Over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled, “One Sentence Gospel.” This post was an attempt to summarize the main content of the message of Jesus Christ into one sentence that you can use to work your way through the gospel story. Since then, I have used this sentence almost every week at youth group to help our young people get familiar with the story and message of Jesus. But since I wrote that blog, I have added a few words. The Gospel has not changed, but through some conversations with family and friends, I came to see one aspect of the gospel message that I had missed in my summary. My new One Sentence Gospel is:

The God who made us sent his son, Jesus, to live a perfect life, die in our place, and rise again so that we could be forgiven of our sins, live for God, and know God perfectly forever through faith in him.

Three Words

Three additional words are all I added… and a comma. But in those three words, all the years of our lives as Christians are bound up. We are just not saved to be forgiven and go to heaven; we are saved to live radically transformed lives for the glory of God while he gives us breath. Ephesians 2:10 says,

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God is not just concerned with our life in the future but our day-to-day dependence on him. In three words, “live for God” we are reminded of that.
We are not just called to be forgiven of our sins, but to forgive others and be ministers of grace in our contexts (2 Corinthians 5:18). We are not just called to know God and keep that to ourselves, but to share that message of love and grace with others at home, across the street, and across the world (Matthew 28:18-20).

Being Conformed to His Image

What I came to see was that I can’t call people to know God forever apart from reflecting God to the world now. They are the same thing. And while that truth was implicit in the reality of knowing God, it needs to be said explicitly so that we don’t forget that our hope of an eternal future gives us power and influence in the present.

My “One Sentence Gospel” needed an update, not because the truth changes, but because that infinite truth of God’s love and calling continues to shape and mould me each day. I am constantly being sharpened, refined, and disciplined by God and, as I come to know him better, the application of the things of God will grow and expand into all of my life. Join me in that.

Three simple words: live for God. That is our mission this side of eternity; someday, whether by death or the Lord’s return, we will get to be with God forever along with everyone else who calls on the name of Jesus for salvation.

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