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The Gospel

What is the gospel?

The gospel is the good news that Christians believe about God, Humans, Sin, and Salvation—all thanks to Jesus Christ

This good news is found in The Bible, which is the Judeo-Christian book of Holy Scripture.

1) God

Before the beginning of Everything Else, from all eternity God has existed timeless, perfect, and very, very happy. While any other single being would have found it very lonely to be all by themselves for so long, God is special. He is and has always been three persons who together are fully GodGod The FatherGod The Son, and God The Holy Spirit. These three persons who are God have always known and loved one another perfectly and infinitely. Their Joy together is exquisitely perfect and amazingly good.

Although he was under no obligation to do so, God freely decided to create a universe and to populate that universe with intelligent, self-aware, moral beings capable of knowing him and loving him too—and therefore capable of sharing his infinite Happiness. He did this to demonstrate what kind of God he is. Sharing all his goodness with creatures like us does just that.

Section Summary: God—Father, Son, and Spirit—created a good universe to show off and share his glory.

2) Humans 

Time and Reality as we know them began when God created The Universe. He made it perfectly, and called everything in it "Good"—because, thanks to him, it was.

The crown jewel of this new universe that God had made was a curious union that resembled himself. The Bible says that God made them "In the image of God." Adam and Eve, the first man and first woman, were married—making them both individual persons and a relationship of unity that made them, for some purposes, like they were a single being. 

God put Adam and Eve in a garden paradise that he had made for them to live in and take care of, and blessed them to be fruitful and multiply. They were the garden's keepers and guardians. They enjoyed their work and their relationships with one another and with God, their maker, who loved them very, very much.

God also gave Adam a very important command that he was to share with his wife, Eve, and all the new humans who would be their children after them. God had put a special tree in the garden—a tree of the knowledge of good and evil—and God commanded them not to eat its fruit.

If they did, God told them, they would die.

Section Summary: God made human beings to glorify himself in their supremely enjoying him forever.

3) Sin

The Serpent was the craftiest of the creatures God had made, and he deceived Eve about what God had commanded and why. Adam should have stopped this, but he didn't. Adam and Eve broke the command God had given them and they ate from the tree God told them not to eat of. This was the very first Sin, and it broke the happy relationship Adam and Eve had with each other and the one they shared with their creator.

Just like God said, Adam and Eve died that day. But they didn't die physically. They died spiritually—which means, they were cut off from the source of spiritual life, which is God himself.

Humans have been spiritually dead, broken, and cut off from truly enjoying God—and each other—ever since.

But God loves this universe that he made, and particularly he loves the people he put in it. So while Sin certainly cannot go unpunished, God was merciful to Adam and Eve—a surprise, given what they had done! He promised Adam and Eve that one day one of Eve's children would make everything right again. This was the first echo of what would one day be known as the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Humanity waited a very long time for the child that God promised to come. Adam and Eve had many children together, and after them their children had children. But no matter how promising they all seemed at first, none of them was the one God had meant in his promise.

God was keeping his promise, though, even when it didn't look like much. God befriended several sinful, imperfect people—a surprise, given their Sin!—and made more and clearer promises to them. God chose a people and gave them his Law, though they couldn't keep it, to show how serious humanity's Sin problem is. This proved that because we're all infected with Sin, none of us can rescue ourselves from our terminal spiritual illnesses.

Section Summary: Humans sinned and death entered creation when we traded enjoyment of God for lesser enjoyments.

4) Salvation

Then came Jesus Christ

Jesus was the son of a human woman, but his father was God himself. Jesus lived sinlessly for 30 years, keeping every single requirement of the Law perfectly. Then, he revealed himself to the religious leaders of God's people as both the promised Messiah and as God's own son.

The leaders didn't believe Jesus and saw him as a threat to their political and religious influence. So they betrayed him to the Romans and threatened the Roman governor to convince him to murder Jesus for them.

Jesus could have stopped this at any time, but he didn't. This was part of the plan that the persons of the Godhead had made together before they created the world. They knew that humanity would Sin, and they planned that God The Son would become a human to redeem them by dying in their place.

When Jesus was crucified by the Romans, something else was also happening. God The Father punished God The Son for humanity's sin. This explains how God had been merciful to sinners all throughout history. Instead of punishing them for what they had done, God held back their punishment, knowing that one day he would take it on himself.

Jesus died on that Roman cross—the only person to ever die who truly didn't deserve it. They buried him in a tomb, and his followers despaired. But then God did a Miracle—one as powerful as Creation itself had been. God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him a glorified body and an indestructible life!

After showing himself to his disciples and teaching them for a few weeks, Jesus ascended into Heaven and became the enthroned king of The Universe. From there, he sent the Holy Spirit—who had been eagerly waiting to go—to live with and help his followers until Jesus comes back.

Section Summary: Despite our sin, God so loved the world that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us, die for our sin, and rise again from the dead so that we could be brought back to God. 

5) So What?

Now, thanks to Jesus, there is a way to be reunited with God, the way Adam and Eve were before they fell. This way does not hang on merely human effort or obedience—the Law proved that even if humans know exactly what to do, we will fail to do it as long as our hearts are full of Sin

Instead, the only thing we must do to be saved and reunited with God is believe in Jesus and trust that his sacrifice covers our treason against God.

God The Holy Spirit makes this possible. He spiritually touches human hearts and makes them live again. This spiritual life results in us realizing how wicked we are and wanting to change. That heart change leads us to realize how much we need to be back in good relationship with God, or else life is without Meaning. And it causes us to have Faith in Jesus, which the Holy Spirit uses to do some very special things.

Not everyone will believe in Jesus and be saved from their Sin, because Sin makes us blind and delirious enough to think that Sin is better than God. This offends God deeply, because it is exactly the opposite of what is true. God, being righteous, will not ignore mankind's Sin. He will either absorb your Sin into Jesus's payment, if you believe in him and ask him to rescue you, or else the punishment for your Sin stays on you and you will suffer it yourself after you die. This means that the stakes are very high. So turn away from your sin and believe in Jesus! It is the only way to be rescued from what you deserve and to instead have Eternal Life and Happiness with God forever.

Section Summary: Jesus made a way for all people who trust him to be saved from sin and death. Believe in him and have eternal life!

Summary of The Gospel

So the gospel is this good news: although humans sinned and ruined their joy-filled relationships with God and with one another, God sent Jesus to make a way for sinners to come back to life and happiness in God by believing in Jesus to take away their sin.