Imagine you’re getting ready for a big race. Say you’re competing in the Olympics. Where do you start? Typically on the starting blocks, which help hold your feet in place as yo push off to start running.
Now, many of us have been taught, whether implicitly or explicitly, to think of the gospel in this way. After all, if the Christian life can be thought of as a race (Phil. 2:16; Heb. 12:1), it makes sense to view the gospel as our starting point. After all, we can’t start the race without hearing and believing the gospel.
But here’s the danger this kind of thinking can create: it makes the gospel too small. It limits the gospel to simply being the starting point, but having no practical value for us after we believe. But the gospel is more than a starting point. In the race of faith, it’s not just the blocks our feet start off in, it’s the track we run on. And more than that—the gospel is shoes on our feet. It’s the air we breathe. It’s the oxygen being carried through our blood vessels. It’s the food that provides our muscles energy to run the race. The gospel is everything to the Christian life.