Good News

The literal translation of the word “GOSPEL” is “GOOD NEWS”

What is the gospel? In the person of Jesus, God emptied himself of his glory and became human. Through the work of Jesus, God substituted himself for us and atoned for our sin, by grace bringing us into fellowship with him. At the return of Jesus, God will restore creation and make a new world in which we can enjoy our new life together with him forever.

In the person of Jesus, God emptied himself of his glory. Jesus, the promised Messianic King and the divine Son of God, was born into the world in a stable as a poor, humble, and mortal man. He took upon himself a human nature and the life of a servant. He spent his entire ministry serving others — feeding the hungry, healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching and teaching.

Through the work of Jesus, God substituted himself for us. The essence of sin is human beings substituting themselves for God, serving as our own Saviors and Lords, putting ourselves where only God deserves to be.  In Jesus, God substituted himself for us. He made full atonement and absorbed the punishment our sins deserve, putting himself where we deserve to be. This has secured justification and acceptance for us, freely by grace.

At the return of Jesus, God will make a new world. At the beginning, the Triune God created the world to be a place of community, peace, and joy. Sin brought evil and suffering into the world. But at the end of history God will restore this material creation, destroying death, disease, injustice, and suffering of all kinds. It will be a world in which we can enjoy our new life together, with him, forever.

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

In the Bible the good news of Jesus is sometimes called the ‘gospel of the kingdom.’ A new ‘kingdom’ is a new administration, a new order of things. Indeed, the three aspects of the gospel enumerated above bring ‘God’s new order of things’ in three ways:

It’s an ‘upside-down’ kingdom.  Jesus emptied himself of his glory. Though Jesus was rich, he became poor.  Though he was a king, he served. Though he was the greatest, he made himself the servant of all. He triumphed over sin not by taking up power but through sacrificial service. He ‘won’ by losing everything. This is a complete reversal of the world’s way of thinking, which values power, recognition, wealth, and status. The gospel, then, creates a new kind of community, with people who live with an alternate way of being human. Racial and class superiority, accrual of money and power at the expense of others, yearning for popularity and recognition — all these things are marks of living in the world, and are the opposite of the mindset of the kingdom.

It’s an ‘inside-out’ kingdom. Jesus took our place on the cross and accomplished salvation for us, which we receive freely as a gift. Traditional religion teaches that if we do good deeds on the outside and follow the moral rules, God will come into our hearts, bless us, and give us salvation. In other words — if I obey, God will love and accept me. But the gospel teaches that the opposite is true — God has accepted me and loved me freely, and therefore I obey out of joy and gratitude. We are justified by grace alone, not by works; we are beautiful and righteous in God’s sight. Once we understand this on the inside, it revolutionizes how we relate to God, ourselves, and others on the outside.

It’s a ‘forward-back’ kingdom. The coming of the Messianic King is in two stages. At his first coming, he saved us from the penalty of sin and gave us the presence of the Holy Spirit. But at the end of time, he will come to complete what he began at the first coming, saving us from the dominion and very presence of sin and evil. He will bring a new creation, a material world cleansed of all brokenness. Christians live now in light of that future reality. We evangelize, telling people about the gospel and preparing them for the judgment. We also help the poor and work for justice, because we know that is God’s will and eventually all oppression will be put down.  And we teach Christians to integrate their faith and their work, so they can be ‘culture makers,’ working for the common good and human flourishing.

— Taken from Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Annual Report.