I have enjoyed writing this summer as we put together resources for our new website. The “Gospel-Centered Training Resources” has been an area that we’ve been working to populate with new content every week. We have recently published a doc that explains the gospel in detail. This is a vital resource for us because our discipleship strategy as a church is summarized: “learn the gospel, live the gospel, lead others to the gospel.” We exist as a church to make disciples of Jesus, so understanding the gospel of Jesus is paramount to that aim.
This is the first of three posts this week that will help explain the gospel as we understand it. The word “gospel” means “good news.” The good news that the Bible talks about, and that we focus on learning, living, and leading others to at LifePoint, is the good news of Jesus Christ.
What is the good news of Jesus Christ?
When explaining the good news of Jesus, we think it is helpful to emphasize three things.
1) The framework within which the good news comes to us. (today’s post)
2) The actual news itself. (tomorrow’s post)
3) The response that an explanation of the good news calls us to. (Wednesday’s post)
The Framework: [this is where we start]
Truth exists. Ultimate reality exists. We find truth and are informed of reality through the Bible.
At the outset of the Bible, we are told that there is one true God and he is the Creator of everything.
As God created everything, the pinnacle of his creative work was the creation of humanity (male and female) in his image. God created humanity in his image to serve and worship him in the context of a relationship (or “covenant”) with him. Living with God and in delightful submission to his rule can be described as the Kingdom of God.
As God’s character is revealed throughout the Bible, we find that he is holy, righteous, and just.
The bad news which precedes the good news is that all human beings (starting with the first two, Adam and Eve) have broken relationship with God through rebelling against him. This rebellion is called “sin.” Sin separates humanity from God, destroying our citizenship in the Kingdom of God, and banishing us as exiles from his Kingdom.
As the holy, righteous, and just Creator, God has every right to punish humanity for our sin. The just punishment for our rebellion is death, both spiritual and physical.
Without some sort of intervention, humanity is damned to face just, eternal, and final judgment for our sin and rebellion against God.
That intervention is the subject of tomorrow’s post…