The Gospel: Nothing More Important

by Peter Swann

It’s a striking thing to me that our lives are based on what happened two thousand years ago.

One event, culminating in a myriad of other events, has wrecked us today. We have staked all we have on that event, and that story. Our very eternity has been altered because of it.

Yet what is so stunning is that so few of us really know the story. We may tell some of the basics, but struggle to ever enunciate it well. This bothers me… deeply.

I’m so convicted that someone was murdered for us, and we can’t even really tell his story.

Those of us who have committed our lives to Jesus owe our all to our Savior. He has ransomed us, dying in our place, and our lives should scream of our wholehearted devotion to Him. He’s given us a story that has changed us, and a story that should change others through us.

We also want to equip all our people on a succinct version of the gospel. Generally we tell the gospel in the format of God-Man-Christ-Response. Below you’ll find the gospel section of our Hope Church statement of faith, as well as a breakdown of God-Man-Christ-Response through our gospel section. Many thanks to Daniel Rieke for his skillful work in breaking this down for us so plainly.

When we understand the gospel, it changes everything for us… our worship, our evangelism, our prayers. Our lives are reshaped by knowing the gospel, reflecting on the gospel, and being empowered by the implications of the gospel.

That story has changed us, and is changing us. It’s the gospel of our Lord and there’s nothing more important. Let’s learn it, live it, and tell it for the glory of His great name!

The Gospel [from the Hope Church statement of faith]:

The one and only God, Creator of everything, who is infinitely powerful, holy and good, made us in His image to know and enjoy Him. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were deceived by the devil and rebelled against God, bringing sin into the world. As a result, we are now born with a sinful nature that is hostile to the loving rule of God. Like our first parents, we all rebel against God, making us guilty of sin, the penalty of which is death and eternal separation from God in Hell. In His great love, God entered into human history as the man Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil and to rescue fallen humanity from sin and death. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, and willingly gave up His life on the cross, thus taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of humanity. Jesus rose from the dead three days later, showing that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and that God’s wrath against the believer in Jesus had been exhausted on the cross. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit as an adopted son of God and transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, being born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.  (Genesis 1:26-28, 3:1-24; John 1:1, 1:14, 6:47, 10:18, 14:6; Acts 13:28-31; Romans 3:21-26, 5:8, 5:12, 6:9, 6:23, 8:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:13, 2:1-5, 3:6; Colossians 1:4-6, 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:15, 2:5; Hebrews 2:17, 4:15, 9:15; 1 Peter 1:3, 3:18; 1 John 1:9, 2:2, 3:8, 4:10)

The Gospel in God-Man-Christ-Response:

[God] The one and only God, Creator of everything, who is infinitely powerful, holy and good, made us in His image to know and enjoy Him.

[Man] Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were deceived by the devil and rebelled against God, bringing sin into the world. As a result, we are now born with a sinful nature that is hostile to the loving rule of God. Like our first parents, we all rebel against God, making us guilty of sin, the penalty of which is death and eternal separation from God in Hell.

[Christ] In His great love, God entered into human history as the man Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil and to rescue fallen humanity from sin and death. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, and willingly gave up His life on the cross, thus taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of humanity. Jesus rose from the dead three days later, showing that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and that God’s wrath against the believer in Jesus had been exhausted on the cross.

[Response] He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit as an adopted son of God and transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, being born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.