Greek IV exists so that every Fraternity and Sorority student might have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. But what is it? How do we share it with our chapters?
We are going to answer “What is the Gospel” in this post, and “How to share the Gospel” in a following post.
The Gospel is profoundly deep, and amazingly simple.
In a short blog post, we cannot mine the full riches of God’s amazing grace. Understanding and treasuring this great truth is a lifelong journey. But the Gospel is also incredibly simple; there aren’t a million rules to follow or spiritual “mountains” to scale in order to reach God.
What is the Gospel?
God loves us enough to go to extreme lengths to bring us back into relationship with Him. At the center of the Gospel is the reality that Jesus paid the ultimate price for us by dying on the cross and defeated death by rising from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 2 Timothy 2:8)
To wrap our minds around the beautiful simplicity, here are four main truths:
· God is Holy.
· I am Not.
· Jesus Redeems.
· Christ is my life.
God is Holy
God is the one true God who exists eternally in three persons. This God created everything (Gen 1:1). Nothing is more perfect and valuable and beautiful than him. (Is 6:3) People, and everything God created, were created to be in a good relationship to God, trusting in him for the source of good in their lives.
I am Not
So what is the problem? Sin is the problem. But what is sin, and why is it so bad?
I quickly came to realize that I couldn't develop the marvel of grace without explaining the horror of sin. – Will Metzger
There are 4 prominent metaphors that lace themselves through the entire dramatic story of the Bible that help us understand what “sin” is: Rebellion, Idolatry, Adultery, Rejection.
Rebellion – Sin as rebellion is when we choose to live according to our own standard, instead of trusting and obeying the ways that God has designed for us. God is the Great King of creation and we have rebelled against him, making ourselves kings instead. That is sin. (Genesis 1-3)
Idolatry – Sin as idolatry is when we worship created things instead of the Creator. Idolatry is when we place other things like money, relationships, power, etc., in God’s rightful place in the center of our hearts. That is sin. (Romans 1:24-25)
Adultery - Sin as adultery is when we seek love in places other than God. The Bible describes God’s relationship to us as that of a husband to a wife. We commit adultery when we run to finding love in places other than God. That is sin. (Hosea 2:13-20)
Rejection – Sin as rejection is when we reject God’s fatherly love for people and go our own way. God is seen in the Bible as a loving father caring for his children. We, like angry children, reject God’s love and run away from Him. That is sin. (Luke 15)
Everyone has sinned. (Rom 3:23) Because of sin, the world is not the way it is supposed to be; it’s filled with pain, heartache, loneliness, broken relationships, racism, etc.
This sin separates us from God. (Isaiah 49:2) Because of sin, we experience brokenness now, the consequences of our sin, and we are subject to the worst type of brokenness, death, after this life is over. No one likes to acknowledge the existence of hell, but that is the result of our sin. (Romans 6:23)
“The good news of the Bible is that God became a man (John 1:14); his name is Jesus (Mt 1:21), and he lived a perfect, sinless life (Heb. 4:15). He was undeservedly executed on a cross (Mt 27:35), experienced immense shame and painful separation from the Father (Mt. 27:46), personally bore the punishment for the sins of all who would put their trust in Him (John 1:12), and rose again from the grave (1 Cor. 15:20), conquering the power and curse of sin (1 Cor. 15:57) and declaring, once and for all, that He is Lord (Acts 2:36). “
– Mark Vrogop
Jesus overcame the power and the penalty of our sin.
Rebellion: He paid the penalty of our rebellion. (Isaiah 53:5)
Idolatry: He proved he was worthy of worship by rising from the dead. (Luke 24:51-53)
Adultery: He showed his great love for us by relentlessly pursuing his bride who was giving herself to other lovers. (Romans 5:8)
Rejection: He allowed himself to be rejected by us on the cross, so that we could be reunited with our Heavenly father. (1 Peter 2:4)
This is the Gospel - Jesus paid the price for sin. In this, we are not only forgiven but we are healed! Jesus forgives, and he covers us with his own perfect, flawless life.
Christ is My Life
God extends grace! The response God invites us to, is not to “earn” our way back into relationship with him. Instead it is to repent and believe. (Galatians 2:19-21)
Repentance means that you turn away from self-reliance and turn to relying on God. You decide that every area of your life is now God’s domain, and not yours. Belief means more than intellectual assent to the fact that Jesus died for you, it means that you trust in Christ’s work instead of your own as the basis for your relationship with God.
The Gospel transforms. Anyone who receives it is new! (2 Cor 5:17)
This is a “now” reality, and a “future” reality. The now reality is that, even though we still feel the brokenness of the world, we really can begin to taste the goodness of God and his leadership over our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, freedom, grace. (Galations 5:22-26) We become people who, following Jesus as King, care about his Kingdom and others in the world.
The future reality is that when Christ comes again, he will judge all people. (2 Corinthians 5:10) For those that have placed their trust in Christ, the world will be set to rights once and for all, and we will be eternally with Jesus and each other. (Revelation 7:13-17)
So how do we share this message with our Chapter?
Read our next post- “How do I share the Gospel” - if you want to learn how you can communicate these truths in helpful ways!