The grand story of God's salvation
The gospel is more than just a simple message or announcement. It is a grand story that begins at creation and doesn't end until Jesus returns. We are a part of that story. As you read and interact, you will see where we are in the storyline, but you will want to ask, "Where am I in this story? Where is my story going?" Follow the links to learn more.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sun and the moon, the land and the sea, the animals on the ground, the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky. Last of all, he created man. He created them male and female, in His image, and he gave them dominion over His creation to act as stewards. When he finished everything, he looked at what he created and said it was very good.
God the Creator
God is Relational. He eternally exists at Trinity - three in one, one in three. Each person is distinct from the other yet mysteriously unified to such an extent that there is but one God. So, God is relational. He is always in perfect communion within himself, and his creation of us as male and female reflects his relational character. Because God is relational, he created us to relate to him and one another in love.
God is Holy and Good. All that God created was good because he is good. All that God is and does is good: "You are good, and what you do is good" (Ps. 119:68). His relationship with Adam and Eve was perfect, but sin separated that relationship. God is holy, and he cannot allow evil in his presence. When Adam and Eve sinned, God, in holiness and righteousness, drove them out of the Garden (Gen. 3:22-24).
God is Gracious. Even amid the curse that man brought upon himself, God promised redemption. Genesis 3:14-19 outlines the details of the curse upon humanity, but in verse fifteen, God promised a son to the woman who would one day crush the head of Satan. That son would not only be the son of the woman but the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world.
The Consequences of Sin
Inherited Sin and Guilt. Adam and Eve were the first parents, making Adam the representative of the human race. Therefore, his actions became our actions. His sin became ours, and his guilt became ours (Rom. 5:12, 18). Not only did we inherit his guilt, but we also inherited his sin, so we are born sinful by nature, at enmity with God our creator.
Death. The wages of sin is death. When were created to live forever. But sin brought death, which is a reality that every person must face. Our bodies are fragile and frail. We wear out. We die. But our soul lives on. The fear of death is real, but the gospel prepares us to go into that mysterious unknown.
Condemnation. Death is not the end but a new beginning. What we do in this life will determine the nature of the next. Because we are sinful by nature, we cannot earn our way into God's righteous, holy presence, for, apart from Christ, even our good works are tainted by sin. Therefore, all who die in sin will face an eternal condemnation apart from God and his grace.
Faith That Redeems
The Meaning of His Sacrifice. The story of Jesus' death appears tragic. He was falsely accused and crucified by jealous religious leaders. Many thought their hopes of a Messiah were dashed when he was laid in the tomb, but they did not see the picture clearly. Jesus came here to die on the cross. His death was not an accident of history - it was his purpose. His death was substitutionary. He took our sins upon himself and paid the penalty that we deserve, and on the third day, he rose again.
Saving Faith. Forgiveness for our sins and redemption is a gift. To receive the gift, a person must turn to Jesus and call on him for salvation. Saving faith has two components.
Faith. Faith or trust is when a person gives up trusting in themselves (in their own goodness, works, and abilities) and turns to the one and only person who is good, righteous, and capable of all things. Faith in Christ means a loss of faith in self and the things of this world and a complete trust in Jesus.
Repentance. Genuine faith does not happen without repentance. When a person loses faith in themselves, they will turn away from the world, themselves, and the false promises of sin. They will turn to Jesus and look to him for hope, joy, happiness, peace, and salvation. They will put all their hope in him and rely on him. They will follow his example of righteousness because they know their gracious, loving Savior loves them.
The Hope of Restoration
Righteousness and Goodness. When Christ returns, he will restore all things to how they were before the Fall. We will be completely free from sin and made perfectly righteous. Brokenness will be no more.
Eternal Life. The restoration will completely undo the effects of sin, and death will have no more power. Death will be gone, and there will be eternal life in its place.
Relationship with God. God will walk and talk with his people in the Garden in the cool of the day. We will see God and be with him in a perfect relationship forever.