This is the Gospel
1 Corinthians 13:8-13
2 Timothy 1:8-10
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
The Gospel- it means, Good news. It is Jesus, His birth, life, death, and resurrection.
What does all that mean to me?
My life is a mess, because of sin. I can never be good, no matter what I could ever do. So God gave His son, Jesus, to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me that. And for that reason there is hope for me and for you and for everyone.
The Gospel is simple, yet complex. The more you dig into it, the more you uncover. You will never stop learning, there is always something more. God is great.
I am excited to be exploring this with all of you.
Let's dig in.
God has just created the earth and filled it with plants, animals and birds. Use the eyes of imagination and take a good look around.
See the snow covered mountains we know as The Alps. See the big horned sheep and the mountain goats roving around?
Look at those amazing oceans, watch the waves rise and fall. Can you see the huge, magnificent sea creatures swimming around the deep? And then over there, can you see all the bright colored, little tropical fishes swimming around the coral reefs.
Can you see the wondrous water falls, one shaped like a horseshoe? Can you feel the power of all that water rushing over the edge? Can you hear it roar?
Look at all the different animals roaming around the plains on the African continent and now the South American jungles!
Look at that vast canyon carved out right over there! Wow, that thing is Grand!
This place is good! Earth is good! But as yet unfinished. Now God says, "Let us make man in our image." Notice the plural pronouns? This is the plurality of the Godhead, God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit.
He creates the man and then the woman. And God, Himself pronounces that they are good. He gives the man authority over all the earth, the animals and the plants. He gives every kind of plant for food. And life is Good!!!!!
And then God rests. After 6 days of creating, He stops to rest. Does God need to rest? Is He tired? All that making something out of nothing is just exhausting!
God is setting up and demonstrating a plan for the man. Work 6 days and rest on the seventh.
Isn't this a beautiful place that God has made?
Let's keep these eyes of our imagination open, just for a little while longer. You might have to close your literal eyes. Just keep looking around at this place for awhile.
Read it, Think on it. Pray for the wisdom in it. Then Share your findings with us.
Adam and Eve have been living in Paradise. It is amazing. It is wonderful. They walk with God in the garden. The only rule, the only restraint that God puts on them is, Do not eat from the the tree in the center of the garden.
And then the crafty serpent comes and asks Eve, "Did God really say....?" And "...... You will be like Him."
He plants doubt. I am sure Eve starts to think and then the thinking turns in sin. You see, that is how it works when we OVERTHINK things, it turns to sin almost every time.
So, she thinks, she looks, she justifies(it looks like it would taste good, maybe I didn't hear God correctly, maybe He didn't really say....., or maybe I misunderstood. Yes, I am sure I misunderstood.) and then she reaches, she plucks, she eats and then shares it with Adam.
And immediately, immediately, did you hear me? Immediately, the shame comes upon them. How quickly do you feel the shame of your sin?
And now they quickly try to cover it up, hide their sin and guilt. And when God comes, they blame. "It was her, YOU gave her to me."
"It was the serpent."
And the serpent, well I imagine it like this: "It was so easy. I knew I could do it. Now your beautiful Paradise is ruined." This last part is not in scripture, but I think that might be what he said or thought.
Here is what sin does - it lies. It tells us that everything will change for the better. It promises to be shiny and pleasureful, and excitement forever. IT PROMISES TO BE WORTH IT. Sin tells us that God wants to keep the good stuff from us - that what we want matters more than what He has for us. (Genesis 3:4-5)
Sin wasn’t worth it. It never is. Romans 6:23 tells us the same thing God told Adam, “the wages of sin is death,” and Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Adam was guilty. Eve was guilty. You and I and your family and your neighbor and your friend and your enemy - we are all guilty. We all deserve death.
BUT DON't get discouraged, don't lose hope. Remember, we are studying The Gospel (Good News.) we just needed to lay the foundation for our study.
Ephesians 2: 1-10
Because of sin we were all dead. Dead refers to separation from God, and Paul uses the word to show that we are either alive (with God) or dead (apart from God.) there is no half dead, you either are or aren't. You either live in obedience or disobedience.
But God made a way for us through Christ to be alive again. It is because of the grace of God in His love and mercy for us that He provides the way. It is nothing we can DO or WORK FOR or EARN! We can be reborn into life because of Christ.
We can be born again, born of God, He has made a way through Christ.
We no longer have to be dead in our sin.
It is so hard to understand this concept of grace by faith. We can be alive again and have eternal life only because we believe we can have it from God*. There is no way we can earn it. There is nothing we can do to deserve it. Nothing!
It is free. It is grace.
*the gospel is good news and that is what we are studying. However, one can fall from grace.
1 Corinthians 15:12-22
1 John 2:1-2
Man sinned so God gave them laws and they would sacrifice animals to roll back their sin. The sacrifice required a life and blood atonement. So for years and years, centuries, many animals, much blood, and still more sinning, this covenant was replaced with the perfect sacrifice. Once and for all a sacrifice was made that required life and blood, the actual life and blood of God's Son in His human form.
Because of His death, we can be saved from eternal death. He gave Himself to redeem us.
But Christ did not stay dead. He was buried in a tomb but He walked out of that tomb alive! He was victorious over death and we can be too because of a Him.
1 John 4:10
These verses are so good, yet these are only some of the many many verses on being in Christ, abiding in God, living by the Spirit.
The more you dig into the scriptures, the more you study the Old Testament, the more the new Covenant will make sense.
Remember on the first day we said that the gospel is simple, yet complex?
For some who truly wants to abide in God, they will always want to learn and grow. One will enjoy uncovering more and more of the gems hidden in His word.
One of the biggest ideas you can grasp from today's reading is in one of the smallest words, IN.
Is Christ IN you? Do you abide IN God? Do you walk IN the Spirit?
1 Peter 1:3-4
We are dead to sin. We are not to live by our flesh any longer. In other words, all those past sins that made us dead inside ourselves are washed away through our cleansing baptism. Now we are Daughters of God. We are heirs with Christ. We are a new creation, living new, unchained lives.
We are now living with the guidance of God's Holy Spirit living in us. He is our comfort and help that Christ promised would be with us upon His return to the Father.
Oh yes, we have a living hope. A hope that waits for the day when our fleshly bodies will be made whole and complete and live eternally with God in Heaven.