I’m known for being quiet, but there are many things I want to say. There are so many thoughts pressing to get out, but often I struggle to turn them into words! So, I’m attempting a blog this summer because I want to share truth and encouragement. I want to think out loud and spark conversations. I have a relationship with the God of our universe and a growing knowledge of him that compels me to speak. My hope is that some might listen, reflect, and respond.
I’d like to start with what should be the foundation to all I write about: the gospel of Jesus Christ. If someone had asked me 5 years ago, as a life-long church goer, what “the gospel” was…my response may have been something like this: “Um, I think it’s all the stuff in the Bible. Or maybe just about Jesus. He died on the cross for us.” Now, however, I’d like to share a more specific, less cringe worthy answer.
The faith of millions (including, perhaps, you?) hinges on the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, what is it?
“God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
God is the eternal creator. He is perfect and made all things good, enjoying an intimate relationship with humanity. Creation was a Trinitarian effort, involving Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I’m not going to attempt a dissection of the Trinity right now, but I want to emphasize that Jesus was present and active. [See Psalm 90:2, Hebrews 1:1-3, James 1:17]
“They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8
Although God’s original creation was perfect, he endowed mankind with the ability to make choices. Unfortunately, the choice was made to disobey God’s commands in Eden, ushering in a broken relationship between God and man. Rebellion continues today in every person, and the punishment for such sinfulness is death. This death is a physical and spiritual separation from God, and therefore a separation from all that is good. [See Romans 3:21-26, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-5]
Jesus “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” Galatians 1:4
Jesus is God’s Son, sent in the flesh in order to be a sacrifice for mankind. Unlike the rest of humanity, Jesus was perfect in committing no sin. He died in our place, absorbing that punishment we have all earned. He took upon his shoulders the wrath of God for all our wickedness. But he didn’t just die, that would be a tad counterproductive and also…he’s GOD! He rose, defeating death and sin. Being united to Christ in his death, we are also united to him in his eternal life. He took our filth and we are clothed in his righteousness - we are made free, no longer condemned! Jesus is the only means by which our relationship with God can be made right, and eternal life with him is an act of grace that comes through faith. As a continuing helper, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, believers are filled with the Holy Spirit to be empowered as witnesses, convicted of sin, and guided through the Bible. [See 1 Peter 2:22; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 8:1-4; Acts 1:8; John 14:6, 14:15-23, 16:7-11]
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away…Behold, I am making all things new…It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Rev21:3-6
Jesus is eternal, and one day will judge mankind. Those who continued in disbelief and rebellion will be separated into eternal torment. However, for those surrendered in faith to Christ, salvation will be made complete; sin will no longer be a struggle in our relationship with God and our worship of him. All things will be made new, returning forever to the perfection we glimpsed in Genesis 1. [See Hebrews 1:1-4, 1:10-12; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 25:31-32, 25:41]
God does not delight in evil and death – he loves us and that’s why he sent Christ! Despite our sins against him which continue before and after salvation, his steadfast love endures forever! Let each of us live a life worthy of being called a child of God.
Links for further exploration:Book recommendation video