WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
Simply put, the gospel is good news. In a world filled with bad news, we yearn for good news. Tragic headlines scream of the world’s desperate need for restoration—from the pain and death of our fellow human beings to the deterioration of our own planet.
MEMORIES FROM EDEN
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and every living thing. God called everything good. Then He formed humanity in His own image, the pinnacle of creation. After that, Scripture says it was very good. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty abounded so that all creation lived in total harmony and peace. But tragedy tore the fabric of life through an act of defiance and distrust. Our first parents chose to rebel and traded freedom, unhindered community, and walks in the garden with the Creator of the universe for autonomy, desiring the right to define their identity and worth apart from God.
More than an arbitrary bite of forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve doubted God’s truth, scorned His goodness, and marred His beauty.
By rejecting God’s loving care and rule, our first parents incurred the promised penalty of death, which has reigned on earth ever since. A world of peace and flourishing became cursed with disease, disaster, and disappointment beyond our control. All creation carries the sting and stench of death.
As much as we hate to admit it, humanity continues to perpetuate a culture of self-reliance and self-determination. Instead of repairing the broken tapestry, we continue to systematically unravel it. The relationship between God and humanity has been severed due to sin. Apart from His intervention nothing will change, and death will have the final word.
If the story ended there, it would be deeply tragic. But God is abundantly gracious, full of love, and He has not given up on His creation. Because of His never-giving-up love, God determined to restore fallen humanity and to revive the world by entering into it. God the Father sent God the Son to enter into the brokenness.
Many know of Jesus, and some even admire His teaching, but the greatest gift He gave was His life. The crucifixion of Jesus is well-attested in history, but the significance of that death requires explanation. Jesus wasn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. He came with intention and purpose. He came to take on the full weight of the curse. He came to die. He defeated death by dying and yet...
“God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:26).
Because Jesus Himself is God, death could not hold Him. In His grace, God extends this miracle of resurrection life to all who believe in Jesus.
Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the curse of death has been enveloped by the gift of eternal life for those who believe and by the promise of a redeemed and restored world where there is no pain, suffering, and best of all, no death.
TURNING TO GOD
To trust Jesus is to believe the good news, turning from sin and turning toward God. Perhaps you don’t believe in God, but in the quiet moments of honesty, isn’t there a part of you that resonates with the words of Julian Barnes?
“I don’t believe in God, but I miss him.” (Julian Barnes)
There’s a longing for more. All of us live with a deep sense that the world isn’t as it should be. That should also drive us to ask, how then should it be?
Seven Mile Road is a community of people where it’s okay to not be okay, to belong before believing, and to have the time and space to explore life’s ultimate questions.