The gospel is the message of Christianity about each one of us and about our whole world. It’s a message, but specifically it’s news. It's historical facts about what happened in history as to why everything (including us) is messed up, it's the history of what Jesus Christ did to provide the solution, it's the history explaining why churches and Christians exists today, and it's a historical a glimpse of what’s to come in the future.
The good news begins with God's good creation. He made us "in his image"—lively and stunning and able to create, relate, and love, all like him.
But then, at a specific point in history, sin entered the world. Everything got messed up. And along with sin came sorrow, pain, sadness, confusion, and death. Now each of us is born this way, and we live in a sin-plagued world. And worse of all, our sin separates us from a right relationship with the living God.
But the good news is that God, from the very beginning, promised he'd make it right again. He's provide a way for sin to be defeated. In doing so, individual people would be forgiven and reconciled to him, but not only that, he promised his whole universe would one day be made right again.
Which is why the Lord Jesus Christ came. Jesus is the "Christ" in that he is the promised Messiah/King whom God promised would come and bring his people back. He was named "Jesus" because his name means that he'll save his people (Yeshua). And he is "the Lord" because he's not only the Ruler of all, but God himself.
The Lord Jesus Christ—God himself—came and lived a perfect life. He taught wonderfully and performed miracles to prove who he was. But above all, he then died on the cross. In his death, he died for his people, in their place. He suffered the emotional and physical pain he did because he was taking the punishment his people rightly deserved. Because God is good and loving, he has a right anger toward all those of us who hurt his world and one another; he loves his world and those he's made, and we're the sinful ones plaguing it. So Jesus Christ came, took upon himself the sin of his people, so they can find true forgiveness. He paid for their sins, so they don't have to. He even was alienated from God due to the sins he took upon himself, so that they could be reconciled to God by having their sins removed.
Then Jesus, three days later, in history, rose from the dead. He appeared to his disciples and many others, which is why the Christian faith spread as it did—we are founded on the historicity of a man who claim to be God who rose from the dead. His resurrection proved that he was who he said he was, that he really did defeat death, but more than that, that he really is going to come back one day to finally eradicate sin from the world.
He now reigns as Lord of all—he is the Ruler over every single people group and nation, but also over every single heart.
The gospel message then ends with a call for each and every one of us to trust in him. If you realize you are as the Bible honestly says you are—a sinner, selfish, alienated from God, hurting others and yourself—and if you then trust in Jesus to rightly take your sins for you, you will be reconciled back to a right relationship with God. You'll be delivered from your sins. You’ll be promised God’s presence and peace. You'll be given God's Spirit to enable you to live a live of less sin and more love for God's glory. You’ll go to be with Christ at your death. And one day, when Jesus comes back, you’ll live one a renewed, sinless earth here forever with him and his people, forever. If you don't, Jesus says that you are still "in your sins." That is, you'll have to take your sins upon yourself forever, instead of Jesus taking them for you.
So will you believe this good news? Will you bank your life on this Jesus? It really is the best thing to know this message and to embrace Jesus—to know the living God, to understand why you exist, to be assured you're reconciled to him, and to be promised joy now and forever.
Here at ECC we’d love to talk to you more about Jesus. Feel free to contact Pastor Ryan to speak more. Or come to church and talk to us about it. Because this really is the best news ever. It’s what unites us as God’s people, and it’s what promises us joy and peace now and forevermore with Jesus.