct.  Other religions and cults have moralism and good deeds (we certainly need these too), but we have Jesus and His cross, which is the dangerous message we must never forget.


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