The church exists because of what Jesus has done for us in the Gospel, a word that literally means “good news.” God’s truth does not come to us primarily as advice to be followed, but as news to be believed. This news is the story of the world with four basic chapters: creation, fall, redemption, re-creation. This is the story that gives ultimate meaning to – and makes sense of – everything in life.
The way things were
One Hebrew word sums up the picture of Genesis 1 and 2: shalom. Peace. Earth was full of God’s shalom, the kind of peace in which everything works according to God’s intention. The world was made for human flourishing, where we could joyfully live in the presence of our Maker, worshiping God by loving Him and one another forever.
The way things are
Adam and Eve rejected God’s rule over them. We refer to their rebellious choice as “the fall,” and because they represented all of humanity, their action affects us too. We have – through our attitudes and actions – declared ourselves to be God’s enemies. This rebellion, called sin, results in physical and spiritual death.
The way things could be
Thankfully the loving Creator, who rightly shows Himself to be wrathful toward our sin, is determined to turn the evil and suffering we have caused into good that will be to His ultimate glory. So God has implemented a master plan for redeeming His world and rescuing fallen sinners. In the Person of Jesus Christ, God Himself has come to renew the world and restore His people. The grand narrative of Scripture climaxes with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The way things will be
The story doesn’t end with redemption. God has promised to renew the whole world, and the Bible gives us a peek into this glorious future. The restoration of all things will take place in two ways: Christ will return to judge sin and evil, and He will usher in righteousness and peace. God will purge this world of evil once and for all.
For all of us, the problem underneath all other problems is that we have sinned and cannot know God. But God has come to us in Jesus and has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. Through believing in Him, Jesus takes our sin upon Himself and gives us His righteousness. As the redeemed children of God who are empowered by His indwelling Holy Spirit, we are now invited to take part in working for good and justice in the world.
In order to respond to God's invitation in the Gospel, we all must 1) Confess our sin to God, and 2) Trust that Jesus can forgive our sin and bring us to God. If If you would like to meet with someone at The Bridge to discuss the Gospel, please email us or call (318) 251-1951.
*Adapted from Counterfeit Gospels by Trevin Wax.