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June 4, 2019, 6:00 PM

What is the gospel?

We often hear the word 'gospel' used to declare that something is true. "It's the gospel truth." Or that someone's opinioin, something is true. "Jim says it's gospel."

The word gospel is the Greek word evangelion, which simply means: good news. The four gospel books at the beginning of the New Testament can also be refered to as "The Good News according to Matthew", "The Good News according to Mark", "The Good News according to Luke", and "The Good News according to John."

The gospel means good news. Yet, if we say there is good news, then what is the bad news? Good news makes sense if it is a solution to a problem, right?

The Bible tells us that God created everything: heaven, earth, plants, fish, birds, reptiles, animals and us. God has existed for all eternity. He never had a beginning. And God has no end. He is eternal, all powerful, ever present and all knowing. God is unlike us and His creation; He is spirit. God is holy, loving, gracious and kind. God alone is worthy of our highest allegiance, our greatest praise and devotion. We were created to know God and to love and enjoy Him forever. Read Psalm 96; this is one reference among many describing the greatness and majesty of God. 

So we are told in the Bible that we were made to know, love and enjoy God for all eternity. And there lies the bad news. We can't. Why can't we? Because we inherited the sinful DNA of our first parents: Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command. They questioned God's goodness. And they rebelled against Him. We call this "sin." And their rebellion/sin had consequences for them and for us. Their treason brought death into the world. It also severed man's ability to know and love God. We live in defiance of God. We prefer God's gifts and blessings over knowing and loving the Giver Himself. As a result of man's rebellion, physical and spiritual death came. We are under the curse of sin; judgment and wrath await us when we die. This is the bad news, which is similar to a doctor declaring that we have a terminal illness without a hope of recovery if the illness is not effectively treated. Romans 1:18-32; Romans 3:9-20,23; Romans 6:23. 

God understood the consequences of man's rebellion against His kingly rule. In His great love and mercy, God provided a way for us to be forgiven and reconciled to Himself. There was a price to be paid for man's treason. In order for the curse to be removed, someone would have to take the curse. Someone perfect. Someone who lived in complete love and obedience to God; Jesus lived the perfect life - He was sinless. That was God's Son: Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God, came and willingly gave His life to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus came took the curse of sin so that we could receive God's pardon and be made right with God. Three days later God raised Jesus from the dead declaring that Jesus had successfully accomplished His mission of providing salvation to any who would believe and receive what Jesus has done for them. Romans 5:6-11; John 3:14-21. This is the good news!  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell Jesus' story and why Jesus is the good news we need. The letters of the New Testament, especially Paul's letters, provide more explanation of what Jesus' work of salvation means and how Jesus' followers should live based on this good news.

Is this good news for you?  It's only good news if you believe it. A pardon and offer of new life is only good if you receive it as yours. Romans 10:9-13. Have you called upon the name of Jesus? Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord? Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins? Have you declared with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins and that God raised Jesus from the dead?

If you have trusted in Christ Jesus for salvation - for reconciling you to God - we'd love to know your story of meeting Jesus. We would be happy to help you grow in your new faith in Christ. Let us know. 

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