What is the Gospel?
The Gospel. Maybe you've heard this word a thousand times or maybe you've never heard it before until now. Regardless, the Gospel is the best thing in the world. More specifically, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news in the world. In a day and age where all we seem to hear about is bad news, it should encourage your heart knowing that there is such a thing as good news. And I'm not talking about the kind of good news that is good today but it gone tomorrow. I'm talking about good news that has been good from day one and will always be good news. Now that, my friend, is something to consider. Good news that will always remain good news.
So what is this Gospel, this so-called "good news" concerning Christ? What's so great, what's so good about the gospel of Jesus?
First and foremost, this gospel message is all about Jesus. It's all about who Jesus was and is. It's about what he said. It's about what he did. In fact, truth be told, the entire Bible as we know it speaks about Jesus, from beginning to the end. Yes, that's right. The Bible is entirely and completely about the revelation of God's plan for all of creation through Jesus. The Bible tells us about this Gospel message, this good news about Jesus.
We Stiff-Armed God
So here's the skinny. Here's the deal. You and I were made to worship. I mean you and I were made to worship and adore, from day one, the God who created us. But the problem is that from day one, from the very beginning, we rejected this idea of worshiping God and decided that we'd like to do things our way. In fact, the very idea of worshiping God turned into us worshiping ourselves and creation. We rejected God the creator and instead began to worship everything but the creator God. Ourselves. Others. Sex. Pleasure. Happiness. Children. Cars. Women. Men. Whatever. Anything and everyone but God. You see, you and I were created to be in a perfect relationship with God, the creator and sustainer of the heavens and earth. And we stiff-armed him. We said, "no thanks, I'll have it my way." I mean that's a crazy thing to imagine, us rejecting God, but indeed that is what happened. From the very beginning of time, starting with Adam and Eve. And since then, every single man, woman, and child has followed suit. We passed on the tradition. In fact, let's call it what it really is. Sin. In rejecting God as the centerpiece, we sinned against him. A crime in fact, that is punishable by death. That's right. We decided that we'd like to be our own little gods and as a result, deserve death. So far this doesn't sound like good news at all, right? I mean where's this all going. Stay with me.
Exchanging the Truth for a Lie...
So here's the deal. God created us to worship him, to be in perfect fellowship with him and we instead decide to blow him off, to give him the good old, "no thanks, I'll pass. I'd rather do things my own way." And so we go about our lives trying to call the shots, declaring what is good and bad for ourselves and for others. We think that this brings us happiness, when in fact it brings us death. We exchanged the truth for a lie. The lie is that we were designed and created to worship ourselves. The truth is that we were designed and created to worship God.
And so God looks at his creation and what does he see? He sees a bunch of rebellious men, women, and children who have rejected him and so what does he do? What would you do? I mean what if you created an empire, you created an entire community and after all was said and done, the community, the creation that you created rejected you? What would you do? I'll tell you what I might do, but here's where it gets interesting. Here's where the good news begins to unfold.
The Good News Unfolds...
You see, despite the fact that we rejected God, God saw it fit to pursue us even further. In fact, if you read Genesis 3, this was his plan from the very beginning. God knew from day one what would happen and so he had come up with a plan. It was an incredible plan. It's actually unthinkable but God did it anyways.
Despite our sin against the creator of the heavens and the earth, despite our pride and arrogance, despite our filth and sin against God, he saw it fit to intervene. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, took it upon himself to fix the situation, to reconcile the broken relationship. That's right, even though you and I were in the wrong and the ones who should have taken the initiative to fix the relationship, God stepped in and provided the way.
Jesus entered the scene. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless and perfect life. Yes, that's right, Jesus came to rescue you and I from the death that we deserve as a result of our sin. Despite the fact that Jesus lived a sinless life, he took on the punishment of death for you and I. During his life here on earth Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God, about a message of love and forgiveness and acceptance. He spoke about all of this being fulfilled through his own life. He healed the sick, forgave the sins of sinners, preached about the kingdom of God and then died a sinners death. But he didn't stay in the ground for long. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin and death. And he left a clear message to all of those who were willing to listen. And his message has been proclaimed ever since. The message is simple. Jesus took on sin and death for you and I. God so desired that you and I have life that he was willing to sacrifice everything just to get the point across. You and I are guilty. We are sinful, death deserving people who have been given a way out. We've been offered a life-line. Jesus provided a way for you and I to be rescued from death and hell by willingly laying down his life. And so when we trust in Christ, when we repent, turn from our sins and trust in who Jesus says he is, our sins are forgiven and we are in fact declared righteous before God! Yes, that's right, in Christ we are saints, no longer sinners.
This, my friends, is the greatest news you'll ever hear. It's the best possible news. The gospel message of Jesus Christ is life giving. It is life transforming. It turns darkness into life. It turns death into life. It delivers you and I from sin and hell to righteousness and everlasting life.
Without the gospel there is no hope. Without the gospel there is sin and death and darkness. Without the gospel, there is no good news.