What is at the heart of Christianity? It isn’t moralistic teaching. It isn’t advice that we are given on being “better people.” It isn’t the “Golden Rule.” Michael Horton in his new book The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World answers this question:
At its heart, then, Christianity is not a resource for spirituality, religion, and morality, but a dramatic story at the heart of which is the claim that during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Jesus was crucified for our sins and, after three days, was raised bodily from the dead… the arguments for his resurrection are eminently reasonable – more reasonable, in fact, than alternative explanations. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians that if Christ was not raised, then we are not saved. No other religion makes its validity wholly dependent on a historical fact, (p. 18-19).
That good news can utterly change lives. Only this news is adequate to transform us in our very nature. Horton goes on to write:
Paul and his fellow apostles knew that they were by nature – like the rest of us – bent in on themselves. And picking up on a phrase from Augustine, the Protestant Reformers said that as fallen sinners we are all “curved in on ourselves.” Born with a severe case of spiritual scoliosis, our spines are twisted so that all we can see are our own immediate felt needs, desires, wants, and momentary gratifications. But the gospel makes us stand erect, looking up to God in faith and out to the world and our neighbors in love and service. Not every piece of news can do that, but the Gospel can, (pg. 20).
Amen and amen, have you received and believed this good news?