Saturday, January 12, 2013

How to Understand the Gospel Better

One of the things I enjoy doing is writing out my own definitions and explanations of the gospel as the process of writing makes me think and that helps me to better understand the gospel for myself. I like to write out one sentence, one paragraph, three paragraphs and a full page versions in order to express the gospel in different ways. Once I even wrote a 35 page booklet titled The Gospel in Detail - Letter and A4.

By doing this on a regular basis it also helps me to be able to explain the gospel verbally to others better. How do you understand the gospel? Can you write it out? Can you explain it to others? I encourage you, if you are a Christian, to write out your own definitions and explanations of the gospel and then go out and tell it to others. The process of doing these two things will really help you grow in your own understanding of the gospel and over time you will be better at sharing with others as well.

Here is an full page explanation of the gospel that I wrote today. Check it out and see what you think.
What is the Gospel?
The gospel is not advice for self-improvement or how to be good but rather a declaration that Jesus is King of the universe, that you are in rebellion against God and that there is nothing you can do to restore your relationship to God on your own.

What makes the gospel “good news” is that though you deserve to be cast into hell for all of eternity for your rebellion against God, Jesus has made it possible for you to be reconciled to God through His sinless life, sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection. What is even more amazing is that not only can you be reconciled to God but you can be made a part of His family and live with Him forever in the new heavens and earth for all eternity!

Realize that the purpose of the gospel is not just to get you out of hell but to reconcile and restore you to God whom you were created by and for. If you don’t want God on His terms that means you would rather be your own god and He will honor your desire as He will not force Himself upon you. But realize if you don’t want God after you die you will not only not have God but you will not have anything that He created. You will have desires but nothing to fulfill them.

What you have to do to be reconciled and restored to God is first recognize and confess that you are in rebellion against Him. That you, in your unbelief, have turned from Him to be your own god and that you seek to find happiness, fulfillment, and purpose on your own terms in created things rather than in your Creator. You are spiritually dead and the proof of this is that you continually sin by breaking God’s laws. You lie, you steal, you cheat, you manipulate, you gossip, you covet, you lust, you fornicate, you love pleasure rather than God just to name a few.

You try to convince yourself that you are a good person by comparing yourself to others but deep down in your heart you know the truth because you sense the darkness and emptiness that is there. Don’t try to make excuses in order to justify your sins but rather admit them and take responsibility for all the choices you have made in your life and the things you have done.

After you confess your rebellion and sin then you need to surrender and turn back to God in your heart and put your trust in Jesus and all that He did for you in order for you to be restored to God. When you do this Jesus takes your sin and you get His righteousness then the Holy Spirit comes inside you to empower you to live the life God wants you to.

From this point on your life is not your own since you were bought with the price of Jesus’ life. You life is now His to do whatever He pleases to do with it. But don’t be afraid, Jesus loves you! He is King of kings and Lord of lords. So follow Him, obey Him, serve Him and worship Him. If you do, you will experience life to the full as God intended. Not an easy life but a life that brings God glory and you joy and blessing both now and in the life to come.
Maybe for you this is something you never heard before. If so I would encourage you to open your heart up and consider carefully what it says. Ask God if what this says is true and to help you understand it as well.

Maybe you have considered yourself a Christian but now you realize that you are not. This happens to many people who grow up in a Christianized culture. They try be good and go to church and expect that to save them. But it doesn't! Many are going to be shock when they find themselves cast out of the presence of God. Stop playing games, especially the church game, repent, put your faith in Jesus and follow Him.

If you have any questions or thoughts I would love to hear from you. Please add them in the comments section.

Related Links
Why Do We Need Jesus? 
Definition of the Gospel - September 12, 2007
Growing Deep in the Gospel - video of teaching series I am doing on the gospel
(The following links are from workshops I've done on understanding the gospel)
Why is the Gospel Important?  Slides   Notes
What is the Gospel?  Slides  Notes
What isn't the Gospel?  Slides  Notes

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