What is the Gospel?
The Gospel: Part 1
Short definition: Jesus saves sinners.
Long definition: The Gospel is the announcement of the life, death and resurrection of Christ which is the perfect and all sufficient sacrifice for our sins and its consequences. The Gospel is the message that the resurrection is the only ground for salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8). When this Gospel is accepted and embraced there is a reconciled relationship to the triune God (Colossians 1:20). This means that the righteousness of Christ is now our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and that for all eternity the believer gets to be united to God (Luke 23:43; 1 Peter 5:10). The greatest gift of the Gospel is God (John 17:3). It is not only the blessings of Christ and the freedom from the option of sin or its consequences, it is the presence and relationship of the all stratifying triune God.
Breaking down the Gospel
The Gospel can break down into four points: God, Man, Christ, and Response. We will explore each of these four points in this series beginning first with God.
I was out to coffee with a friend and he asked where did we come from? Where did the earth come from? Is there a purpose behind it or a purpose for life? These questions are great questions and point to God.
God is the creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16). God has always existed. There is no beginning and no end to God. God has all authority and power! He is also holy, perfect and good (1 Peter 1:16; Psalm 136:1). Yet even more, God is willing to be personal with his creation by displaying Himself and loving creation.
God created the world out of nothing; meaning that He had no need for the world and the world was not made of some part of God.
The question still remains why He created in the first place…What was the purpose for which He created us? The answer is simple yet complex: relationship. As the Westminster confession states so well: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” We are created to glorify God by enjoying Him forever in relationship (Psalm 16:5-11; Philippians 4:4)!
God is triune
You see, God is triune (trinity) which means God (one) is made of three equally divine persons but of one essence. God in the trinity is perfectly satisfied and has no needs and lacks nothing. Also each member of the trinity has eternally existed. The eternal trinity is in relationship. God is a relational god. God created us (the human race) relational and for relationship. This is a beautiful and amazing thing! Just think about it. This God of the entire universe who has no need for us, yet wants us to know Him like a son knows his father.
My wife and I often say the phrase that we “want” or “like” each other. This is to go farther in relationship than “need” or “loving” each other. It is like this. If I brought flowers to my wife last June for our anniversary (5 years) and if I said well I “needed” to because I am her husband. She would give me a sad look, but if I said I “wanted” to because I love her and it brings me such joy to see her happy then she would smile with delight. God created us for covenant relationship with Him because He is a relational God.
He did not create us to add to His joy because He was complete in His joy in the triune relationship. Instead He has created us to experience that joy and love that God always has. For in a relationship with Him we get to have the all-satisfying and fulfilling experience that God always has. Apart from God there is no true satisfaction.
This is all for Him and His glory. God gets the honor of this relationship because He is the creator, giver, and receiver. God created us for relationship with Him to experience Him, to look to Him as the only one who satisfies, thus He is the most wanted being.
Where are you satisfied?
Think again to my relationship with my wife. If she knew I find less satisfaction being with her than watching football or fishing it would be devastating. I am 100 times more satisfied being with my wife than watching some meaningless entertainment. Even more I am satisfied in God more than anything creation can offer. Where we are satisfied we show our devotion.
Since God created us and we are to find our satisfaction in Him we recognized Him as the king, ruler and Lord of us and this whole world. We exist to be in relationship with God, to experience God and to honor God!
God in His position as king, ruler and Lord is fully just to call for us to live up to this covenant relationship. If this relationship is broken, God is right to execute justice in His holy and perfect judgment.
The next part in this series we explore how this relationship was broken. We will move from God to man, from the perfect to the sinner.
David received a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from University of Northwestern–St. Paul and his Master of Divinity from Bethlehem College and Seminary.
David is the youngest of five, with four older sisters. He met his wife, Kelsey, in Austria through Shamineau International. They were married in 2010. David enjoys the outdoors in all seasons, from swimming on a 90 degree day or camping when it is -40 degrees. When he is outside he loves cycling, running, hunting, fishing, camping and reading a book with a cup of coffee watching the sunrise. He also enjoys woodworking and making stuff with his hands.
David loves people and spending time with anyone. Anyone who joins him on the dock fishing and will talk about the glorious grace of Christ!