What in the World is the Christian Message?

True or False: The essence of the Christian message is that you are to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.

The answer is…


This is not the message of the gospel but the message of the Law!  When Jesus was asked about the sum of the Law, what did he say?

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Mat 22.37-40)



The gospel message is not a call for us to get busy doing the best we can to please God but rather a call to realize our sinfulness and to trust upon one who truly did please God.  In other words, the essential message of Christianity is never about what you and I can do but about what God has done in Christ!



The essence of the Christian message is that you can’t but Jesus Christ did.  You can’t earn God’s favor, but Christ did perfectly through his life of obedience culminating with his sin atoning, guilt removing, wrath satisfying, death defeating sacrifice on the cross.  It is with this reality fixed that the Christian then lives their life to love and honor God supremely while loving their neighbor as themselves.  Christians obey God not to earn God’s favor but because Christ has earned the favor and we are now living lives controlled by the Spirit, in obedience to the Word.