We hold the gospel close to our hearts here at Christ Community Church. Indeed, it is what makes us who we are. We strive to be gospel-centered in all that we do. What, then, is the gospel?
The word gospel means “good news.” In ancient times, when a king had won the victory over his enemy, a herald would be sent back to the home country, bearing the good news of victory: the king had won, and the land and people would be at peace. The good news proclaimed was that someone else – in this case, the king – had accomplished something for the people.
The gospel is no different. It is good news that a king has conquered our enemy for us. In order to understand this victory, however, we must first understand our predicament.
God made the world to be good. When He finished with His work of creation, He pronounced it very good. It met His specifications perfectly. Humanity was placed in this world of God’s to be His representatives, to tend His world as a careful gardener would His garden. Everything was in joyful harmony.
As we look at our world, we know that that is not the case any more. Something happened that took this world from joyful, God-honoring, God-given harmony to what we see on the news every night: war, hate, death, injustice, and on it goes, every day, every night. The Bible identifies that something as sin. Sin entered into God’s good world and wrecked it.
Sin entered the world when humanity rebelled against God’s good rule. The way that God designed this world to run was with Him as king and mankind as authority under Him. Humanity decided that this simply would not work, and we sought to make ourselves the ruler of the world, with God as, at best, our servant. That is, fundamentally, what sin is: rebellion – treason – against God.
As you can imagine, this messed up the world. Sin is like a great big wrench thrown into the gears of the world. All the problems that this world faces – all the bad news that makes the news so depressing – can be traced to this one root cause.
More than that, sin earned us judgment and death. God is just, and He cannot allow treason to go unpunished.
That is our predicament: a world gone wrong, and the woeful prospect of death and judgment to come. That is the bad news that makes the good news so wonderful – like the black velvet on which the jeweler places the diamond, to make it shine all the brighter.
For the good news is this: God sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment we deserved, to bear in Himself the judgment we earned through our sins. Jesus lived the perfect life that we could not, yet He died the death that we should die, so that we might be spared from judgment and death.
But He did not merely die: He was raised from death, never to die again. By His resurrection, Jesus shows that He is both king and judge of this world, and He promises to restore the world to its created perfection, with no more sin, no more corruption, no more injustice, no more war, no more death.
God calls us all to turn from our sins and embrace Jesus in faith, trusting that He died the death we deserved and submitting to His kingship and rule over us.