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The Gospel is… Introduction
[box_light]Ed. note: Over the next several weeks, we will be taking a look at the Gospel from a variety of angles. If you have a suggestion, please let us know via on Facebook, Twitter, email, or in the comments. Enjoy:[/box_light]
What is it? What does it mean to us? What does it mean to others?
The beauty of the Gospel is that it’s so simple, yet its ramifications are endless. We hear the word “Gospel” thrown around like crazy, but a lot of people aren’t exactly sure of what it is (or at least I wasn’t). I would describe it best as a series of events and relationships between God, Man, Jesus and The Holy Spirit.
God (Creator, Designer, and Ruler):
God has created everything. In the beginning, he formed the heavens and universe and threw the earth in the middle of it. He then masterfully crafted animals, climates, mountains, oceans and everything in between to fill the barren earth (Genesis 1:1-25).
God does this for one reason and one reason alone, his glory. He then creates man (Adam) in his image to take dominion over all of this and rule it. So in the way God rules the universe, man is to take dominion over the earth.
He sees that man needs help and out of his rib creates woman (Eve). God places them in the Garden of Eden to enjoy everything his creation has to offer, this equates to the absolute truest form of paradise. Some describe this simply as “the way things ought to be”. At this point God’s design is perfect; this is what God intended. Man and woman work together to rule the earth, relish in its goodness and glorify God while enjoying it. God only gives one simple command: don’t eat the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil, or else death will be inevitable.
Eve is tempted by Satan and takes the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil. Adam allows it and also partakes in the fruit; this is the fall.
This is where man gets away from God’s design and sin enters the world. God’s design is broken by sin. Adam and Eve are cast out of the garden. Sin has separated God from man.
From this point on, all men and women are born into sin and cursed. Instead of a flawless world where men and women perfectly complement each other and dominate what God has created in pure joy, humans must now exist in world corrupted by physical and emotional pain, disappointment, discouragement, judgment, envy and flat out brokenness.
This is the world we currently live in… we are now doomed from the get-go.
Everything good God has created is now tarnished and corrupted by sin. We can still see pieces of God’s design and goodness in this world, but the world is ultimately corrupted. Humans are now ruled and corrupted by their own sinful hearts. No matter how “good” of a person they may be, their righteousness is not good enough to be saved and set free from the bondage of sin. God still exists, but the connection between himelf and humans is broken.
Man is in desperate need of a savior who can stand in this gap…
Jesus (Savior, Sacrifice):
Jesus comes to the earth as a living, breathing man who is also fully God. He is tempted in every way, yet lives a perfect sinless life. He lays down his life willingly on the cross and endures the wrath of God. He is murdered, buried and raises from the dead three days later and ascends to heaven.
He is the sacrifice and savior.
His perfect life and righteousness stands in the gap between man and God. His righteousness–––and only his alone–––is good enough to please God as an acceptable sacrifice. A man is saved when he admits that he is a sinner and cannot save himself–––and places his faith on Jesus as his savior. When this happens, he is counted as righteous and when God observes his sinful life, he instead sees the perfect and blameless life of Jesus.
He gets what Jesus deserves.
Jesus becomes that connection between man and God. We exchange our sinful and dirty lives for his perfect sinless and spotless life. This is far and away the best deal to ever take place in the history of the earth.
The Holy Spirit (Comforter, Transformer):
When a man is saved, he receives the transforming gift of the Holy Spirit which dwells within him. The Holy Spirit changes and transforms the life of a man.
Although he will always be a sinner and live in a sinful world until the day he reaches heaven, the Spirit will work in him all the days of his life, giving him the ability to become more and more like Jesus.
This is the Gospel. This is the good news… that God loved us enough to send us a savior.
That we can have a personal relationship with him through Jesus.
That we amazingly don’t have the pay the price for the evils we commit day after day after day. We fall short, but Jesus picked up the slack. We aren’t only counted as righteous in the eyes of God; we are made better here on earth by the work of the Holy Spirit.
The essence of the Christian life is the Gospel.
[box_help]SOUND OFF: What are your thoughts? How has the Gospel transformed your life? Let us know in the comments. As always, if you have a suggestion, please let us know via on Facebook, Twitter, or email.[/box_help]
About Jonathan RamoutarJonathan Ramoutar is a follower of Christ who is passionate about the church’s role in culture and male leadership. He is also an avid fan of the NFL (Tampa Bay Bucs) and NBA (Miami Heat).
Christian Shoddy is Still Shoddy
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)