“… the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (1 Timothy 1:9–11)
When we look at the content of the message which we preach, we must realize that God is the gospel. Paul states that the gospel is of His glory and blessedness. Apart from God there is no gospel. Apart from the eternal Son incarnate we would have no good news to believe. God is the gospel.
If God is not glorious there is no gospel. The gospel testifies of the beauty, honor, and majesty of God. It declares that sin is horrible and ugly because it takes our eyes and hearts away from Him who is truly beautiful, desirable, and all together lovely. It declares that sin is idolatry because it puts the lesser ahead of Him who is forever worthy of our love, adoration, and obedience. The gospel of the glory of God then declares that God’s beauty, majesty, and honor are such that He intends to display it in such a way as to bring us to the point to give glory to Him forever. Thus He makes a way through the sacrifice of His Son that we might be forgiven according to His abounding grace, which abounds to His glory. God’s glory makes the gospel attractive: it would not be good news otherwise.
The gospel is also about the joy of God. It is the good news of the glory of the happy God. If God were grouchy, irritable, and only a judge, there would be no attractiveness to the gospel, because there would be no good news to make it truly gospel. God, however, is eternally happy. His joy never ceases. In His presence is full joy and eternal pleasures. God enjoys Himself so much that His joy overflows in goodness and grace that we might find joy in Him through the forgiveness of our sins, which reconciles us to Him. God calls us to proclaim this joy in the gospel.
The implications of this for our ministry are great. We should be a joyful people. Preaching should be a joyous task. Our proclamation should be centered upon the joy of the Lord and His pursuit of His glory through our rejoicing in Him. Should we ever begin to grasp this but a little, it would begin to eliminate legalism, judgmental attitudes, hatefulness, worldliness and most other ills that plague professing Christians today. If this truth captivates the souls of the preachers, perhaps it will capture the hearts of the hearers, and then perhaps we will grow to be more successful in our labors.
Brothers, let us proclaim the joyous beauty of the Savior!