The Gospel is the good news that God is making all things new through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the true story of who God is, who we are, and how we fit into God's world.
CREATION (goodness, dignity, mission)
In the beginning, God created the world to His own delight and satisfaction. But all things were not created equal. The climax of God's creation was humanity made in His own image, a reality which gives us both tremendous dignity and responsibility. We were made to relate personally to God in love and trust. And we have a mission in God's world - to reflect His character throughout creation. This involves taking care of the world as we cultivate its God-given potential, filling it with the love and splendor and joy of God.
FALL (rebellion, brokenness, loss)
However, something has gone terribly wrong. The first couple rebelled against God, inviting shame, brokenness, alienation, and death into God's world. As their children, we are all complicit in their defiance. Instead of reflecting God's character, we are defined by our self-centeredness and experience corruption as both villains and victims. Sin has not brought the freedom we had hoped for, but destroyed the freedom we once possessed. We deserve judgment; we need grace.
REDEMPTION (incarnation, cross, resurrection, faith)
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us... full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14) The God who made us has not abandoned us. Jesus came to inaugurate God's kingdom on earth, to restore what sin has ruined. He came to rule, not by power or force, but by humility and compassion, culminating in his death on a Roman cross. This was no ordinary death, however. Jesus' suffering was God's triumph over the powers of evil and the complete satisfaction for our sin. After three days, Jesus was raised from the dead, bearing in his body the promise of God's final vindication and our full renewal. We participate in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection by entrusting ourselves to him and living under his gracious authority.
FULFILLMENT (cosmic, renewal, justice)
The end of the story is still to come. Jesus has promised to return and bring the fullness of his rule - to make the whole world right. Here is how one of Jesus' first followers described this coming day:
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more...." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." (Rev. 21:2-5)
This is the hope of the gospel. Until then, we pray and work for God's kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.