"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you                             

        received, in which you stand, 

     2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold  fast to the word I preached to you—unless              you believed in vain.

     3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our

        sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 

     4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the             

        Scriptures, 

     5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve

     6 Then he appeared to more than five  hundred brothers at one time"

                                                          (I Corinthians 15:1-6)

We exist to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The gospel is the good news of who Jesus is and what he has done (I Corinthians 15:1-6).  It is good news for those who believe in him and for a world scarred by sin and evil, and it makes demands of each and every one of us.

 

One way to think about it is through the lens of Christ, Cross, Crown.

 

Who is Jesus and what has he done?

Jesus is the Christ

 

The gospel is the good news that Jesus is the Christ.  The title Christ means Anointed One.  Jesus was the One who was promised to save people from sin and rule the world in righteousness. 

 

Why was such an anointed one needed?  Though God created this world good, we as humans shattered it when we rebelled against God, plunging all human beings under the control of sin and death.  The Bible tells us that all people, no matter who they are or where they’ve come from, “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom.3:23).  We all have participated in this rebellion against God by living in ways he has commanded us not to live and failing to live in ways he has called us to live.   The Scriptures go on to tell us that the just penalty for sin is spiritual death, suffering the wrath of God as right punishment for our sins. (Rom 6:23).

 

Yet God promised through the prophets of the Old Testament that one day the Christ, the Anointed One, would come to save people from their sins and set all things right, ruling all things in righteousness and justice.  Those promises were fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, who did so by dying on the cross, and then rising from the dead.

 

Jesus Christ died on the Cross.

 

Jesus, the Christ, is the promised Savior who died for our sins.  Out of love, Jesus willingly and knowingly walked a path that he knew would lead to his own death on the cross.  Jesus, who was himself God, humbly took on humanity and lived the perfect life no other human could live, offering himself at the cross as a perfect sacrifice for sins. 

 

Through his death he saves all who trust in him from the just penalty of sin, the wrath of God, which he took on himself at the cross.  But he does more than simply free those who trust in him from the penalty of sin, as if that weren’t incredible enough!  He also saves us from the power of sin, that we might no longer be under its control.

 

Jesus Christ wears the Crown.

 

Jesus Christ is the promised Savior, but he is more than that.  He is also the risen Lord who rules and reigns.  Even though Jesus died for our sins and was buried, he didn’t stay dead.  Through his resurrection, Jesus was vindicated as the true Savior.  He disarmed the powers of sin and death, and was shown to be the true and righteous Lord.

 

After his resurrection, Jesus Christ, the Son, then ascended to the right hand of the Father, where he reigns in heaven, and from which he will one day return to reign on earth, to put a final end to any and all evil, to put an end to death and suffering, and to reign forever in righteousness and justice.

 

How should we respond to this gospel of Jesus Christ, who went to the Cross as our Savior and who wears the Crown as Lord?

 

With Repentance and Faith

We repent of our sins.  That means we admit to God that we have rebelled against him, that this rebellion was wrong, and ask him to turn us from that sin and cause us to live for righteousness.

 

We trust in Jesus the Christ as our Savior and risen Lord.  We look to him in faith as the one who died on the cross to save us from our sins.  We believe that Jesus has been truly raised from the dead as Lord.  We then express our faith in Christ through confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, swearing allegiance to him as our King and committing to follow him the rest of our life.

 

With Commitment to Christ and his Church.

Jesus is our Savior and Lord.  He deserves all of our life.  This means we live our lives for him with grateful obedience.  When we come to faith in Christ, we commit ourselves publicly to him through Christian baptism, which also marks us as belonging to Christ’s body, the Church.  We then seek to tell others about Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

Questions?

 

If you have any questions about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or about how to respond to Jesus, please contact Pastor Dirk Jasperse at (218) 790-1253