WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

Happy Theology Thursday, ladies! Today’s topic is so important, I wanted to make sure you got it all, so I broke it up into two parts. This is Part 1. Check back later today for Part 2!


WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? Part 1.

The word “Gospel” literally means “good news”. But in order to fully understand this good news, we need to know some pretty bad news first. 

This bad news is that all of humanity is fallen and thus sinful. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. And we don’t just sin, we have a sin nature. It’s who we are – at our core, we are sinners, by nature. We can talk more about sin later, but for now what we need to know is that unredeemed man is a sinner and this is a problem because God is Holy. (We can talk more about what that means later too). 

And being Holy, He can’t even look upon sin. It can’t be in His presence. Our sin seperates us from God. And it doesn’t just seperate us from God, but Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death” and Hebrews 9:22 goes on to say that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins”. God is just, and wrong must be paid for.

 But God, in His gracious love, had a plan to deal with this huge issue of sin even before the first person ever sinned. His perfect plan was to send His Son, fully God, as a man, who would live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death, and rise again on the third day, on behalf of all who would believe.

 Because He, being sinless, didn’t need to die for His own sin, His death paid the penalty for the sins of believers. He took the punishment that we deserved. And because He lived a perfect life, and fulfilled every bit of righteousness, His goodness is credited to our accounts. This means we don’t need to work for, or earn, our salvation. He doesn’t save us because of the good things that we do. Instead, the salvation He offers is a free gift for those who believe. 

I gave you the first half of Romans 6:23 earlier, and it goes on to say that “the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Christ saves us from the penalty of our sins, to the glory of God, in order that we would live for Him. 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 sums up the heart of the Gospel so well that we will end with that, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”.

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The Authority Of Scripture


THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE:

What is Scripture? Scripture is contained in the Bible, as the collection of 66 books, written through around 40 men, over a period of roughly 1500 years. How was the Bible written? Well, the Bible itself tells us that “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2Peter1:21b) This means that the Bible is not a product of human effort, but is the very Word of God.

All Scripture is inspired by God. It is His perfect, timeless Word, complete and without error. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “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”. And Hebrews 4:12 let’s us know that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”. Since Scripture is the very Word of God and without error, and since God is creator – over and above all, then whatever the Bible says is an authority over our lives. 

Sometimes when we’re studying God’s Word, we might read something that makes us a little uncomfortable. Sometimes we might initially not like what we read, or we may feel confused by a portion of Scripture, or even angry. During these times, we may be tempted to disregard or reinterpret certain portions of Scripture to suit our tastes or the current culture better. During these times, it’s good to remember that God is God and we are not. He is high above us in every way. His understanding is unfathomable. He is good and He does good, and whatever is in His Word is good. It’s our job to submit to His Word, and not the other way around. As belivers, we are called to learn, accept, believe, and obey what has been written.

 Along these same lines, there may be times when you don’t like what I share during our time together. It might go against popular, cultural Christianity, it may sound politically incorrect, or maybe it will challenge a belief you’ve long held. If this happens, I challenge you to continue studying the Scriptures for yourself, checking everything I, and anyone else, says against what Scripture says.  
I’d love to hear your questions and I’m open to comments and discussion rooted in an acceptance of the authority of Scripture and the understanding that Scripture doesn’t contradict itself. Truth is important. It’s worth seeking, it’s worth fighting for, and it’s certainly worth the discomfort that inevitably occurs when it comes against error.

I hope to talk with you more on the topic of Scripture at a later time, but this is enough for now. I’m already looking forward to next time!