The Gospel Story
Good News Concerning God and Humanity
God calls a man out of his pagan upbringing to be a part of a new chapter in God’s story. By faith, this man and his family leave everything they know. God makes a covenant with him, giving him a new name and identity: Abraham. God promises to bless his Seed, thereby making him a blessing to all nations. Through Abraham and his descendants Isaac and Jacob, the nation of Israel is born. God through a prophet named Moses rescues His chosen people out of the physical slavery of Egypt. While wandering in the desert, God gives Moses a covenant to bless Israel if they keep His Law (summarized by the Ten Commandments). With the intent of displaying God’s holiness to the world, Israel in the promised land becomes a powerful nation, ruled by warriors, judges, and kings. God even develops unique relationships with some, including King David, (a man who through a series of trials learns God’s heart); He makes a covenant with David to birth the promised Messianic King from his family line. But despite God’s presence, Israel fails to keep the Law, choosing instead to worship manmade idols. After not listening to the Prophets, God has no choice but to send Israel into exile, hoping they will turn back to Him. After exile, God’s people return to Jerusalem, eagerly awaiting their promised Messianic King.
Although God revealed Himself through the Law, the Writings, and the Prophets, His Word has yet to become incarnate (made flesh). God humbles Himself by becoming a man, born of the Holy Spirit and a young woman named Mary. He is Immanuel (God with us), and his name is Jesus (fully human) Christ (fully God). Jesus lives for 33 years in Palestine amongst the very people He created, intending to save them from their sins. His message is for people to repent (turn from their current ways of thinking) for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Jesus calls 12 Disciples to follow Him in His mission and ministry. Jesus interprets the Scriptures, bringing clarity and truth. Through parables, Jesus teaches people about the present and future realities of His Kingdom. By performing miracles, Jesus demonstrates the power of healing (physical, emotional, spiritual) that comes with His Lordship. This new Kingdom is characterized not by violence or conquest, but by service and love for others (the Greatest Commandment). This is precisely what Jesus’ sinless life demonstrates, though He is rejected for it.
Jesus institutes a New Covenant of grace with His followers at the Last Supper. This covenant promises to give a new heart and a new Spirit to all who by faith trust in Jesus as Lord and follow Him. But in order for this to take place, Jesus has to fulfill His destiny by suffering at the hands of His own people, ultimately for their salvation (peace with God). Though He came to reveal the true nature of God to humanity, He is crucified for blasphemy. The cross reveals man’s depth of depravity while demonstrating God’s forgiveness of sins. The passion illustrates God’s intense love for His creation as Jesus becomes one with humanity’s suffering. The At-One-Ment (union) between God and man is unlimited in that it is available to all, yet limited in that it’s for those who believe. God brings light out of darkness by raising Jesus to life on the third day after His death. Jesus appears to His people, proclaiming freedom and divine rescue from spiritual slavery. The powers of man’s enemies (sin, death, and the devil) are defeated, though their presence remains. Jesus is the new Adam, who brings life and not death, and the new Israel, where the holiness of God now dwells. He is the promised Seed, the true Messianic King.
Part 4 Coming Soon