For bible study this week, we were tasked to answer a simple question:
What is the Gospel?
It took me a little over an hour to write something that takes two minutes to read. I suspect this will be an "living document" as I continue to distill and expand certain ideas as I grow deeper in my own relationship with God, but the core concepts should be there.
The Gospel is the good news that the eternal life in God’s kingdom is available for us here and now.
We were separated from God, our creator, because of our sin. It was a gap that was insurmountable by anything we could do. This gap has been there almost as long as we have been walking the Earth. The consequences of our sin is death. However, God continues to loves us despite all of the covenants He established over time and we broke with Him. Finally, as the ultimate demonstration of His love, he sent his only son Jesus to die for us and pay the price for our sins. More importantly than dying, Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin, making it possible for our sins to be forgiven, and closed that insurmountable gap.
Though Jesus, we can be children of God, members in his kingdom, disciples of the great master of life. Membership in God’s kingdom is more than simply having a name on a list, it is a direct and personal relationship with the creator of the universe who went to immense lengths to rescue you. God’s kingdom is radicalliy different from the world we live in. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, compassion for others are its tenants. It seeks to bring this to all people here and now. Jesus will return to claim His kingdom, but there’s no twiddling our thumbs while we wait. We are able to establish God’s kingdom today: in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our world. As we grow and work together with other members in the kingdom, continuing God’s story, we become a light to the world about this good news and how it restores our soul. We fight injustice, we care for the downtrodden, the orphan, the widow.
God offers this membership for free. No amount of animal sacrifices, magic words, or good deeds will suffice. All we need is to humble ourselves, believe in what God has done for us, ask for forgiveness of our sins, and accept His offer to become diciples in His kingdom. Membership in God’s kingdom is not always easy or pain free, but the peace, restoration, and eternal life is beyond imagination. This is the Gospel, the good news. The opportunity to participate in a God’s kingdom, older than time itself, to continue His story, and to receive eternal life and personal transformation through Jesus Christ.