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The Gospel

In our current cultural state, being a Christian can range from national identity to political affiliation to cultural confederation. However, what does it mean to biblically be a Christian? What constitutes a person’s connection with such a label? To answer the question, being a Christian is to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, to be a follower of Jesus is to respond in faith and repentance to the good news—the Gospel of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

 

What, then, is the Gospel?

 

The Gospel is the good news of the Father redeeming a people to Himself through the Son by the power of His Spirit. The Gospel, then, can be understood under four simple headings: (1) God, (2) Man, (3) Christ, (4) Response.  

God

God is the transcendent being who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good, and self-sustaining (cf. Ps. 147:5; Acts 17:24-30; Rom. 11:36). In His infinite wisdom and power, God has chosen to create a world for His own good pleasure (cf. Ps. 115:3; Isa. 55:11; Jer. 32:17). He governs all things in accordance with His perfect and holy attributes (Pro. 16:33; Ps. 33:10-11; Isa. 44:28). Thus, He communes with creation in covenanting with humanity (Gen. 17:7). 

 

Man

Humanity has been made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27); therefore, her allegiance, fulfillment, and purpose are found in the One to whom she has been designed to image; namely, God. Due to the disobedience of Adam, humanity’s nature, now, is bent toward sin and rebellion (Rom. 1:18; 5:12-21; cf. Gen. 3:1-24). To this end, God’s holy wrath and just condemnation is rightly bestowed upon humanity (cf. Nah. 1:2-6; Ps. 7:11; Jn 3:36; Rom. 1:18). 

 

Christ

Christ—the new and better Adam—has come to redeem and save a people for the Father (Rom. 5:12-21). Thus, Jesus has taken the place of His people through His life, death, and resurrection (cf. Isa. 53:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:10-13; 1 Pet. 3:18). Through His death, Jesus pays and fulfills the penalty for sin (Mk. 10:45; Jn. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:24). Through His life, Jesus accrues righteousness necessary for His people to stand before a holy and infinite God (cf. Rom. 3:21-22; 4:3-5; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus, then, is an adequate, sacrificial lamb which makes restitution and atonement for a rebellious people. 

 

Response

To this end, humanity is called to respond through faith and repentance in the work and Person of Jesus (cf. Acts 2:38). First, faith is trusting in who Jesus is and, secondly, trusting in the sufficiency of what He has accomplished through His life, death, burial, and resurrection—all of which is necessary to secure salvation for all those who believe (cf. Rom. 1:17; 4:1-12; 2 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 3:26-27; Heb. 11:1, 6; 1 Pet. 1:8-9). Simultaneously, repentance is turning away from sin and rebellion (cf. Matt. 3:2, 8; Acts 3:19; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 2 Pet. 3:9). These two responses—faith and repentance—are opposite sides to the single coin of conversion (cf. Jn. 3:7-8; 1 Cor. 15:22). 

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