Gospel. It’s a simple word that’s six letters long. But try to define it and suddenly people can become quite perplexed.
One of my favourite questions to ask in our membership interview process is simply: “If you were asked to explain to a child what the gospel is in 60 seconds, what would you say?”
Sometimes people get stuck. Other times, people want to describe the effects of the gospel: love, peace, joy, hope. Still others want to share their personal story of transformation. But most know this message.
The gospel is simply good news. It is declaring that something good has happened in history. It is true, factual, and life-changing. What is that news?
The good news is this: God sent his one and only Son to the world as fully God and fully man to redeem his people from the curse of sin and death by his perfect life, dying a sinner’s death, and being raised to new life. Our response to this good news ought to be repentance – turning from a life living for self and sin – and faith by turning to believe this good news is true and that God rewards those who seek him.
There are two simple ways to summarize this truth:
God created us for his glory
Humanity sinned and rebelled by seeking the glory of self
Christ came to die and rescue a people for himself
A Response of repentance and faith redeems, recreates, and restores us.
Creation is the expression of all of God’s goodness
The Fall distorted everything, especially humanity
Redemption is God’s work to reconcile humans back to himself by faith and repentance
A New Creation is God’s goal – beginning with people being saved and culminating in the restoration of all things so that all might praise his glory and grace.
When we grasp this message, the gospel changes us. We are impacted by mercy and desire to show mercy to others. We work to be peacemakers. We seek to live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God (Micah 6:8). We tell this news to others because it is life-changing and eternity-shaping.
As a church, we recognize that there are 10,000 things we can do. But we have one unalterable message: Christ died for sinners. There is no need to contextualize this message, but there is a need for us to be textualized into the good news of Scripture.
Let’s learn to say, like the apostle Paul, that we made it our aim to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2).
Seeking more gospel transformation along with you,