5 Realities of Receiving the Gospel

Wow. I’m working my way through Paul Washer’s The Gospel’s Power and Message, from his Recovering the Gospel series—and it has already become a potent personal study. A peeling back of the many layers of the gospel, as if it were an onion. We should expect no less when allocating time to this kind of reading.

The gospel is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24). It first convicts and then calls. Upon its hearing one will react and then he must respond. Much like two sides of a coin, man is to repent and receive.

While the focus of this article is on the latter, “receiving,” this past February I had shared on the former, “repentance” (see 3 Elements of Repentance.)

Below is a brief summary1 of Washer’s second chapter, “A Gospel to Be Received.” Specifically, what a right response to receiving the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ will look like. He begins by stating that “[t]here is nothing extraordinary about the word received in English or biblical Greek, but in the context of the gospel, it becomes quite extraordinary—one of the most radical words in Scripture.”


When you receive the gospel…

1. You will reject the other. 

First, when two things are contrary or diametrically opposed to one another, to receive the one is to reject the other. Since there is no affinity or friendship between the gospel and the world, to receive the gospel is to reject the world… to receive the gospel is not merely to pray a prayer asking Jesus to come into one’s heart, but it is to put away the world and embrace the fullness of the claims of Christ.

2. You will trust in Christ alone. 

Secondly, a man who receives the gospel trusts exclusively in the Person and work of Jesus Christ as the only way of right standing before God… To receive Christ truly is to throw off every other hope in everything but Christ alone.

3. You will be exposed to the lordship of Christ. 

recovering the gospel setThirdly, to receive the gospel is to open or expose one’s life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Modern-day evangelicalism often teaches men that they should make Jesus the Lord of their lives. It would be better to tell them that Jesus is the Lord of their lives whether they presently bow their knee to Him in love or they clench their fist at Him in hatred.

4. You will make Christ your motivation. 

Fourthly, to receive the gospel is to receive an entirely different view of reality… When a man receives the gospel, his entire life begins to be lived out in a different context, and that context is Christ.

5. You will take Christ as your new life.

Finally, to receive the gospel is to take Christ as the very source and sustenance of one’s life… He is not some minor accessory that dresses up our life and makes it better. In receiving the gospel, He becomes our life.

May we joyfully join in with David as he petitions each and every soul, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psa 34:8).

You can read the first post from Washer’s book The Gospel Power and Message here. Lord willing, there’ll be more as I read through the series. If you’d like to subscribe and have each article delivered to your inbox, simply scroll down to the bottom (mobile) or up to the top-right (desktop) and enter your email address.

1 Washer, Paul. The Gospel’s Power & Message (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012). 9-12.