The Triune God
The gospel is about the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The self-existent, perfectly holy, infinitely glorious Creator of all that is. Before the beginning of the world, there was nothing, but as soon as He spoke, everything came into being. The good Creator made a good creation—the expansive starry night, the mysterious depths of the sea, the sweet pleasure of wine—each proclaiming His workmanship and showing the comprehensive worship He is due. Just as an artist has authority over their artwork, the Creator has authority over His creation.
As the rightful Ruler, God gave a simple command to the first humans, Adam and Eve: “Eat this, not that.” But you can guess what happened next: We ate that. God’s very good design soon turned toxic, and death began to dominate. Adam and Eve belittled and blasphemed God by attempting to be God. We don’t desire God; we desire to be God. Sin is cosmic rebellion.
Our first parents represented us and they failed; if you think that you would have done better, you don’t know yourself well enough. This side of the Fall, we are shackled to our selfish desires, unable not to sin. No one forces us to sin. These are not isolated mistakes but symptoms of a deeper problem: We are fundamentally disloyal. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.
Our sin separates us from the God who is holy and just. God does not leave the guilty unpunished. The righteous Judge declares the consequences of sin: everlasting death in hell. If we’re honest, we feel this brokenness on a deep level. Our sin is ultimately unsatisfying, our hearts are restless, our desires insatiable. Even when we get what we want, we cry out, “Surely there has to be more than this!” We are not alone: As the story of Scripture continues to unfold east of Eden, our sin increases, and we move further away from the God in the Garden.
The Crucified King
But God has not abandoned us! Even before the snake slithered into the Garden, God planned to use His Son to crush the serpent and sin. The rightful King, Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin, through the working of the Holy Spirit. The King came down while we were still dead in our sin. Where Adam rebelled, Christ obeyed. We nailed Him to a cross and mocked Him, yet He cried out, “Father, forgive them!” What we intended for evil, God meant for good. For three days Christ’s body lay still, but then His strength returned: He tore off the blood-caked rags of death! He rose from the grave and then rose further still, ascending to heaven as we await the Day when He will come again.
Christ lived the life that we could not live and died the death that we should have died. His blood was the substitute, the final sacrifice to absorb the wrath of God. In His body, He bore our sins and suffered for it, pierced so we would be healed. He rose in validation and in victory. The divine Son defeated sin, death and hell. He made us pure and now sits at the right hand of God with all things in subjection to Him.
We can’t initiate our salvation; we respond to the crucified King. We are passive participants, drawn by God Himself to be reborn. We respond in faith, affirming and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord alone. We turn from our sin and toward God. We respond, not because we are afraid of hell, but because we love God. While we used to run away from God, now we run to Him; He is compassionate and will abundantly pardon, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Discipleship and Mission
We are given abundant and everlasting life as God’s children and new creations: called into rest, made more like Christ by the Spirit each day. The gospel is not about escaping earth to get to heaven; it is about joining in God’s mission to bring heaven to earth. And our mission is to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ. We study the Scriptures, we live in community, we make disciples, and we bring restoration by calling for justice in our community and beyond. We participate in bringing restoration to a broken world while we await full restoration in the coming kingdom.