There were so many things that I learned from Matt Chandler’s talk this week. I was told by people who are more well informed/more avid followers of Matt Chandler that everything that he talked about this week was from his book, The Explicit Gospel. I loved how he talked about the “Gospel on the Ground” and also the “Gospel in the Air.” I am going to go more in depth on these topics in the coming paragraphs and talk about what I learned from Matt.
The first aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is God. A person coming into Christianity definitely needs to understand the characteristics of God. God is all powerful, omni-present, and omniscience. He can do whatever He wills and does not seek the approval of anyone. The second aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is man. Matt said that there are three things that are wrong with mankind. The first of these is that all mankind have changed the created things from God the creator. The second thing is not only do we prefer creation to the creator, we believe the lie that our way is better than God’s way and we are smarter than Him. The third thing that Matt said that mankind does wrong is that we fail to even acknowledge God. A person trying to understand salvation needs to understand that God forgives us of all of ours sins, including the three things listed above. The third aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is Christ. The key aspect of understanding how we are saved as Christians is understanding that God sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. God did this to forgive every single person on the face of the earth for his or her sins. Romans 3:23 makes is quiet clear that we are all sinners and have failed what God initially had planned for us (see Genesis 2). Therefore, Jesus Christ is the bridge between God and us and is the key to salvation and eternal life with our Creator. The fourth and final aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is response. This response section is pretty straight-forward and easy to grasp but it important none the less. There are two responses a person can have to God’s gift of salvation to us. He or she can accept it or not. Another very important thing to know for a new believer or person thinking about accepting Christ as their Savior and Lord is that we are saved through faith. Faith is completely a gift from God and a belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. A person cannot work or pay their way into heaven. Another very important thing for a new believer to know about salvation is that we are called to only boast in the Lord and not in ourselves. 1 Corinthians 1:31 says, “Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”” This is important to understand for the purpose of salvation because no matter how great a person may believe he or she is, God does the saving because he is merciful and loves us.
The “Gospel in the Air” is the other part of Matt Chandler’s book and the first aspect of it is creation. Genesis 1 lays out the way the earth was created by God. The “Gospel in the Air” goes on to talk about the fall of man and how sin entered the world. This is important for a person to understand because from this point forward man will be a sinner by nature and the only way for a person to escape this sinful nature is through Jesus Christ. In this specific section, Matt talked about how certain things such as sports or television are not sinful in their nature. However, he said that if they distract him from witnessing to others or cause him to stumble then they are causing him to sin and need to go. He said that God is too important to let petty things such as sports and television get in the way. The third aspect of the “Gospel in the Air” is reconciliation. This reconciliation is Christ reconciling us to God through faith by grace. There is absolutely no other way to spend eternal life in heaven except through Jesus Christ. The fourth and final aspect of the “Gospel in the Air” is consummation. This area talks about Christ’s return and that all things will be made new. Our earthly bodies will be exchanged for our spiritual bodies and we will remain with the Lord forever.
Matt Chandler is a great teacher and I was able to learn much from what he had to say. I also believe that a person who is curious about what Christians believe could learn much from sitting through the lectures that we were given last week. In closing, I would like to reiterate that people are only saved through faith in Jesus Christ by grace. We cannot do anything to earn the love of God but still He desires a personal relationship with each and every one of us.