In America, it’s difficult to miss folks talking about “the gospel” every now and then.
Sometimes the message is loving; sometimes it’s not.
Sometimes the folks delivering it are afraid, angry, or insecure.
Sometimes they are peaceful, passionate, and merciful.
But always, they are imperfect humans awkwardly carrying around a perfect message.
You’d be wise to turn your eyes away from the messengers; turn your eyes towards the message, because it boasts a great promise.
Do you know what it really is?
It means “good news”.
And that’s the spirit in which it’s supposed to be carried to you.
But folks like me mess it up, blunder through it, and mumble to ourselves, “oh, they don’t really want to know…”
But, then, we shake ourselves (or is that the Holy Spirit?), and sputter,
“But it’s good news! I must absolutely tell them! I love this message! It means everything to me!“
Good news in the purest, richest, sense.
Good news that all other “good news” shadows, imitates, and rides on.
Of course you’d want to know. Even if you didn’t want to know, you need to know.
And I want to tell you. Because this news has transformed my life, restored my quaking selfish relationship with a purely good God, and given me an unwavering hope in the future.
Because He wants you to know.
So, here’s my attempt to put “the gospel” into words on a blog, in the case that you should need to know.
God has created us and asked us to be perfect, just like He is perfect.
But I am not perfect. And you’re not perfect either.
That makes us dismally repulsive to Him, and we cannot have the intimate relationship that He originally created. Even logic explains that the perfect cannot dwell with the imperfect. Not the way God intends to dwell with man.
Because we are not perfect like He is, we have lost all hope of the God-man reunion that our spirits long for.
Until, that is, we meet Jesus Christ. The good news, in person.
The perfect Son of God who lived a perfectly obedient life on earth. The One who completed the ultimate act of obedience by dying as the sacrifice for our imperfection, or sin. And who conquered death on our behalf.
The One Man who loved us so unconditionally and poured forgiveness out so lavishly, that you and I need not make “the first move”, “the right move,” or “the deserving move.”
His extravagant generosity has done all of the work. The perfect aggressor.
The perfect lover.
The good news is that when we believe that Jesus Christ’s perfect life fulfilled God’s desire for us to be perfect, we find the rest we’ve been longing for. In a high-performance society, this perfect undeserved rest is priceless. We find ourselves awestruck at such mercy! We agree with God – Yes! I am an imperfect, selfish, faltering human! And I need this kind of love! We place our faith in Jesus Christ’s substitute for us, we live. Truly live – in this present world; and in the one to come when He – the good news – will make all things good and new.
When we believe this good news, God sees us as perfect. We are redeemed, forgiven, filled with His own Spirit, and loved unconditionally. We are hidden in Christ; and God the Father sees His Son in our stead. Undeserved, wondrous grace.
That is “the gospel”. The perfect and good news that we carry around in earthen vessels. Astounding.
God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.Â 1 John 1:9
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1 John 3:16