The foundation for everything that we do as a church, and as individuals, must be rooted in the Gospel. All of our motivations, failures, successes, desires, talents, preaching, counseling, discipleship, music, evangelism, and missions should be filtered through a Gospel lens. The gospel must become what our identity is built upon.
In the beginning of time, an all loving God created everything that we see for our enjoyment. His crowning jewel was us, His people. Created in the very image of God, humankind was in perfect fellowship and harmony with their Creator. This is the way life was supposed to be.
However, Adam and Eve intentionally sinned against God, and because of this sin, they had to suffer the consequences of their actions. The penalty for their sin was not only a physical death, but also separation from God and spiritual death.
Adam and Eve could not fix this problem and neither can we. There is nothing good in any of us that would prompt God to overlook our rebellion. What we see as a potentially hopeless situation, has actually been fixed by God.
God, in His graciousness, came to Adam and Eve and offered them a covering for their sin and shame by shedding the blood of an innocent animal (a foreshadowing of what God would do to His Son). Additionally, God promised in Genesis 3:15 to send them/us a redeemer who would defeat our enemy and ultimately conquer the penalty of sin.
This message is the heart of the gospel. The word gospel simply means good news. Whether you realize it or not, sin, or rebellion against God makes us a sworn enemy of His. If you were to read through the Old Testament (the first 39 books in the Bible), you will see a lot of bloodshed that was required to appease the wrath of God. In order to not be an enemy of God, God required His people to kill an animal in order to have their sins forgiven (again, foreshadowing what would happen to Jesus).
The great news of the New Testament (the last 27 books of the bible) is that we no longer need to kill animals to atone for our sin. Why? Because Jesus came to be slaughtered on our behalf and His death was the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption.
Jesus lived a perfect life. He never committed a sin of omission or commission. Jesus never thought an improper thought. Jesus’ heart, mind and soul was always pure in perfect obedience to our Heavenly Father. Simply put, Jesus lived the life that we were supposed to, but we did not and cannot.
Jesus then went on to appease the wrath of God by dying a brutal death on a cross. All of our sins that we committed in the past were absorbed by the cross; all of our sins that we committed today, were absorbed on the cross; all of the sins that we commit until the day we die have been absorbed on the cross.
Jesus’ death on the cross became the payment for our sin which can make us friends of God instead of enemies. Jesus rose from the grave, as He said He would, to defeat Satan, sin, and death. He then ascended to Heaven to sit on His rightful throne as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Salvation, found in Christ alone, through faith alone, by grace alone, is now freely offered to all. Because no effort or works based pursuit of salvation is required, the gospel becomes the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, and it is the only way for sinful people to be reconciled to a holy and just God.
When we place our faith in Christ our identity as believers is set. We are no longer sinful creatures destined to damnation. We are no longer enemies of God; rather we are adopted children of the King who have received an eternal inheritance in Christ. We are now considered holy, blameless, and above reproach before Him! The bible now calls those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus sons and daughters. This is our new identity! We are no longer enemies, but children of the King and this identity can never be lost!
The Gospel message does not stop after salvation occurs. The Good News of Jesus is needed daily. Daily we are reminded of our weaknesses. Daily we cling to the cross knowing that we have been set free by Jesus. This reality is the root of Gospel Centered living. We celebrate in all seasons because we are counted as one of God’s children and nothing in all of creation can remove us from this truth. With the Gospel as our motivation, we are now set free to live a life that is meant to bring glory to God