We constantly need to hear the gospel

We constantly need to hear the gospel

I have the privilege of serving in a church that is always talking about the gospel. You will hear Jesus talked about in every sermon. In all our Bible studies, our English class devotions, and in our sacraments, we love to talk about Jesus.

For some people, that seems kind of odd. After all, the Bible speaks about a lot of topics. And once you have become a Christian, do you really need to keep hearing about Jesus? Don’t you know that already? When you start to study a new topic at school or university, you start off reading the introductory textbook, but once you know more, you get the deeper and more interesting secondary textbook. Why isn’t church like that?

It is true that we do need to hear and understand the gospel to become a Christian. You don’t get into God’s kingdom by knowing the Bible well enough or being a nice person. You need to know that Jesus died for you, in your place, and rose again to show it was all true. So yes, we need to explain the gospel to non-Christians. We should be persistent, creative, and prayerful as we do this.

The gospel, however, is not just for non-Christians. All of us need to hear it, and often. Even if you have been a Christian for over fifty years, you need to be reminded of the good news about Jesus.

Why? There are at least three reasons:

  1. We need the encouragement of the gospel after our week in the world

Most Christians head off to work or study in a world generally hostile to them. Many who work for large multinational companies have to navigate employment policies and an inclusivity agenda that is oppressive. Co-workers might openly mock their faith. Students in the same lecture halls might exclude them from social gatherings. It is a hard world out there.

When we gather together, we don’t need good advice to try harder. We need the gospel. We need to be told that we are secure because of what Jesus has done for us. We need to know that even if others reject us, Jesus has died for us. The gospel is a great encouragement for us when we need it.

  1. We need the gospel to change our thinking and actions

Paul keeps on returning to the gospel when he deals with pastoral issues in the church. For example, in 1 Corinthians 6, he deals with someone stuck in sexual immorality. He doesn’t say, “Don’t do that, it’s bad.” He reminds the Corinthians that they were bought at a price and that how they use their bodies matters. The gospel impacts what they do. This is the right way to change our actions and thinking, for it is based on what really matters, not on what would make us a better person.

We need to hear the gospel and have this core message impact all kinds of pastoral issues. We need to see how trusting Jesus impacts how we work, how marriage works, and how we think about money. If we don’t mention Jesus in that kind of teaching, we are just passing on moral advice, which makes everything about us and not about God.

  1. We so easily forget the gospel and return to works

We live in a world that is based on works. We get rewarded at work and study for hard work and are ranked against others and our KPIs. Success is measurable. But we must not take this attitude to our faith. We are not ranked against other Christians. God doesn’t grade on the curve. We all fail by nature and are only given a pass because of what Jesus did for us. Because much of our lives are based on works, so we need a constant reminder of the grace in the gospel.


The Christian life is not just about getting in through the gospel of Jesus and then moving onto deeper things. Sure, we will grow in our understanding, but we always need to be reminded of Jesus.

Instead of thinking of Christianity like a subject to study, think of it like a relationship. When you know someone well, you don’t stop talking to them and wanting to know about them; in fact, you want to do that more and more. As we know Jesus better, we don’t want to just move to good advice. We want to know how to honour Jesus more and glorify God for his kindness to us. We need to be told over and over about Jesus.

You need to hear the gospel. Whoever you are. It is the news that changes everything.