For two years and a few months I have maintained and written this blog with the intent of answering the questions that would get in the way of people coming to the gospel. What I have failed to do I think as a writer is to address what exactly the gospel of Christ is. Now there are a multitude of questions that surround various aspects of the fall of man and the ultimate need for redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but I won’t be covering those here. What I would like to do here is to give a general overview of the core story of the Christian doctrine. That is, that we are a fallen people in need of redemption, and ultimately we can find no other redemption than by accepting the gift of grace and salvation offered by the Son of God, Jesus.
So like every good story, we have a beginning. In the beginning God made the universe we inhabit, everything from the subatomic particles to the planets and stars we observe at night. He made man and woman. He gave them dominion over everything with one rule, to never eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now there was a serpent in the garden that convinced the woman, Eve, to partake of the fruit, who in turn convinced Adam to partake of the fruit. When God came to find Adam and Eve, they confessed their actions and were cast out of the perfect garden, because their sin had tainted the world.
Now I am going to skip quite a lot of the Old Testament, but I will give an abridged version. The Old Testament is a history of the people of Israel, and includes prophecies about the coming of one who will bring ultimate reconciliation to God. Now in the Old Testament there were sacrifices and offerings to God that would provide temporary cleansing for sins, but what mankind needs is a permanent solution that would not only cover our sins, but ultimately transform our hearts to earnestly chase after God and His will.
Enter the New Testament, and the birth of Jesus by the virgin Mary. From the birth of Jesus, he started fulfilling the prophecies from the Old Testament. He gathered his disciples and performed his earthly ministry for 3 years. This ministry was ended when Jesus was crucified by the Jewish leaders because of Jesus’ claim to be God incarnate. He was entombed for three days, where this tomb was found empty when the women with Jesus and his disciples went to see him. When they arrived at the tomb, and angel of God was there to say that Jesus was not there, instead He is risen! Jesus then appeared to the women. After this, the women ran back to the disciples, who in turn ran to the tomb to find that it was empty. Later, Jesus appeared among the disciples. He then spent a month among people teaching. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, he handed down the great commission, which is to go forth and to make disciples of all men.
So that is the story of the gospel, but what does it mean? When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, they introduced sin into this world. Sin is any action performed that goes against God’s Law. We have the law of God handed to us in the Bible, most famously the Ten Commandments. As I was mentioning in the Old Testament, they way to cleanse oneself of sin was by sacrificing livestock that was pure, meaning no defects or illness. This death pays the price for the sin, because the wages of all sin is death (Romans 3:23). This sacrifice only provided a temporary cleanse of sin, as future sin would need to be atoned for. This also did not solve the issue of the human heart. As humanity wallowed in its sin, we became accustomed to it and did not want to leave it. This temporary fix, as well as a need for a savior from our sinful nature. This is where Jesus comes in. Jesus is God incarnate, which means that he was both fully God and fully man. How that can be is a question for a future post, so I will ask you to just take it at face value for now. By being fully God, Jesus was sinless and lived a sinless life while on earth. By being fully man, Jesus was able to experience what we experience on this earth in terms of human hardship and temptation to sin. By being both of these things, Jesus humbled himself to death on a cross as the perfect atonement for our sins. By accepting this gift of grace, the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and begins working on us so that we may actively choose the will of God instead of the will of our sinful nature. This is the gift of salvation from Christ, that we may be forgiven of our sins and that we are free of their control in our lives.
That is the basics of the gospel of Christ. There are plenty of questions that I may attempt to explore in the future, but I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to give an explanation of the meat that my apologetics work is merely the seasoning for. If this gospel is not true, then everything I write, say, and do amounts to nothing. But I firmly believe the gospel to be true, as I have lived by it for over 16 years. My testimony to this gospel is held by life experience as well as the evidence of what I have provided on this blog. I have been raised in a Christian family, and have been blessed to observe my father transition from a man who went to church only for Christmas and Easter to a full preacher about to finish his degree at seminary. I chose to accept Christ and be baptized at age 8, and I recommitted my life at age 13 at youth camp. When I was earning my bachelor’s degrees, I felt a calling to music ministry and apologetics. I have certainly not been made perfect by becoming a Christian. I have struggled with anger, depression, pride, lust, foul language, and I am sure a multitude of others. As I am maturing in Christ I improve daily and choose to leave these sins behind in favor of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Because of this I have been blessed by knowing some of the best people God could place in my life. My family has been blessed to stay relatively sane as we all are believers. We don’t agree on everything, but given the current state of the family in America I believe that He has blessed my parents and my siblings. I have seen God work through my actions, though sometimes I had to be on the other side of things to see it. Such as a situation where I was doing my best to just keep it together and honor God, and people were watching me and observing. They would come up to me after and compliment me on my faith in God.
I pray that anyone who reads this takes the gospel seriously and would ask questions before I get around to writing on them, as you only have this life to choose Jesus. If you don’t then you will spend the rest of eternity forever separated from God and his love. I cannot stress how important this choice is in your life. May God bless you and have a good rest of your day.
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