Timothy Keller a man of conviction

Young woman with a Bible in the alley of park

In honour of Timothy Keller (1950 – 2023), a man whose deep conviction and understanding of the Christian faith have touched countless lives, we delve into a truth near his heart: the Gospel’s transformative power. His preaching and prolific writings have resonated with many at Perth Bible College and beyond. They have been instrumental in shaping a generation ready to engage the world with the Gospel’s reality. In the spirit of Keller’s eloquent yet accessible style, we explore how the Gospel is the Good News, that changes everything.

Christian friend's groups read and study the bible together in a home with window light

A profound truth

A profound truth stands at the core of Timothy Keller’s teachings: the Gospel is about Jesus Christ. It’s so easy to misconstrue Christianity as a system of morality, a guideline for securing a place in heaven, or a social commentary. However, Keller gently, yet firmly, corrects this by bringing the focus back to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not a means to an end; He is the beginning and the end, for “all things have been created through him and for him… and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17.

The Gospel narrates the most transformative event in human history: God descending into the grittiness of human existence, confronting the chaos of sin and evil, and redeeming it through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

One of Keller’s most profound impacts on students is his exposition of grace. This unmerited favour from God dismantles any notion that we might earn our salvation or that it’s a divine endorsement of our self-perceived righteousness. Grace, as Keller articulates, is scandalous and counterintuitive. It confronts our deeply ingrained beliefs in self-sufficiency and meritocracy. In the Gospel, we face the humbling and liberating truth that Christ’s sacrificial love grants us profound worth and identity despite our flawed natures and moral failures. In Keller’s words, “We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time, we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

The Gospel doesn’t stop at forgiveness

But the Gospel doesn’t stop at forgiveness. Timothy Keller articulates something that many students testify to experiencing firsthand: the Gospel’s transformative power. It’s not a dormant truth waiting for intellectual acknowledgment. It’s a living, active agent of change in our hearts, thoughts, and actions. This transformation is holistic; it touches every aspect of our lives—our ambitions, relationships, and the paradigms through which we see the world and ourselves.

The Gospel isn’t an abstract theological concept—it’s the very power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).

Keller never allows us to be complacent with a shallow understanding of the Gospel as a mere personal ticket to salvation. He continually challenges us with its cosmic implications. The Gospel message bears the promise of renewal—restoring a fractured world and mending broken lives. It compels us to action, infusing our vocations, social justice efforts, and cultural engagements with eternal significance.

Lastly, Keller brings us to the foot of the Cross, where we find the Gospel’s story of substitution. Jesus, the crucified Savior, is central to the Gospel narrative. He lived the perfect life we couldn’t live, died the death we deserved, and defeated death in a triumphant resurrection. In His incredible act of love, we find righteousness imputed to us, not by our deeds but by His sacrifice.

In this exploration, reminiscent of the heart and passion Keller has shared over the years, we’ve barely scratched the surface. The Gospel is like an ocean, vast and deep, and we are all invited to plunge into its depths. As students, scholars, and servants of Christ, let us move forward with this confidence: the Gospel is not just good news among others. The Good News changes everything—our hearts, our lives, and our world. In the echo of Timothy Keller’s life and ministry, may we continue to live out this reality. The Gospel truly changes everything.

When you are ready to see your life through God’s eyes, contact us for a personal conversation.