Gospel Declaration

The gospel is the good news of what God has done in Jesus Christ. It encompasses all that God did in preparing for the first coming of Jesus Christ, as well as everything he will do in the restoration of all creation in a new heaven and a new earth after his second coming. The first section of the Bible (the Old Testament) is all about the promise of a coming King who would rescue God's people from their most serious problem: sin and its consequences. The second section of the Bible (the New Testament) is all about the coming of that King into our world and all he accomplished to fulfill the promise of God to save us.

A. The Old Covenant:

Creation, fall, reconciliation... preparation

God created all things at the beginning, and it was all "very good." But the first man and first woman (Adam and Eve) did not trust God enough to obey him. Despite living in the paradise-like garden in which God had placed them, they were not satisfied. Believing they knew a better way, they rebelled against God by defiantly disobeying his command. Their sin brought alienation in their relationship with God, each other and the created realm. Their sin introduced the penalty of death.

God worked to repair sin's damage through promises and relationships he established with humanity. Early on, God chose one man (Abraham) through whom he promised to bless all the peoples of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3).

Hundreds of years later, God used Moses to miraculously deliver his people "Abraham's descendants" from Egypt, where they had been enslaved. The Lord gave them the Law, which provided them with guidelines for how to live in right relationship with God (Genesis 26:5; Exodus 24:7-8).

Generations after Moses, God established David as his chosen king, and he guaranteed that a king from his line would always sit on the throne of God's kingdom on earth (2 Samuel 7:13).

This pointed the way to the New Covenant declared by the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31- 34), as Jesus, the Messiah, is introduced to us in the New Testament as the Son of David, Son of Abraham(Matthew 1:1). Jesus is the fulfillment of all that God was doing throughout the Old Testament period to reconcile the world to himself.

B. The New Covenant:

Fulfillment, redemption, completion

Good news! The promised King arrived! His mission and message all echo the theme of the king promised through the Old Testament son of Adam, son of Abraham, son of David. Jesus embodied and proclaimed good news. He displayed his authority by signs and wonders. He was rejected, betrayed and denied. Yet a cadre of followers was bound together by truth, grace and a Spirit-anointed calling. They became witnesses of his death and resurrection.

What appeared from a human standpoint to be nothing more than the cursed death of a criminal on a cross turned out to be the focal point of the gospel. Jesus Christ, the promised King, put to death for the forgiveness of our sins. Raised to new life as proof that God accepted his sacrifice on our behalf. Our sins transferred to him. His righteousness transferred to us.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives a foretaste of our future, the future kingdom. He is a picture of what restored humanity will look like. One day God will complete his mission of healing the whole universe, returning everything back to the way it was created to be, under the loving leadership of Jesus Christ, the King. God will live with his people again. All will be the way God desired it to be. Satan's kingdom of darkness and all of its evil powers will be entirely done away with and the reign of God will finally be whole, complete, fully revealed, everlastingly beautiful!

This is the story entrusted to us who follow the King so that we might share it with all the peoples of the world just as God intended.

    Point - September 2018

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