What is the gospel?
God created us with a desire to be accepted and secure, have purpose and value, and be significant; desires that can be gloriously satisfied in discovering more of God. Knowing that we are created with these desires, seeking fulfillment of these desires is not wrong, but where we seek fulfillment makes all the difference. When we see God as the ultimate satisfier of our hearts, He is glorified, and we are satisfied. God loves to be glorified, and He loves to satisfy our hearts. God’s glory and our happiness is an adventure that is not at odds…it is His original plan. As we see Him for who He is, we live in joyful wonder and awe of Him; life is an infinite adventure because every discovery is a revelation of His imagination and power.
Instead of seeking the fulfillment of our desires in Him, we try to find it in creation. This misguided pursuit leads to slavery. For example, if you think money will bring you security then you’ll have to sell your soul to that ideal, paying a high price in other areas of life. Or, if you think a certain relationship will bring acceptance, then you’ll be less likely to say no in that relationship when healthy boundaries are questioned. Slavery is always the result of trying to find fulfillment outside of God. Creation is only a signpost that points us to our creator. The Bible calls our efforts to find fulfillment in creation, sin, and the devastating consequences, death. Sin separates us from God and death is more than just physical…it’s social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Sin and death defeat our ability to be satisfied. Sometimes in this state of separation, we try to reconcile ourselves to God through religion. Religion boasts that our behavior or our performance can reconcile us to God. If I can just do more good than bad; if I can just be better than the next person. Religion makes us liars and judgmental hypocrites; we have to make others look bad to feel better about our own shortcomings. Religion is a self defeating taskmaster that forever leaves us asking the question “How good is good enough?” Unfortunately, the slavery found in religion is often more devastating than that of creation. How then can we find true satisfaction of our God given desires?
The separation that comes from sin causes a need for reconciliation. The death that comes from sin causes the need for new life. The gospel is a word that means "good news". The gospel shows us that God reconciles us to Himself by bringing new life through Jesus. Jesus, God’s perfect sacrifice, takes all of our sin upon Himself defeating it once and for all through His own death on the cross. In His resurrection, Jesus defeats death, and brings the fullness of life by reconciling us to God. This work of new life and reconciliation that we call redemption is a free gift given by Jesus and based upon Jesus. It is not based on works so that we can boast or have to rely on continual works. Nor is it based upon anything finite lest we fear it will come to an end. The gospel is about unconditional and irrevocable relationship: safe with God through Jesus alone. Relationship with God begins when you pray to confess your efforts to fulfill your desires apart from God, and accept Jesus’ sacrifice given for you, turning from your own efforts and putting your faith in Him.
Even though this new relationship means truly having our heart's desires met, old habits die hard. In those moments, the good news of the gospel becomes even clearer; we are eternally reconciled through Jesus alone. Because our reconciliation is based upon Jesus’ work, it is not dependent upon our behavior. We can now walk in freedom, no longer having to be liars or hypocrites to protect ourselves. Confession of struggles actually brings about healing. Healing brings about the life God intended. Creation takes its role of sign post, revealing God’s glory. The commands of scripture become an adventure of living a life free from death; like Paul says in Romans 6 "why would you want to live in sin any longer?" Understanding this, we can enjoy creation, but no longer give ourselves over to voluntary slavery because our desires are satisfied in God through Jesus alone. In this new and eternal relationship, God is glorified as we satisfy the desires of our hearts (the need for acceptance, security, value, purpose and significance) in Him. We hope you’ll join in letting go of former unsuccessful ways (creation and religion) that have only led to slavery and find the true freedom that comes in the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not just an altar call; it's an eternal adventure of being satisfied in God because of Jesus that starts the moment you put your faith in Him. If you are interested in learning more about a relationship with God through Jesus, or if you have trusted in Jesus and want to let someone know, send us an email or give us a call.
God gave us desires to be accepted and secure, have purpose and value and be significant. These desires can only be met in Him. We have rebelled and tried to satisfy our needs in creation and our own behavior. This attempt is called sin and has led to death. Jesus paid for our sin on the cross, dealing with death, and reconciling us to God through His resurrection so that God will be glorified by our needs being met in Him. Having our acceptance, security, purpose, value, and significance unconditionally and irrevocably satisfied in God, we now can live freely, ever discovering and delighting in His infinite glory.