Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Definition of the Gospel

For our second class of the study of the gospel we looked at how to develop a basic outline of the gospel and to write a definition of the whole gospel message- a one sentence version, as well as, a longer definition. Next week they will have to turn in their outlines and definitions. Below are rough drafts of my definitions. If you have any constructive input I would appreciate hearing from you.


1. Eternity Past
2. Creation
3. Fall
4. Redemption
5. Restoration
6. Eternity Future

One Sentence Definiton
The gospel is the good news that, though we deserve judgment and hell, God has provided a way for us sinners to be restored to Himself, now and forever, through His Son Jesus if we turn in our hearts from sin to Jesus and receive by faith what He did to deal with our sin- His sinless life, sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection.
Paragraph Length Definition
The Gospel is the good news that God, in His great love, has provided a way for us and all the rest of His creation to be reconciled and restored to Himself. Without this provision, all we have to look forward to is judgment day, when God will judge all that we did. We will be found guilty of sin and, most importantly, of rejecting His provision for our sin. As a result we will be sent to hell where we will experience the full wrath of God for our sin. God’s provision for our sin is through His Son, Jesus Christ, who became a human being and lived a perfect sinless life, then sacrificially died on a cross for our sins, after which He was resurrected to new life and is now at the right hand of the Father waiting to return to set up his eternal kingdom. All those who have accepted God’s provision in Jesus will be adopted by God as His children and will be with Jesus forever and ever.

Longer Definition

The Gospel for us begins with the fact that we are separated from God due to our sin of disobeying Him and not giving Him His rightful place in our lives and hearts. Instead we have chosen to be our own gods and to do what we want regardless of what God says.

We were created for God’s good pleasure, to have a loving relationship with Him. But for love to exist there needs to be the ability to choose to love or not, so God gave us the ability to choose. Sadly, we chose to reject God and to disobey Him, just like Satan did in eternity past. His pride was his downfall as he was the most glorious of all that God created. Instead of appreciating what God had done for him he decided in his heart that he should be worshipped like the Most High. Tragically, we have fallen in his footsteps of wanting to be our own gods.

Imagine this from God’s perspective! Before anything existed God was. He is spirit, invisible and eternal, without beginning and without end. Even though He exists outside of time He is present everywhere through all time and space. He is infinite in knowledge and wisdom and His ways are beyond our ability to understand. He is all-powerful and able to do anything and everything that He wills to do that is in harmony with His nature. He is beautiful, true, good and perfect in every way never changing.

By His will all things that exist were created. He is sovereign over His entire creation and does as He pleases at all times. He alone is the source and giver of life, full of goodness to all that He has created. As He alone is life and the source of life, He is also love and the source of love. God is one in nature but exist in three divine persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For love to exist there needs to be relationship and in the Trinity there has always been perfect harmony and love.

God is holy, righteous and just; He lives in unapproachable light, the light of His majesty and splendor. He is jealous for His glory for He alone is glorious. Sin cannot exist in His presence. He hates sin and because of His nature He brings judgment against it and destroys it by His righteous angry wrath.

While God is holy, righteous and just He is also infinite in love, mercy, grace, kindness, compassion, faithfulness, and patience. In humility He seeks to see His creation become all that He intended it to be.

What we deserve for our rejection and rebellion against God is judgment and hell. Everyone of us is guilty with no exception. We can’t blame others; we are responsible for the choices we have made in our lives. This is indeed bad news.

The bad news even gets worse! There is nothing we can do ourselves to restore our relationship with God. We can’t be good enough or do enough good things or be religious enough to earn our way to Him. 
Because of that, what awaits us after the Lord Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom, is a day where we will have to stand before Him and give an account of our lives. We will be judged for our disobedience to God and for our rejection of Jesus which is God’s only provision for our sin. He will show us all the times He tried to reach out to us with His great love and how we rejected it and instead hardened our hearts towards Him. Then He will tell us to leave Him and go to Hell where we will be separated from Him forever and where we will receive the full wrath of His judgment for our sin. There we will also spend all of eternity living with the knowledge that we rejected Jesus, the Father’s great expression of love for us. 
But there is good news, the greatest, most awesome news ever! God loves us and does not want any of us to go to Hell. That is why He has provided a way for us to be restored in our relationship with Him through His Son. 
He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and to die on a cross. While on the cross God placed the sin of the entire world upon Him and then poured out His wrath on His own Son for every sin. By this Jesus paid the price for every sin. On the cross He died then was buried and three days later He rose from the dead proving He was without any sin of His own and that God’s wrath was fully satisfied for sin. 
Those that recognize their sin against God and confess it to Him and then turn in their hearts from their disobedient rebellious ways and turn to Jesus, receiving by faith what He did on the cross for their sin and making Him their Lord, will be forgiven of their sin and God will send His Holy Spirit to live within them making them spiritually alive and His children to be with Him forever. 
Some day soon Jesus is going to return and set up His kingdom here on the earth where He will rule in righteousness and truth. When He comes, all those who have turned from their sin and placed their faith in Jesus, will be with Him and will rule with Him in His glorious kingdom. At the time of His coming all those that are His will be transformed in the blink of an eye to be like Him, without sin and immortal. We will have physical bodies, yet they will also be spiritual bodies. 
Eventually all of the creation will burn in a blazing fire then God will create a new heaven and earth. At that time the new Jerusalem will come down from heaven from God. God will live with men, He will be their God and they will be His people. He will wipe every tear and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. He will restore all things and make them new. 
Everything will be as God had originally intended from the very beginning. To the praise of His glory and grace!
On February 4, 2009 I wrote a new post titled The Gospel - A New Definition.  
You will find links to the resources of the 10 week gospel series I did in January-March 2009 here: Gospel Series Resources
       Here is a post I wrote that is my second most viewed one- 
        Why Should Seekers Consider the Gospel?
Here is the newest teaching series I am doing on the gospel. At our church in Bucharest I teach the last Sunday of the month on the gospel. Then when I get time I video an English only version. 
Sorry I haven't had time to do the English only versions  so here is the link to the English with Romanian translation.

On September 1, 2012 I did a workshop titled "Being and Making Disciples".There are links to the channel of the videos (English with Romanian translations), PDF's of the slides and the notes for the four sessions of the workshop.    English     Romanian

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