What is the gospel?
The word Gospel means “good news”. It’s pretty important to understand that. The Bible is not a book that tells us what we have to do to earn salvation, it is a book that tells us what God did to earn our salvation. What he did was send Jesus. Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves and he paid for what we had done in his body on the cross. God created human beings and intended for them to be ruling creatures. We were supposed to be under God but over everything else. We were supposed to rule over creation under the guidance and authority of God’s Word and to function as conduits for all the blessings of heaven. That’s how it was supposed to be, but unfortunately, the Bible tells the story of how our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into sin by choosing to rebel against God’s Word in order to become autonomous ruling creatures. Basically, they wanted to be gods unto themselves, deciding good and evil. From that point on, humanity has been on a downward spiral moving further and further away from God and our original design and glory. The heart of the Gospel is the Good News that Jesus has come as God in the flesh and has obeyed God perfectly and has therefore won the right to all the blessings God originally intended to give to men and women. Furthermore, through his sacrificial death on the cross, he has paid the debt that we owed to God for disobeying his commands. There is therefore no need anymore for us to hide from God. In Jesus, we can come home and we can be restored. The climax of the Gospel is the great news that he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where he now intercedes on our behalf. He gives the Holy Spirit to all his people and he slowly but surely, changes our hearts, reforms our desires and teaches us how to be the children of God we were always intended to be. For now, Jesus remains in heaven, changing the world one person at a time, but one day he will return and judge the world in righteousness. He will remove from this world all sin and all causes of sin and he will restore the cosmos to a state of peace, prosperity and flourishing and all those who have received him as their Lord and Savior will participate in his rule and enjoy his goodness forever.
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