God created the world. We, His creatures, rebelled; but God, in unfathomable grace, sent His Son, Jesus, as the sacrifice for our sins (the wrong things that we've done). Through faith in Jesus we have been forgiven of our sins, welcomed as sons and daughters, and empowered by His Spirit to live lives that reflect His goodness and love. This is the gospel. This is our core passion and the source from which all of our other desires and ministries flow.
An important question: Have you embraced the gospel?
Another important question: Are you applying the gospel daily?
God’s purpose in saving us was so that all of our lives and all of creation would be united in Christ, He would be head over all things and He would fill all things through His body, the Church (Ephesians 1). The working out of the gospel in all of life means that we have both the privilege and the power to respond to what God has accomplished. This means we worship God in all things, all places and through every activity. We are called and sent to BE the Church on mission ALL the time, whenever we gather and wherever we go (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:22-23). In order for us to be faithful to the purposes of the gospel, we must walk in line with the gospel in everything (Galatians 2:14). In whatever we do, we do it by God and for God (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17) – every part of life is supposed to be dedicated to the ministry and mission of the gospel.Jesus said the best defense of the gospel is the way we live our lives together (John 13:34-35). This calls for a loving community living out the gospel together. (Adapted from the writings of Soma Community and Daniel Montgomery)
Why should I be saved? (Embracing the gospel)
God created us for His glory.“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth,…whom I created for my glory” (Isaiah 43:6-7). God made us to magnify His greatness—the way telescopes magnify stars. He created us to put His goodness, truth, beauty, wisdom and justice on display. The greatest display of God’s glory comes from deep delight in all that He is. This means that God gets the praise and we get the pleasure. God created us so that He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Every human should live for God’s glory.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
If God made us for His glory, it is clear that we should live to glorify Him. Our duty comes from His design, so our first obligation is to show God’s value by being satisfied with all that He is for us. This is the essence of loving God (Matthew 22:37), trusting Him (1 John 5:3-4) and being thankful to Him (Psalm 100:2-4). It is the root of all true obedience, especially loving others (Colossians 1:4-5). All of us have failed to glorify God as we should. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
What does it mean to “fall short of the glory of God"? It means that none of us has trusted and treasured God the way we should. We have not been satisfied with His greatness and walked in His ways. We have sought our satisfaction in other things and treated them as more valuable than God, which is the essence of idolatry (Romans 1:21-23). Since sin came into the world, we have all been deeply resistant to having God as our all-satisfying treasure (Ephesians 2:3). This is an appalling offense to the greatness of God (Jeremiah 2:12-13). All of us are subject to God’s just condemnation. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). We have all belittled the glory of God. How? By preferring other things above Him. By our ingratitude, distrust and disobedience. So God is just in shutting us out from the enjoyment of His glory forever. “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The word “hell” is used in the New Testament twelve times—eleven times by Jesus Himself. It is not a myth created by dismal and angry preachers. It is a solemn warning from the Son of God who died to deliver sinners from its curse. We ignore it at great risk.
If the Bible stopped here in its analysis of the human condition, we would be doomed to a hopeless future. However, this is not where it stops…God sent His only son Jesus to provide eternal life and joy. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…" ( 1 Timothy 1:16).The good news is that Christ died for sinners like us; and He rose physically from the dead to validate the saving power of His death and to open the gates of eternal life and joy (1 Corinthians 15:20). This means God can acquit guilty sinners and still be just (Romans 3:25-26). “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Coming home to God is where all deep and lasting satisfaction is found. The benefits purchased by the death of Christ belong to those who repent and trust Him. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19).
“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
“Repent” means to turn from all the deceitful promises of sin. “Faith” means being satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Jesus. “He who believes in me,” Jesus says, “shall never thirst” (John 6:35). We do not earn our salvation. We cannot merit it (Romans 4:4-5). It is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a free gift (Romans 3:24). We will have it if we cherish it above all things (Matthew 13:44). When we do that, God’s aim in creation is accomplished: He is glorified in us and we are satisfied in Him—forever. The best news in the world is that there is no necessary conflict between our happiness and God’s holiness. Being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus magnifies Him as a great treasure.
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
"Family from the first time you walk in the doors" - T.D.