What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The key to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to first understand the story of God. And secondly, my story.
The story of God that is known to us comprises of 6 episodes.
Creation: God creates out of His nature. He creates because He is love. Loving beings tends to procreate. The world we live and all the inhabitants were His masterpiece.
Rebellion: God’s creation was damaged by evil. God did not, does not and will not create evil. However, love does allow freedom of choice. His creation chose evil. The end result is a broken world of twisted nature and damaged human beings.
Israel: In His goodness, God is not settling for the pain and suffering of His creation. He invited His creation to join with Him on a restoration program. Israel first responded. Yet Israel also failed.
Christ: God Himself dwell among His creation to once for all restores His creation. Christ, came, died, rose and will come again to reverse the rebellion. He paid the consequences of the rebellion, he defeated evil, he made God’s Kingdom a reality and He will come back to earth to consummate the new heaven and new earth.
Spirit and the Church: God’s restoration program continues on earth after Christ has gone to prepare the coming of the new heaven and new earth. The Church with the indwelling Spirit of God serve as the earthly agent in the preparation as well.
New heaven and earth: The final episode of the story of God is a physical reunion of God and His creation just like that in the first creation. Love, joy and peace and order will be forever experienced by those who chooses to live in this story of God.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is therefore: Christ came, died, rose and will come again to make the story of God a reality for those who chooses to follow Him.
The effect of this Gospel is that of salvation of God’s creation.
This will bring us to the next point: understand our sown story is also crucial to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Gospel means ‘good news’. News is something that is announced. We have a choice to accept or reject it’s validity. It means that it’s announcement is to induce a response. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is doing the same thing. It invites us for a response. But before we can response, we have to understand our own story.
I do not think that I have to tell you about your own story. Honestly, you know and I do not know. However, I do know that your story is full of disappointment, loneliness, sadness, pain … in other words, many bad stuffs. I also know that we make decisions in life based on benefiting one’s own self. “I am the captain of my ship!”
We live life as if everything should go our ways. Then, we also long for others to be our companion. Life is a constant struggle for something we do not quite understand. That’s your story, my story … our story.
If we look at God’s creation, that is not His intention for us. Somehow we have fallen into a situation that I can say is far from the story of God. As a matter of fact, we are constantly writing a story that is . different from God’s story. If a creature constantly live apart the intention of her creator, how can the creature be satisfied.
We don’t throw around a book and pretend that we are playing baseball. The book is not created to be played with baseball rules. If the book can voice and feel, we will certainly hear a lot of complaints and moaning,
The Gospel of Jesus Christ allows God’s creature to be truly God’s creature once again. It is good news. The Gospel of Jesus Christ allows us not to write our own story any more but live in God’s story once again. It is good news.
If the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just like any news, is intended for a response, how should one respond?
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Firstly, one can reject. Rejection also means that you are rejecting the story of God. A loving God will not force anyone to live with Him if one chooses otherwise. But one does have to reap the consequences of not being with a loving God. The opposite of love, joy and peace could be hatred, suffering and chaos,
Secondly, one can accept. This is repentance. A change of mind and ways of living our story.
When we choose repentance, we are also invited into living a new life and mission on earth. It is not going to be easy since this new life will not consummate until the day we see God face to face. However, this new life does give meaning and satisfaction. Most of all, the story of God continues to be confirmed in our experiences as we journey onward.