Gospel in Depth
God is the only God and is uncreated
Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me.
In the beginning God created everything
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
God’s ultimate motivation is always to show His Glory
For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.
Another way of explaining God’s glory is showing His greatness. God chose to communicate to His creation in two ways. First He showed His power, order and beauty through nature
Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
But He chose to communicate His mercy, values and plan by giving the Scriptures to the world as His authoritative and final Word.
2 Peter 1:20-21
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Every person was created for God’s Glory... to be “God-Centered”
"Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
Mankind is unique from the rest of creation because he was created with the ability to have relationship with God
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Every person has rejected God and is not “God-Centered”
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
In doing this, every person has sinned. Sin is rebellion against God’s glory. It is being “self-centered” instead of being “God-centered”. Because this is true, people do sinful actions.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
Everyone is spiritually dead, unable to help themselves
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
All people are described as having become enemies of God, therefore the wrath of God is on them and all are facing the just punishment of eternal death.
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,...
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
[...] But he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Yet God offers the opportunity to walk away from the self-centered and godless life. This is called repentance.
…but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
God’s kind offer is the chance to be restored in relationship with Him, to be made “God- centered”.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
It is a chance to be owned and ruled by God as the King, completely used for His glory.
1 Corinthians 6:19b-20
…and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
A “God –centered” person not only finds God to be King, but also their greatest treasure.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
This restored relationship lasts forever, even after death, in heaven.
…and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
The offer of salvation that God extends is a change of authority: Self will no longer get to be the god. Now, God will be the person’s God. He gets to call the shots and His desires are the most important.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
In order to reconcile people to God, God Himself made a payment. Jesus, being God and man, came to earth in order to live, die and rise from the dead. By doing this, all who would trust in Him would find complete forgiveness for rebellion and would be given Jesus’ righteousness as a free gift. When Jesus’ work is applied to a person, they are no longer separated from God and actually become His Child.
God determined that there is only one way in which He would give this offer to save people
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Jesus always was God, and then became a man as well when He came to the earth.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He came to earth because each person’s sin must be justly punished. As the perfectly just Judge, He cannot ignore sin.
On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
By Jesus’ sinless life, death on the cross and resurrection, He took the punishment for sin for all who would trust in Him. In doing this God earned the right to restore people to a relationship with Him
…yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.
By doing this he solves two problems. First, He completely forgives the sins of all who ask Him.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Second, He also gives them the complete righteousness that God expects of them.
2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
In the eyes of God, it is as if they have never sinned and have lived perfectly “God-Centered” their entire life.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
Only His work and worth can be the hope of a person. Salvation is completely accomplished by Christ alone, without any assistance from the person.
The only way a person will be reconciled to God through Christ, is through asking God to apply the work of Jesus to transform him from a self-centered rebel, to a God-centered person who loves and obeys Him. Such a repentance and plea for salvation is called “being saved by grace through faith”. From that moment on, God reconciles that person to Himself and He becomes their treasure and authority.
The Father sends His Spirit into each of His Children to enable them to thrive with supernatural power. This new thriving life is defined by three new loves. First, they love God—knowing Him through reading HIs Word and prayer. Second, the love His family (the church)—investing their hearts and lives into one another as Christ modeled for them. Third, they love His world—compassionately pointing them to Christ, the only King and Savior of all.
God will only restore relationship with a person and make them “God-centered” if they turn- away (repent) from their rebellious “self- centeredness” and place their belief on the promise of God to save them through Christ’s work.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Faith is defined as personally placing trust in God's promise to save those who ask Him.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
God will not save a person who is attempting to gain His favor by doing good things or attempting to be “God-centered.”
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
Authentic faith produces a new life, a life increasing in love and obedience to God.
I John 2:3
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Not only does God give spiritual life, but the Spirit of God Himself enters into believers, confirming in their hearts that they are indeed the children of God, guiding and empowering them on the mission of Christ.
When a person is reconciled with God, they are made a part of God's family which is called the "Church."
II Corinthians 6:18
“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.
I Timothy 3:15
but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
God loves His Church. Each of His Children are to be deeply connected and functioning in God’s family by being a part of a local church. God commissions His family to mutually care, serve and share with supernatural love that only He can supply through the Spirit. Through this supernatural love between the members of His family, God is showing the world His love and the truth of the Gospel of Christ.
I in them and you in me, that they may be perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Finally, as part of the Church, He then calls His children into His mission to spread this wonderful news about Himself, which He calls “The gospel." The heart and mission of God become the heart and mission of those who are truly made God’s children by the Cross of Jesus.
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Each child of God truly enjoys God's love while living within the Father's design as an active part of His family on His Mission.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.