A Gospel for Today

For today – as in this day, this moment. Most of Scripture speaks about this life, not a life beyond this world. The gospel is not primarily about what happens after we die, but what happens while we live in this world.

When the Bible uses the word “salvation,” it means one or more of these five things – freedom, healing, justice, compassion, and life. We can say much more about each one, and I will have more to say, but here is a quick glimpse:

Freedom from our “enemies,” sometimes human, sometimes spiritual. God delivered us from our enemies, the Hebrew scriptures often say. We have been set free from the power of sin, the apostle Paul says.

Healing, not only from physical sickness or infirmity, but healing from a “sickness of soul,” to use older language – and healing as “being whole,” to use more current language.

Justice for the poor and oppressed – restorative justice and not retributive justice – justice not in the sense of vengeance, but justice that restores us to live as God desires.

Compassion, according to Marcus Borg, is Jesus’ answer to holiness (to a holiness code that shows little mercy). Jesus had compassion on the crowds and showed us a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Life – abundant life (and eternal) – life we have entered into already that is given us by our Creator – life lived in wisdom according to God’s desires.

Much more to come!

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