5. Study the Gospel
The last part of helping us keep the Gospel at the forefront of our hearts and minds daily, is to grow in our knowledge of the Gospel. If we are to grow in our understanding of the Gospel, we MUST grow in our knowledge of the Gospel. The great thing is that we don't have to go to seminary to do that! I would personally recommend that you be careful and strategic about the resources you use, especially early on, but you don't have to take classes (which aren't bad by the way) to grow in your theology. So where do you begin? Good question!
I would first recommend that you dive into great books of the Bible like Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, or Hebrews, and as you mull over some of the rich passages about the Gospel in these books have a trusty commentary with you. I recommend "The Bible Speaks Today" series (only buy for the books you are studying) or taking advantage of www.monergism.com. Now as you read and study, some pretty freaky words like justification, substitutionary atonement, propitiation, predestination, election, and others are going to jump out at you. Don't be SCARED...Superman (or Wayne Grudem) will help you. Go get his systematic theology book (which is HUGE) but you aren't reading the whole thing. This book is the clearest I have ever read in regards to explaining what some of these theological words actually mean. Another great resource is John Frame's "Salvation Belongs to the Lord".
By the way, if you haven't noticed already, to grow in your knowledge and understanding of the Gospel takes discipline and the work ethic to read and think. At times, you will do better than at other times, but just stick with it. I also recommend reading outside sources to assist you as you desire to grow in your understanding of the Gospel.
Here are my TOP 10 resources (in no particular order): Click here for a bookstore!
- The Gospel for Real Life, Jerry Bridges (easy)
- How People Change, Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp (intermediate)
- Christians Beliefs, Wayne and Elliot Grudem (easy) *abridged version of the above mentioned Systematic Theology
- Prodigical God, Tim Keller (easy)
- The Cross of Christ, John Stott (technical)
- Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray (technical)
- The Disciplines of Grace, Jerry Bridges (easy)
- Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, John Piper (easy)
- The Great Work of the Gospel, John Ensor (intermediate)
- Death By Love, Mark Driscoll (easy) *read only if you are ready for brutal honesty and being pointed to the Savior at the same time.