The Gospel

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Christianity is not one of many world religions – it’s reality . . . only because Jesus/God is reality. That is where it must always begin.

God really Is. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Daniel 4:34)

The Godhead is made of of Three Persons, yet Triune as God (Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5; 1 Cor.8:4; Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19; John 1:18,  10:30, 14:9; Col. 1:15-20) unique in Roles and Personhood, but not essence nor being.

This means the Father is God (John 6:27)

Jesus is God (John 20:28-29)

The Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4) {At this point let me mention the obvious that these are but granular sample-texts within a Sahara of truth the Scriptures teach on the subject}

So, there is God and He is before all things, made all things, holds all things together and will bring to account all things – AND He made it all for Himself. (Romans 11:33-36)

That is what is really going on. That is where it must always begin.

So, with God not only being the center of the universe, but rather all universes and all reality, known or unknown, then who He is and what we are to do with Him matters most!

So, He IS the sovereign Creator of all things and we are to radiate and reflect His glory in our lives, delight and character. Only there is a big problem – SIN. (Romans 1:1-3:20)

Sin is anything that is at war with, disagrees with, works against or opposes, in any way ,the character or person of God. This is to be clearly understood, rather than thinking that sin is “breaking God’s rules.” Since reality is God and all He has done, we must first understand that there are no rules that exist outside of God, rules that He must abide by – for then those rules would be God. No, He just does and since He is the sovereign, whatever he does is the “moral standard” because morality must be preceded by function – right is function and wrong is anti-function. (Not to be confused with pragmatism as we know it) To be a bit more philosophical in vocabulary, morality is preceded by ontology, namely the Being of God. All that to say that God does not have to keep the rules, He Is the rules and the ones that has had written down are merely and expression of that truth. So sinning really becomes being against God Himself. Big problem!

You were made to be with God,; honor God; delight in God; live for God; be satisfied in God; enjoy all other things as a gift from Him; and radiate and reflect His bright and beautiful glory to all the world, so that they might do all of these things too. (Ps. 86:9; Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 15:3-4; James 1:17-18)

Only you can’t. (Romans 8:5-8; 1 Corinthians 2:6-14)

This problem is not merely an interpersonal problem between the sinner and God, it brings about enmity with God – meaning we become His enemies and the only thing that an enemy can do against a sovereign Being is die. (Ephesians 2; Romans 3:23) – in steps Jesus.

Review time: God is real. He is Holy (perfect). We were made to be Holy like Him. We ruined that by being sinners and practicing sin. It is like we are covered head to toe and soaked through and through with rotting filth and He resides in a radiant white palace. It is clear to all that we don’t belong and aren’t allowed. (For another analogy, go here) We have ruined the possibility of doing what we were made to do. Again, in steps Jesus.

At a real point in real human history, God the Son, took on flesh and became a man to do something that would reverse all our filthiness and free us to delight in God and fulfill our purpose for existence, which is radiating and reflecting His glory. To do this, He provided a death (His own) to be a substitute payment for all our sins for all people for all time, applied to any who believe. (John 3; Hebrews 2:14-18)

This “looks like” us recognizing/believing what is really going on – namely that there really is a God who is Holy and that we are made for Him to be with Him and to glorify Him by our delight in Him as our purpose and our purpose-giver; people don’t exist for themselves they exist for God; we really are sinners and practice sin; sin really is offensive to God and He really punishes sin with death; we cannot overcome this process on our own because we are completely sinners and cannot access anything in us to stop that AND because once we pay (if we could) the penalty for sin (death) we’d be dead; God, rich in mercy, really provided a substitute death in Jesus to atone for our sins and reconcile us back to the relationship we were made to have; this really is the only story and the only good ending to that story; to not recognize/believe this is to really remain God’s enemy and be separated from Him in this life and eternally in the next.

This recognizing/believing draws us to Him (the Father) through Him (the Son and His sacrifice) by Him (the Spirit that works in us and “translates” the truth to us so that we would repent (turn away from) of our sins and submit our lives in totality to Him. This submission is a willingness and ever-growing lifestyle of living out the original intent of our lives: to radiate and reflect the glory of God by loving Him, following Him, obeying Him in all things, being grateful to Him and delighting in Him above all.

We are sinners and broken, but there is good news. That is what “gospel” means – good news. This is what the Gospel is: we are saved from God by God.