The gospel is not my experience of grace, not ordo salutis (i.e., the application of salvation to my sin-sick soul), but a message about what God *has done* in Christ for sinners. It is not what God *does* in sinners, what he does for me in my life experience, but what God *has done* for sinners in Christ. We can’t live the gospel, but we sure can believe it, preach it, enjoy the benefits of it and the fruit it produces in and through us. But those things aren’t the gospel. I do not tell people to believe in adoption, or union with Christ, or justification, or sanctification, or glorification (as wonderful as those blessings are!) in order to be saved. I tell them the old, old story – to believe in Christ because of who He is and what He *did* in history past for sinners.
Dr. Richard Barcellos is associate professor of New Testament Studies. He received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA. He is author of Trinity & Creation, The Covenant of Works, and Getting the Garden Right. He has contributed articles to various journals and is a member of ETS.