Jesus: The Best News for Sinners and Sufferers
The message of Christianity is about the story to which all other stories point. It is about the meaning of life, the search for joy, and hope in the face of death. It explains why we were created, what’s wrong with us, and what God is doing to reconcile us to himself and restore all things. It is about the turning point of history: when Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again to new life 2,000 years ago. That day marked the beginning of the renewal of all things for the joy of all who trust him.
CREATION: THE WORLD AS IT SHOULD BE
God created the world and everything in it in order to put himself – his goodness, beauty, love, and wisdom – on display for us to enjoy. As our maker, he is our loving and trustworthy ruler who owns us and provides for all we need. We were made to know him and to rule the world under his authority. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion... and God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:26, 31).
REBELLION: WHAT WENT WRONG
Although God created all things good, the world is now not the way it's supposed to be. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, rejected God and His loving rule. Because of this, humanity is separated from God and the world is cursed. We have now all lived for our glory instead of God’s and we have treasured the things God gives us while rejecting him as the gracious giver. “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Romans 1:23).
REDEMPTION: WHAT GOD DOES FOR US
But God, because of his great heart of love, refuses to give us what we deserve. The gospel is the good news that God is on a rescue mission to reestablish his loving reign and restore all things. Jesus Christ lived the faithful life that we should have lived, died the guilty death we deserve to die, and rose again to new life. He is now enthroned over all things and will come again to renew the cursed creation and raise his people from the dead to enjoy living with him and one another forever. Because he died for our sins, we can be forgiven and restored to find our joy in knowing God. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
RESPONSE: WHAT WE MUST DO
This gospel calls us to admit that we’re more sinful and flawed than we ever believed, yet because of Christ we’re more loved and welcomed than we ever hoped. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection for all who trust him, we can live under God's acceptance rather than condemnation. This means we must turn away from our rebellious disobedience as well as our prideful obedience. We let go of our bad works and our good works and trust only in Christ’s work. “To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
Our greatest joy is now found in Jesus Christ. “We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:11).
If you would like to learn more about following Jesus, join us on a Sunday morning or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our elders or staff members will be in touch with you.
We also recommend reading through the Gospel according to Mark in the Bible, John Stott's book, Basic Christianity, and visiting the Two Ways To Live website.