In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.” In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel. Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.” Packer writes,
“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).
This week, we come to the letter “I”.
I is for Intimacy
Through the Gospel we are invited into a living relationship with the living God. In the love proclaimed at the heart of the Gospel God has adopted us into his family. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called chidden of God, and that is what we are” (1 John 3:1). The Holy Spirit empowers us to believe the Good News and is sent into our hearts, enabling us to cry, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). Rehearsing the Gospel in our worship, teaching, preaching, fellowship, and service helps us to nurture and celebrate this unfathomably intimate relationship.