By Brandon Lemons
This Sunday, we are beginning a four-week sermon series called “The Gospel.” “Gospel” is a word that means “good news” and, in the ancient world, was frequently associated with a declaration of victory. Each year as we celebrate Good Friday and Easter, we recall the central events that make the Christian Gospel possible, namely Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The Gospel is frequently described in two parts: 1) We are flawed and sinful people, and 2) Jesus came to save us and make us right with God. A strong case could be made that these are the two essential understandings a person needs in order to respond to the Gospel and receive salvation. For instance, 1 Corinthians 15:3 summarizes the Gospel by saying, “Christ died for our sins…was buried…[and] was raised on the third day.” We are sinful, and Jesus makes a way for us to be saved. This is the core of the Gospel message, especially as it applies to our lives as individuals.
Yet there is benefit in considering the larger story of the Gospel. The Gospel is more than a “Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free Card.” The Gospel gives us a purpose that is greater than just hanging on for heaven and saving as many souls as we can along the way. The Gospel is bigger even than humanity; all of creation will share in the benefits of Jesus’ victory!
In this series, we will be looking at the biblical storyline in four parts: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. These four parts describe the entirety of human experience and the entirety of the Gospel, from Genesis to Revelation. The two parts of the Gospel we typically focus on are Fall and Redemption – our sin and Jesus’ death/resurrection. Yet by including Creation, we understand God’s original intent for the world and humanity. And by including Restoration, we see that the glorious goal of redemption is not some hazy hope of a happy afterlife, but a New Heaven and New Earth where everything is flourishing in perfect relationship with God, for the praise of His glory.
I encourage you to join us in person or online for this new sermon series, which runs from March 14 – April 4.