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 “S”.
S is for Salvation
Scripture is quite clear that the Gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). As we have already noted, this is not a truth pertaining only to evangelism. The Gospel saves those who believe, from first to last, through and through. It includes all the wondrous doctrines of our great salvation, including election, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification, and much more. For this reason alone, the Gospel must remain central in all the ministries of the church.