The Gospel of God
Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."--Mark 1:14-15
Our fallen state
All you have to do is look around you to know that there is something wrong with the world. Violence, disease, natural disaster, war, crime, death. Our world is full of sorrow. There is something wrong and something wrong with us. Not surprisingly the Bible speaks to our problem and points out that although we as human beings were created in the image of God, that image is marred. We are fallen creatures. Our problem is sin.
That sin, which has been called original sin, was committed by our common ancestor, Adam. And when Adam sinned he brought a curse down upon us and the created order. We are sinners by nature and by choice and thus we are naturally enemies of God. We deserve nothing from his hands but justice and wrath. Justice for us is death--and after that the judgment.
The Bible is clear that humanity is so fallen, so depraved, that we are not capable of doing anything that is good in God's eyes. Our corruption is total. We have neither the ability nor the inclination to do anything pleasing to God apart from grace.
But the good news, the gospel, is all about grace and all about Jesus Christ. It is this good news that God is using in this world to call out a people for himself, a people from every nationality, from every tribe, from every language, and from every family on earth. That good news is the subject of the next column.
The Grace of God
I have good news for you. That good news is a person. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. He is the Christ of the Gospels and he came down to earth to save a people for himself and to restore all that was lost in Adam. He is our hope.
Jesus was God in the flesh--fully human and fully divine. Jesus was God come down to save us by becoming one of us. He is the new Adam. All those descended from the old Adam die, but all those united to the new Adam will live forever.
You see, here's what God did. God loved us in spite of us and for the sake of his name and his glory he chose to save us rather than damn us. He chose grace over justice. So he became one of us and everything he did was for us. He lived a life of perfect obedience before the Father, thus earning God's eternal favor and blessing. His obedience was so perfect that it took him to the cross where he voluntarily gave up all the favor and life he earned by that obedience and took upon himself, instead, our curse, our sin, our judgment. On the cross he suffered the wrath of God in our place. He satisfied God's justice on our behalf. On the cross he made an end of sin, of the curse, of death. For whom did he do this?
He did this for all who believe. All those who recognize their sinful condition before God, and turn to him for mercy are received. They are saved. They will find that they have been born again and been made citizens of the kingdom of Christ on earth. Perhaps you are one of them. If you have questions please contact us here at the church. We would love to speak with you.