- Meaning. Even though we live in a world of sin and brokenness, Jesus came into this world and changed everything. Only in relationship with God through Jesus can real life begin with meaning far superior than anything else this world can offer, because He is eternal (Psalm 90:2) while this world will pass away (Revelation 21:1).
- Purpose. Jesus' last words to His disciples were "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20). This purpose of proclaiming what God has done for us gives us a purpose far greater than ourselves or anything in this world.
- Value. Not only did God create every person in His image and set us above all creation (Genesis 1:26, 27), but He also died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). We carry the likeness of eternal God in our identity, and despite our mistakes He has offered us the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. We can never do anything to lose our worth to Him who loves us. (Romans 8:38-39).
- Acceptance. As adopted children into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5), we gain acceptance regardless of our background. It doesn't matter anymore if you've been rejected, abandoned, despised, or outcast; all are welcome and receive the blessings as an heir into the family of God (Romans 8:17).
- Connection. Being a Christian allows several unique social privileges: God abides in us as we abide in Him (John 15:7), we are assured comfort in our sufferings (2 Corinthians 1:3-7), and we receive communion and unity with other believers (Ephesians 4:1-16). The church exists to take in all people, unite them together under Christ, and send them out with one purpose.
- New Life. No matter what your background is, God wants to take you right where you are and make you more like His Son (Ephesians 4:17-32). We no longer have to live bound by the chains that bind us, but through obedience to Christ we are transformed to become more like Him, experiencing new life and the joy of hope eternal that He gives us (Isaiah 35:10).
- Jesus. This is what the Gospel is all about, and what the whole narrative of human history explained by God in the Bible centers around. It is also what each of our individual lives centers around. Jesus is our example of godly living, our propitiation, High Priest, salvation, and our love (John 15:12-17).
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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The Gospel is God's great gift to us. It has the power to take us from the depths of sorrow into the glory of the presence of God. But how does this happen? I would like to propose that it changes people by giving us...