The gospel is not something WE do.
When we assert that we need to go “do the gospel”, it’s confusing and likely not real helpful.
You can say the gospel is the story of “what God has done, is doing and will do.”
The gospel is the true story of everything and thus the message we preach that will transform people from from dead to alive.
Then, the story of the gospel, is how we are discipled as followers of Jesus.
- The gospel becomes the framework from which we understand and interpret everything and is infinitely deep in facets, nuance, application and glory.
Mark 1:14-15 (ESV) 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- The time is fulfilled – God has been working on this for a specific period of time and working a specific plan.
- This is not new news. This is good news!
- The kingdom of God is at hand – Jesus is bringing the kingdom of God near.
- God’s reign has never been in question nor absent.
- What Jesus is saying is that in his mission is the revealing, victory and conclusion of God’s plan in his work.
- Repent and believe the good news.
- This message is good news…gospel…
- One receives this good news evidenced by turning and believing in it.
What is this good news?
K – The gospel of the kingdom is the message Jesus preached, and can be summarized in four narrative scenes:
Creation / Fall / Redemption / Restoration
- Creation – God, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, is God and there is no other.
- God made everything, and he made it good and on purpose for good purposes.
- As the apex of creation, God made mankind in his image, male and female, as his co-regents to rule over, manage and multiply the good of creation.
- NOTE: Jesus’ parable of the talents is rooted in the creation mandate. Stew on that for a bit.
- God made mankind knowing him and mankind being known by God.
- There was uninterrupted relationship with God.
- Fall – We don’t have to look far and wide to realize something is wrong. Bad wrong.
- Why is creation so out of whack?
- In God’s good created order, an intelligent creature, decided to rebel and incite mankind to join in that rebellion by bringing into question God’s good intentions and leading mankind into disobeying God’s word.
- God told them that if they disobeyed there would be death.
- Adam and Eve rebelled, and instantly death began to ruin everything.
- Creation to man.
- Man to creation.
- Creation to creation.
- Man to man.
- Mankind to themselves.
- Redemption – John 3:16
2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
We could literally learn the gospel from anywhere in the bible, but we are going to use John 3:16 just because.
- Redemption begins with God.
- Redemption is God’s idea and it is plan A.
So loved the world…
- Redemption is rooted in the unconditional love of God for his glory, love for creation and its restoration from the curse of sin, and love for mankind and their restoration back to relationship with him and each other.
That he gave his only son…
- God is Triune in nature. God eternally exists as 3 distinct persons yet one God…Father/Son/Holy Spirit.
- God gives as the payment for sin, himself. He pays what mankind can never pay.
- Father sends the Son, by whom all things were created, and he takes on flesh like we have, and he is born, lives a perfect sinless life, is rejected, crucified at the hands of Roman soldier by the sovereign decree of God in order to pay for the sin of man, past, present and future. He wa buried, and on the 3rd day he rose from the dead having presented his own blood as the covering of sin.
That whoever believes in him…
- This amazing payment and cure for the curse of sin is available for anyone who would dare to simply put their faith in Jesus by turning from the curse of sin and coming under his kingdom reign.
- Mark 1:14-15 (ESV) Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Should not perish but have eternal life.
- If we don’t believe, we will perish. Not cease to exist. We are beings who will live on forever.
- Perish means that if we don’t turn to Jesus we will be condemned forever under the righteous judgment of God on sin.
- We don’t have to do that. Jesus is the way we can come underneath he good love of God.
- Those who believe in Jesus won’t perish in just condemnation, but are transformed into new people.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- Transferred from darkness to light.
- Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV) He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
- Caused us to see the truth of the gospel.
- 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (ESV) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- Given us eternal life which is to know God.
- John 17:1-3 (ESV) When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Restoration – Jesus’ sacrifice not only saves people, but his sacrifice begins the restoration of all created order to its original state of good.
- Romans 8:18-25 (ESV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that redeemed people are the first fruits of a whole new created order.
- Isaiah 65:17 fulfilled finally in Revelation 21-22 with 2 Corinthians 5:17 popping all around us showing that the reign of Christ is taking root.
- Believe the gospel and be saved.
- Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith,just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
- The gospel is now how you evaluate everything, where it fits and what it means.
Illustration: Shapes board and shapes that fit into the board. The board is the narrative of the gospel. The shapes are all the facets of life. We get them lifelong joy of being discipled by the gospel in learning how to place the shapes into the correct places in the story of everything.
We also get the discerning task of observing how the curse has broken some shapes and how they no longer fit into the story, yet can be restored and gloriously reshaped into what will fit into the story of everything.
Understand that the rest of your days will be growing in understanding and knowing God and how he defines these things in the world and how you implement them as his co-regent in your daily life.
3. Believe we all have a gospel mandate in the person of Christ and in the narrative of the gospel to preach this message and call people to faith in Jesus.
4. As a result of growing deeper into the narrative and engaging our call to preach the message, we worship the Lord because we learn and know more that God is innately worthy and because he is absolutely glorious.
Let’s get after it.