The Gospel, is the “chief article” of the Christian faith, it is a matter of “first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3). It is both simple, and yet complex and rich. Understanding something of the complexity and richness of the Gospel will enable us to more fully appropriate all that God has done for us in the Gospel. We need to see that the Gospel describes both how God is recreating a fallen world, and how he is redeeming a people for himself. Hence, it answers both the question “What hope is there for the world?”, and the question “What must I do to be saved?”
‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’ and describes both God recreating a fallen world (Isaiah 52:7, c.f. Isaiah 40:9, 41:27, 61:1), and God saving a sinful people (Romans 1:16, c.f. Romans 1:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, c.f. 2 Timothy 2:8)
Where Did We Come From?
God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As one, yet three, relationship is at the heart of who he is (John 17:20-24). God created a good world to display his love, (Genesis 1, John 1:1-3) and delegated care of this world to the people he made (Genesis 1:26-28).
Why Did Things Go Wrong?
Sin. People rebel against God and live for self (Genesis 3). This breaks our relationship with God, our relationship with the world, others and ourselves. This results in bondage (Romans 6:15-18): we are no longer in control of our lives, but are slaves to sin; and condemnation (Romans 6:23): we stand guilty before a holy God.
What Will Put Things Right?
Jesus Christ. In his incarnation, he became fully man, identifying with us while remaining fully God (John 1:14). In substitution, he received the condemnation we deserve (1 Peter 3:18), so that we might receive the acceptance he deserves (2 Corinthians 5:21). In restoration, Jesus will restore everything that is wrong in the world when he comes again to judge and reign (Romans 8:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21-22).
How Can I Be Put Right?
Faith. By faith in Christ, our sins can be forgiven and we can be assured of living forever with God, and being raised from the dead like Christ. By faith, we are justified before God (Romans 8:1), and adopted into God’s family (John 1:12-13). And God then gradually works in us to make us more like Jesus (Galatians 2:14, Romans 8:29-30).