The Gospel

Jesus is God’s eternal Son, and He came here for a reason. In one place in the Bible, the psalmist wrote something very important (Psalm 119:104-105):

Through thy precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

The psalmist said he gets understanding by looking to God’s precepts, and that’s why he hates every false way. This “false way” is the wrong ideas about sin, salvation, how to live your life, and being “right” before God, in a general sense. He says God’s word is like a lamp for his feet, illuminating the dark paths of life to help him find his way. It’s a light, telling him which way to step and where the obstacles are. If you’ve ever stumbled around in a darkened room, you know how important a light is!

The psalmist’s point is similar. We’re all, each of us, here in this world that’s consumed with darkness. Things aren’t like God made them to be – and the nightly news confirms this for us every day. The Bible makes up 66 individual books, written by 40 authors over a span of 1,400 years. God “breathed out” and inspired every word of those books, using men’s own unique personalities and skills to write just what He wanted them to write. God gave us this book so we’d have a lamp to guide us along the path of life; so we’d have a light for our paths.

The Bible is a collection of books with one, overarching storyline – God will fix everything that’s gone wrong in this world, and He’s going to do it through His eternal Son Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who listens to His message will have eternal life, have his sins perfectly forgiven, be given new life, be adopted into His family and become a citizen of His Son’s future Kingdom. This is the Good news – that God will make all things new, and that those who repent and believe in His Son’s message will be part of this new creation.

The Bible Tells Us:

  1. All about ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-3). God created the world as a perfect delightful place, and he gave a man, Adam, control of it (Genesis 1-2). But he rebelled against God by doing the one thing he shouldn’t do (Genesis 3). Because of this, the relationship between God and Adam and Eve was broken, and nothing they could do would to fix it.
  2. This broken relationship with God is affecting us today. This is why wickedness, death, sickness, pain, hunger, and disaster stalk our world.
  3. God loves us and doesn’t want to leave the relationship broken. That is why God sent His Son, Jesus, to restore us to Him. Jesus makes this possible when He took our punishment by dying on the cross for our sins, and rising from the grave to give us life.
  4. When we sincerely repent (i.e. tell God we’re sorry for our rebellion), and believe who Jesus is and what He’s done, our relationship with God is restored.

Here is a short excerpt from our doctrinal statement about salvation, to make things clearer. We’ve divided this one paragraph up into shorter phrases so it’s easier to read:

We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,

This means God decides to save sinners like you and me, and He does it through His Son, Jesus Christ. There’s nothing we can do to earn or deserve anything from God but judgment, because we’re inherently sinful and wicked. The Apostle Paul said we’re all worthless, because we’ve all turned aside and run far away from God in rebellion (see Romans 3:10-18 [especially 3:12], and Psalm 14). That’s bad news. But, the Good News is that despite all this, God decided to provide a way for us to be forgiven anyway.

Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior;

God sent Jesus and appointed Him to fix this problem. Jesus left heaven and assumed a human nature, while still remaining divine. He obeyed all God’s laws perfectly, where you and I can’t. This is why He can be our Savior; He was perfect and sinless on our behalf, as our substitute.

that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin;

Crime has to be punished. The greater the crime, the more severe the punishment. This is why serial killers don’t get two weeks of community service; it wouldn’t be right, would it? In the same way, people like us who rebel against God and inherently fight against Him deserve the worst punishment. But, Jesus was punished in our place, as our substitute. He set things right and legally took our place by dying for our sins. We don’t have to go to the eternal prison that is hell; Jesus paid it all.

that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree;

Jesus willingly died for us. He wasn’t forced to do it. He didn’t drag His feet to stop it. He didn’t go kicking and screaming to the Cross. He wanted to go, for us. In fact, these were the last words Jesus said to the disciples at the Last Supper, before they left the Upper Room and headed for the Garden of Gethsemane; “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence,” (John 14:30-31).

that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.

Jesus really rose from the dead, and went back to the Father’s side in heaven; “whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,” (Acts 3:21). This proves He’s defeated Satan, and that the curses of sin and death don’t apply to Him. The Book of Hebrews tells us, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage,” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith.

You have to believe in who Jesus is (the eternal Son of God, who has no beginning or end) and what He’s done (lived a perfect life for you, died a voluntary, sacrificial death for you, and raised Himself from the dead to defeat Satan, and the curses of sin and death). And, you have to tell God you’re sorry for your sin and rebellion again Him … and you have to actually mean it. This is an honest change of mind about God and your place in His creation, and its prompted and spurred on by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel,” (Mark 1:15). Will you listen?

Knowing More . . .

If you want to know more about the Good News of Jesus Christ, so you too, can be forgiven, be adopted into His family, and be a part of His coming Kingdom, then contact us. The Gospel is what our church is all about. We’d love to chat, and tell you the old, old story of Jesus and His love! You can also watch a short Gospel presentation here.