What is the Gospel?
This is a simple, yet profound question. How you answer this question impacts how you live now and for all eternity. Take a moment to think about how you would answer that question. God’s answer begins in Genesis. God created the earth and all that is in it and it was good. Adam and Eve rebelled against God and His good rule and it was bad. But in the midst of what seemed a hopeless future for all humanity, God made a promise. God promised that through a future descendent of the woman would one day come a man that would crush the head of the serpent and redeem mankind. Evil, death, sin, oppression, rebellion and suffering would once for all be defeated. The Bible is about the person and work of Jesus Christ from start to finish. God created a good world, human beings rebelled against God and his good ways and fell away, God accomplished redemption in Jesus Christ, and God will restore the universe when Christ comes again to make everything new. This is the central story of human history and needs to be the central story of our lives and churches. This is the gospel.
Christ has done what we could never do. He perfectly obeyed God on our behalf. Where Adam failed, Christ did not. Christ became sin for us, taking away the punishment that we had earned, so that we might stand before God as righteous and dearly loved children. As followers of Christ we have been united to him. Christ daily gives us the power to live lives that glorify God, but apart from him we are still powerless. Who Christ is and what he has done must and will transform who we are and what we do. “Faith in the gospel restructures our motivations, our self-understanding, our identity, and our view of the world. Behavioral compliance to rules without heart-change will be superficial and fleeting. The gospel is therefore not just the ABCs of the Christian life, but the A to Z of the Christian life. Our problems arise largely because we don’t continually return to the gospel to work it in and live it out.”