If you ask most active Christians what the Gospel is, you will get some version of “Christ died on the cross for my sins so I can have eternal life.” And while this is certainly “good news,” Pastor and Theologian Ralph Erskine would want us to know that it is not the “full banquet” of the Gospel.
Forgiveness of sins is incredible – especially when it is completely unmerited, but in a banquet analogy it’s potatoes. Potatoes are great. They’re a staple food. But they aren’t a complete meal. So we need to remember that the gospel is indeed a banquet of grace, and our King desires us to eat and drink fully from the table of God.
Again Ralph Erskine encourages to eat fully. In his Sermon, “The Rent Veil of the Temple”, he says, “We feed too sparingly upon Christ, and that is why our faith is weak. And when we do eat, for the most part, we only feed on Christ as the Lamb slain on the cross. And this is good, but we should learn to feed more often. And when we eat, we should feed on the full banquet of Christ. Feed upon Christ as the Great High Priest who has gone within the Veil. Not just the cross, but carry it further. Go behind the Veil, for it has been torn asunder. Indeed, boldly go into heaven itself. Our faith should flee from fleshly refuge, which yields no safety or nourishment. Instead, let us lay hold of all the hope that is set before us. The anchor of our soul will not be so sure and steadfast, as it might be, Unless we delightfully enter into the Holy of Holies with Christ. Unless we follow Christ behind the torn Veil. View Him not only shedding His blood, but entering into the Holy of Holies, And sprinkling His blood on the Mercy Seat. For it is here, with unveiled face, that you will behold the glory of the Lord. And it is here, beholding Him as He is, that you will be transformed into the image of Christ, From glory into glory.” (Quote slightly modified and edited for clarity).
Church, we need to eat fully from the gospel. In the Good News of King Jesus, we have forgiveness, yes. But we also enjoy the declared righteousness of Christ that credited to us. We have adoption as children, being co-heirs with Christ. We have a new heart with a new affection for Christ and we are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit! All of this together makes for a glorious spiritual meal. These are the fullness of our blessed Union with Christ. So when we are “feeding”on Christ, don’t walk away still hungry and weak. Eat and drink fully from our King’s table. Enjoy the banquet! All of it is yours!