The Gospel is the story of how God is working to renew all things through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Universe is a Kingdom
The universe is not a democracy. The one, true God is the creator and king of the universe. God’s kingship may be difficult for us to accept because we have so many self-serving notions about him. But God does not exist for us; we exist for him.
God is the loving ruler of the world. God created humanity to reflect his love and goodness, as well as act as his agents on the earth. Humanity was created for God; we were created to serve, honor and enjoy him in all that we are, all that we have and all that we do.
Something has Gone Terribly WrongGod’s creation has turned against its rightful king. We exist in a world that has been infected with evil. It stains all our thoughts and actions; it has corrupted all of creation. This evil, which the Bible calls sin, pervades and distorts every area of life.
Sin pervades the fabric of our being. It shows up in our lives with each selfish thought or action. We cannot rid ourselves of sin despite our best intentions because sin is more powerful than we are. Our sin is proof that we have rebelled against the one, true God and rightly deserve his judgment. Sin is the greatest problem humanity faces. It inevitably produces in us the very opposite of life – death.
God is Rescuing His Creation
On our own we have no hope of ridding ourselves of the pervasive evil of our sinfulness. Neither individuals nor communities nor the entire world are wise or powerful enough to overcome sin and its effects. But God has not abandoned his creation or humanity, whom he loves dearly. He has set in motion a plan to mend the broken creation, to heal the sinfulness of individual souls and to bring everything back under his rightful control.
This plan of restoration is what we call the Gospel, the good news of God’s plan to rescue his creation from its self-destruction. The Gospel culminates in the life of Jesus who died and rose from the dead in order to unleash the power of God against the power of sin.
The Rescue Comes Through Jesus
Sin brings death to the sinner, but God solved the problem of sin by sending Jesus, the eternal Son of God, to do for humanity what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus accomplished our original purpose by living a life of perfect obedience to God. He also bore the punishment for our sins in his death on the cross. And by his resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that the renewal of all things had begun! Now, God freely offers Jesus’ righteousness, forgiveness and new life to all who will receive him by faith.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are the decisive point at which the loving God acted to rescue his creation from its self-destruction. Jesus brings God’s rule to the distortion of our world by establishing God’s kingdom in the lives, relationships and communities of his followers. Through Jesus, God is creating a new people to extend his kingdom over all creation once again.
God Calls Us to Join HimOne day God will fully restore all of creation with the return and rule of Jesus. Until then, he calls everyone to join the mission of extending his kingdom on the earth. This is our purpose as God’s people: to proclaim and submit ourselves to his kingdom rule as we receive the life and love that he intended to pour into us from the very beginning.
God now calls each one of us to leave the rebellious kingdom of selfishness and sin. We do this by laying down our weapons of pride and self-sufficiency and by submitting our allegiance to Jesus in all that we are and all that we do. God, the king, has acted to save and renew his creation! Will we join him?