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The difference between the gospel culture and a salvation culture. Gospel culture is culture that is made for the community and is meant to be practiced with others present. This is a community that saturates every situation and every experience. The biggest thing within a Gospel Culture is that people are together and studying their beliefs together. The Gospel is how a person lives their Christian life and how they enter into the Kingdom of God. Within the Gospel we realize that the message or main point of the Gospel is Jesus Christ, he is the center and whole meaning of the Gospel. Salvation is a part of the Gospel, but it is not the main part of the Gospel. The Salvation Culture is more focused on being saved and not much else. Salvation culture is mostly focused on a persons’ individual choice or decision for salvation. Gospel Culture is mostly centered around the Messiah, he is the main focus and who we should live for. The Salvation Culture is mainly concerned with saving your own soul. Salvation culture and the Gospel are intertwined with one another. If you are looking for salvation for yourself then you need to realize that you need to be open to the Gospel as well. Without one you pretty much do not have the other. It is said in the Bible that we need the knowledge of scripture because according to it, we attain our faith through the words of God. Since God is the main focus of the Gospel in Jesus Christ, we have to look to him and his words to really gain salvation. It is known that having only salvation is not enough in general, we have to use it for something. We must also spread the words of Christ by not only going to church on Sundays, or even one or two more times a week. We must spread the words of Christ within separate Bible studies, through street ministries, through any way that we can fit in spreading the words of Christ. Gods real plan of true salvation is that of inclusion and love, also following Christ and spreading his word. It is important to understand that there is a distinct difference within the two cultures even though they do work hand in hand with one another. Gospel culture is concerned with everything it may affect across the boards, whereas salvation culture is purely concerned with just saving ones’ own soul.
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During this first week of class we were tasked with learning about gospel and salvation cultures and differentiating between the two. Honestly until I started reading THE KING JESUS GOSPEL by Scot McKnight, I never realized the two cultures existed or just how different they are from each other.
Salvation Culture as it is understood, is more of a watered-down version of a gospel culture and because of how liberal and loose it is compared to a gospel culture, countless people are missing the Mark. In a salvation culture everything is based solely on making a decision to believe that Jesus died for your sins. That is pretty much it, no real accountability or responsibility. Scot McKnight calls this group “The Decided”. In a salvation culture multiple portions of the Bible are glanced over if not completely disregarded. The plan of salvation is an important and vitally necessary part of the Gospel. However, in a salvation culture, the plan of salvation is treated like it is the gospel in and of itself. It undermines the story of Jesus and Israel. It undermines the prophecies and it even undermines the resurrection.
A gospel culture was the only culture that was ever intended by the Apostles. Scot McKnight declares that in order to understand the Gospel you must start from the beginning and that starting point is found in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 sums up the Gospel in a nutshell. Jesus was born of a virgin, crucified on a cross, rose on the third day and appeared to Cephas and then to his disciples. Jesus came to earth through 42 generations and through the line of David to fulfill the prophecies that were written about him throughout the old testament. Sin and death entered the World through Adam and with Jesus shed blood victory was won. A gospel culture focuses on Jesus’ lordship, it requires accountability beyond deciding to believe that He died to clean your sins. In a gospel culture one is required to embrace the entire story and not just a small portion.
It is important to distinguish between a gospel and salvation culture because modern society has tried to put salvation culture forward as the Gospel. Salvation culture, however, is seriously lacking. In its worse form one is led to believe that after they accept Christ into their hearts that they are set and have secured a seat in Glory regardless of what they do after that point. Gospel culture is based on accountability and discipleship. It is not enough to accept Jesus as your personal savior, you must follow Him and be held accountable to His standards. The plan of salvation has it place, it is important to make the decision to accept the gift of salvation, nut if you stop there you expose yourself to missing the entire point. Word count 478
McKnight, Scot. The King Jesus Gospel. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016.
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