Friday, January 9, 2009

The gospel: FTH

Flowing from the last post, i figured that i should blog on what i tell people, and teach youth, when I'm asked to explain what the gospel is. Due to my short memory and young people's short attention span, i nail it down to three words. Forgiveness, Transformation, Hope.

Forgiveness - The Bible insists that there is a barrier between us and God. This is called sin. Sin is where we disobey the ways that God has instructed us to live for our benefit. Each of us has fallen short of these instructions and have created a barrier between us and our Creator.

Due to his mercy, God has dealt with this barrier between him and us. Through the actions of Jesus on the cross, the justice of God was satisfied on our behalf. In our place, Jesus was crucified because the justice of God demanded that sin be punished. If we place our trust in this action, the forgiveness of God is available as a gift to us.

Transformation - But Christianity is more than an action that happened thousands of years ago. It is meant to make a change in our life and God helps us in this goal.

Upon trusting in the death and resurrection of Jesus, God places his Holy Spirit in us. This helps, guides, instructs and convicts Christians to live they way God intended us to live. Over time Christians become more like the one who lived this perfect life, Jesus.

Hope - Furthermore, Christianity is a message of hope. Believers have the hope of heaven and the judgement of God.

For a Christian, death is not the end. Upon belief, a believer is granted eternal life. When we die a Christian is promised a place in heaven, to be in relationship with God, as was originally intended.

Beyond this, we are told of a day when Jesus will return and God will judge the world. This holds no fear for a Christian. Instead, God will instigate justice over all creation. There will be a time where justice will reign. Those who "got away with it" in this life will not before God. And as a result the old will pass away and pain, tears and suffering will swept aside.

So there it is... FTH... the gospel in a nutshell.

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