Greetings again friends! What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the message to mankind from God the Father who gave His Son out of His unfathomable Love to save man from his sins. It is His desire to make good His promise to unify mankind as His children for all eternity through His Son Jesus as our atonement. (Gen.1:26-27) John tells us, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2) He sacrificed His Son to make our eternal glorification with Him possible. (John 3:16) As a token to His promise He also promises to give us a friend in the Holy Spirit to be with us throughout our earthly life and to be there in the future resurrection to raise us from the dead.(Rom.8:11) His one desire is we will find nothing but a life of pure eternal joy in His presence. (Psa.67)
Our Father’s words to us is, “Fight the good fight. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” (1Tim.6:12). We are called to immortality made possible because Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity, came down to earth and who took our humanity in Himself to save us from the corruption and death in our sinful nature. He gave His life, so that we might gain eternal life through Him. That is what the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is about. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” (Gal.3:13). The law demanded our lives, but “by the grace of God He was given to taste death for every man.” (Heb.2:9) Peter says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Pet.3:18)
Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus (Wiki Commons)
The purpose of the gifts we have been bequeathed is to share and make known this wonderful Gospel to all. (Matt.28:18-20) But before we can share this wonderful message of man’s salvation with others, it has to begin with us. It has to be real to us before we can make it real to others. Nothing can be shared genuinely to others unless unless it is real to us first. Jesus said, “Whoever is ashamed of Me and my Words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luk.9:26) If we are embarrassed about our association with Him as His followers, our faith is not genuine. If the eternity He has prepared for us is not real to us, then certainly we cannot share it with others. He goes on, “Whoever acknowledges Me (and the Gospel) before others, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matt.10:32-33, emphasis added). Jesus asked, “What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life (in Jesus)” (Matt.16:26, Holman CSB, emphasis added) Life is far more than spending it on our fleshly indulgence. Jesus said life is more than about food, and our body is more than about the clothes we wear. (Luk.12:23) In other words, we can get so caught up in the transient things of life that we are blinded to the reality just beneath it. He said to look beyond the veneer of the material, and into the reality God presents to us in His Son.
What could be more foolish than denying our very Creator? Certainly, He ought to be ashamed of us because of our depraved and corrupt humanity. Paul was inspired to write, “But God demonstrates His own Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom.5:8) Yes, despite our corrupt spiritual condition, He emptied Himself to become one of us, and to die in our place so we may share His place in glory. The Bible goes on, “Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phi.2:9-11)
The Gospel is about the Person of Jesus, as the Son of God, who superimposes His redemptive self over all of humanity, and under His liberating shadow we exist today, and enter the rest of our eternity with the Father in Him.
The reality we see in Jesus who now lives His life in us by the power of the Spirit is what we share with others. He does not expect us to do this work in our own power. It is impossible for any human to do the work of God. So he gives us help. What was the gift given to the disciples on Pentecost when the work of the church started? It was the Spirit’s power to preach the Gospel with courage, and without fear or favor. The Spirit is the light of God in the life of man. The Spirit is the gift of God in the believer. If God’s gift to man is his calling and destiny, then Herald* the Spirit is the power who animates man’s gift for the purpose of preaching the Gospel. Like Peter’s ability to fish, the Spirit changed his gift to be a fisher of men. Or like Paul’s tent-making skills and turn it into a gift of building churches through Asia.
We are reminded of the commission Jesus gave His followers for all time, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt.28:18-20) It begins in our earthly lives where God has given us gifts to define our individual ‘personhood’ in Christ so we can know and see Him in our personal relationship and destinies. (Rom.12:6; 1 Pet. 4:10) We are given a work to do, and He gives us gifts in the Spirit to do them. That’s how Jesus lived His earthly life, and how He related with His Father, His disciples, and the people. As a boy Jesus told His family, “Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business.” As an adult He never deviated from His mission and calling, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” (Luk. 2:49; John 4:34) He said, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17)
John Tal Murphree, in his book, The Trinity and Human Personality, informs us, “On our part, relating with God also requires a recognition of our separate individuality from Him and His difference from us. We must accept our status before Him as dependent rather than independent, creature rather than Creator, servant rather than Master, human rather than divine. Such is the moral dimension of the relationship.” (Pg.49) In other words, I am trying to emphasize we relate with God through the gift of personhood and calling He bequeaths on each of us as His children. The opposite picture of the ‘false self,’ would be independence from Him, where we would assume the mantle of creator rather than created, master than servant, and we would take on the divine prerogative and made it human privilege in deciding our destinies. We were made to be replicated in God’s image, not in our image of the “false self.”
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic creative “Triune Living” as a Bula man-river.*
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)
*The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. Man is the “riverbed” and the Spirit is the “living waters” that cover him and flows to all in his valley (destiny). (John 7:37-39)
*Herald is the name I have affectionately call the Holy Spirit