A people for God. The Church is God’s alternative society. At the heart of everything that the Church does, thinks, and witnesses about is the gospel. The Gospel is very simply, the astonishing and glorious news about Jesus Christ.
It is a simple message, but astonishingly difficult to grasp because it rallies in the face of all human logic. It is a testimony of God’s initiative in rescuing mankind, and the implications at every level are simply awesome.
The gospel speaks of the insufficiency and inability of man to present himself as righteous, holy and acceptable to God and the absolute, mind-numbing intervention of Christ who took on himself (at the Fathers bidding) the full penalty for all of our sin, (past, present and future) in our place, removing not just our sin, but also our guilt and shame.
Everything in our salvation is the work of His hand. We contribute nothing to our salvation – we are empty handed before an immensely generous God who lavishes his grace upon us even though we never once deserve the extravagant grace that flows our way like an ocean, caught up and thrust out an a tsunami.
There is an old saying that the gospel can be summed up as “Jesus + Nothing = Everything”, but the gospel is even more profound than that. When Jesus said, “I am” he was making the most audacious and astonishing assertion possible for us.
The Gospel presents to us the absolute truth that whatever we need to be acceptable to God, to dwell in his sinless, holy presence – literally every single thing, is met by Jesus with his heaven-affirmed truth, “I AM”.
Surely this heart-gripping, liberating and stirring message is the motivation that grips the heart of the Church as it presents the gospel, worships God and delivers men in the dark days in which we live…