Perhaps this will lift your soul. May God be glorified.An audio version of this post is available [url=http://theopenlife.blogspot.com/2009/03/gospel-simply.html]here[/url]. As we continue to add to our knowledge of a given subject there is a tendency to over-complicate the original simplicity of how that idea is first presented to others. Personal interest in a concept and recognition of the value of all its various aspects often causes us to express far too much to others who need to begin where we did, at a brief description.Anyone who has removed the back plate from a mechanical watch has been awed at the many gears, springs, wheels, and balances that enable its function. One may even take great interest to learn the individual significance and relationship of parts to the whole movement. But if someone then asks him what is an analog clock, he will not be doing them a favor to articulate every cog and peg of the mechanism at once. Rather, he does best to speak only the essence: Man has a need to know time, and a watch is a machine that measures and indicates time with great precision. The simple explanation often awakens a listener to his need and thus excites further interest, whereas diving into the details would most likely alienate any initial attention.While understanding the tiniest minutia of a complex idea may be interesting, edifying, or even highly valuable, this shouldn't come in the way of our making brief and true statements of it. Even the Gospel may be expressed simply, and at times must be if we are to arrest the attention of our listeners. In fact, the good news may be summarized in five points. (No, not those five points.) * Virgin Incarnation. * Morally Perfect Life. * Subsitutionary Death. * Victorious Resurrection. * Heavenly Mediation.Before giving a short explanation of the Gospel, I will state its necessity.The first man, Adam, is the natural father and legal representative of all his descendants, you and I and everyone. Though he was created innocent and upright, he chose to violate God's good law. Rebellion against the law of God is called sin, and Adam's first sin has not only been imputed, that is credited to his descendants - by way of his Federal representation of them - but has also passed into their natures. Just as the physical nature of a plant, animal, or person is passed on to its offspring, so the sinful spiritual nature of Adam is received by those born of Adam. Hence, we are born sinners.God's holiness compels Him to feel just wrath towards every sinful person. This righteous anger reveals itself in judgments demonstrated generally in this life, and exactly in the next, upon those whom He punishes. The Lord accepts no amount of subsequent obedience or charitable works in place of original and perfect obedience. As an upright judge towards criminals, God is neither sentimental nor corrupt. He will not turn a blind eye or accept a bribe for sins. He will judge all sinners to an exact standard, and the appointed judgment is death and hell, forever.Now we have seen the problem. Man is a guilty sinner in need of God's mercy. But how can God be both merciful and just to sinful people, if the due penalty for sins must be satisfied? As the Apostle Paul so plainly said it, "God is both just and the Justifier of those who believe on Him" through Christ. Somehow God has devised a means of both satisfying His justice and pardoning spiritual criminals. This way is called the Gospel, or good news, a fitting name! Allow me to now explain it in brief terms.From eternity God knew the sinful fall of men and yet determined to show mercy upon many. At the appointed time God the Son came as a man, born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit of God. He was thus free from Adam's imputed guilt, and escaped the sinful nature passed through Adam's sons. Just as Adam was the Federal representative of his children, so Jesus came to represent a body of people chosen by God's grace before time, not for any works they would do, but of His ineffably generous kindness.Jesus lived perfectly under God's moral laws and fulfilled the obedience required of men. Though innocent, He died the death of a sinner and became the legal substitute under Divine wrath for those, and those only, who believe on Him. Three days later He was resurrected from the dead as a sign of His victory over sin and death. For forty days He appeared to many witnesses and has now ascended to heaven to sit at God's right hand as the only mediator, priest, and king over His people. From there He sends His Holy Spirit to work faith and apply the justifying and sanctifying aspects of His redemptive work to His chosen people.Through the preaching of His Word, God now commands all people to turn from their wickedness and trust in the finished work of grace accomplished by Christ. Jesus has already borne the just penalty for sins of all those He determined to save, and now promises all who come to Him in faith are even those He chose before time. He does not tell us to look into eternity past to see if He chose us, but tells us to look to the present: do we see our need of Him, and will we believe? He asks no more to earn or secure our salvation, but only to rest in His work and henceforth to live lives of grateful obedience for His glory.Simply put, the Gospel is that God justifies all who come to Him trusting on Christ to be their substitute and mediator, and is just because Christ bore their Divine penalty.As a final note, you might be interested to see that Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary defines the Gospel this way: GOS'PEL, n. [L. evangelium, a good or joyful message.] The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator, including the character, actions, and doctrines of Christ, with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles. This gospel is said to have been preached to Abraham, by the promise, "in thee shall all nations be blessed." Ga.3.8.God bless you friend, and rejoice in the "simple" Gospel.
The Gospel simply put is a person: The Lord Jesus Christ!recommended listening:[b]New Series added: ChristThe Way God Makes Man Righteous by Denny Kenaston[/b]http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=27909&forum=16&0
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Hi Greg, Jesus certainly is the good news, from God the Father. Love in Christ tom
Yes. More than that, Jesus crucified for sin and resurrected, a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of his people, is good news. Of course, in himself, Jesus is bad news for those who reject him. With care in Christ,Taylor
simply?.....a Good and Joyous Message from Jesus Messiah? [b][color=993300]Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [/b][/color]Matthew 11:28-30That is Good News.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotton Son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life...............Frank
The Gospel 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Fuego, that's the passage I was thinking of. "The Gospel simply put is a person: The Lord Jesus Christ!" While I agree with this in heart, I consider it insufficient for speaking with those who are unfamiliar with the Gospel.The Gospel is more than an unqualified statement of the existence of Jesus Christ, but includes the work of Jesus Christ on behalf of others and offered to all. The two, His Person and His work, cannot be separated in one's understanding of salvation without negative consequences.Those who express nothing more than His Person slip towards Universalism. Mormons, so-called Jehovah's Witnesses, and Muslims all acknowledge the life of Jesus, albeit differently, and it is the differences which make or ruin one's conception of the saving Gospel. The nebulous creed of "Christ is the Gospel" leaves no statement of why or how one is to place faith in Him.On the other hand, those who focus on His life and death but forget His Deity and unique qualifications believe in an inferior and ineffectual Savior. If we accept Him as a created being, even the first created being, we are left with an idol who cannot satisfy the infinitely offended justice of a Holy God.John 3:16 also says it well. Blessings to all, it's good to recenter on the Gospel.
Amen dear brother. The book of Romans gives us more great insight into what the Gospel is. We must know it aright because it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation Romans 1:16But in Romans 1:1-4 we are given a great wealth of revelation of what it is as wellRomans 1:1-41Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, We find some very important things out just from these 4 verses which make the gospel THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION.1.The Gospel is Gods Gospel verse 1. The Gospel starts with God and us understanding the nature or attributes of God ( His holiness, Love, Wrath etc.)2. It was spoken by the prophets which shows us that the gospel was ordained from old by God Isaiah 46:10. The gospel is one of the diamonds of God.3.The Gospel is CONCERNING HIS SON Jesus christ Having a proper understanding of his works nature attributes. Understanding the jesus of the scriptures is a very important point as there is a jesus in today,s world that does not call one to carry the cross and repent and believe.4. This point is critical because it talks of the two natures of chirst in one person.He was the son of David: showing he was 100% man and the son of God with power: 100% God with out mixture and confusion of those natures this is where the Arians and Jehovahs Witnesses go wrong. I know that is hard to understand with our finite minds but these things are parts of this glorious Gospel that has saved us and continues to be the power of God unto salvation. May the Holy Spirit help us see the truth of the Gospel and take us from glory to glory