What is the Gospel?

What is the gospel of god?

The gospel is the centre of the Christian faith, and arguably the most important truth for everyone!  It means ‘good news’ and can be summarised in one verse of the Bible:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever, believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3v16

Let’s unpack that in a way that makes sense of our lives and the world around us.

1. Paradise

God made the world and people perfect.  No pain, misery, hunger, disaster.  Just joy and peace in perfect union with our creator.  It was paradise and something in us craves for it now and knows the world is meant to be better.

2. Paradise lost

Human beings rebelled against God thinking that they would be like God and better if they went solo.  This broke our relationship with God and shattered the world.

Our natures took on a darkness and we turned on each other as a race, even hurting the people we love. More seriously though our autonomy is a crime against God and our own conscience bears witness when we do things wrong. We fail to love God or people the way our maker requires.
When we leave this life we will stand before God for justice to be done. In theory we love justice, except when we are the ones in the wrong. As hard as it is to admit, we are in the wrong, and there is Hell to pay. It doesn’t get any more serious but it does answer the question “why is the world such a mess?” And there is hope. There is ‘good news.’

3. God comes to save us

God loves us and wanted to make a way back for us to know Him now, and one day restore paradise for us.  This meant that God the Son came to earth and lived the perfect life we should have lived, and died the death that we deserve, in our place.  

God is perfect and the only way to know Him is to be perfect, but we aren’t, are we?  Jesus’ life and death for us provides a way for us to be perfect in the sight of God.  To be forgiven and to have the record of Jesus’ perfect life given to us.  Like someone taking a test for you and passing with distinction, except much more important!

4. What you need to do

Being forgiven and coming back into a relationship with God is not automatic.  We have to own and acknowledge that we have been living independently of God and not according to His ways (sin) and decide to change that.

This also involves trusting Jesus to pay for your sins and not trust in your own goodness. There is nothing we can do to earn His love and forgiveness, it is a free gift that just needs to be received. You can pray in your own words and ask Jesus to come into your life.  See also the Come & See Page.

5. Paradise restored

When you become a disciple of Jesus, a Christian, you are given eternal life. Eternal life describes both the quality of new life that God gives you and its duration. In the here and now there is nothing more satisfying than knowing God personally. It doesn’t mean life will be easy, in fact for thousands of persecuted Christians around the world it’s very hard. And being a Christian might not win you any popularity contests today. For many there is a cost to following Jesus. But you will have a new spiritual family and God the Holy Spirit in you.

Eternal life also means that when you die you will be received into Heaven; your faith in Jesus means your sin will not keep you out. Heaven will be amazing! However, Heaven is not our final destination because when Jesus returns to this world, He will renew the current earth and heavens. We will, once again, live with Him in paradise.

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