The Gospel is defined as the “Good News”.
The “Good News” message is that there is life after death for those who believe that Jesus Christ was birthed from the Virgin Mary, that He died on the cross on Calvary for the remission of our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day. These are the true believers of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
God's one and only Son. The Bible says He was “begotten”, which means conceived and born in the usual way. Except with Jesus, we believe that God personally and supernaturally made a young woman named Mary conceive His Son.
He lived THE life that we all want to live. Every word He said, everything He did, every attitude and every gesture — we are completely devoting ourselves to Him and His ways. And, He is, right now in real time, showing us how to do that.
He lived a life that was 100% pleasing to His Heavenly Father in every way. No one before Him or since has ever done that. He did it because of God's love for us, and because He is, in truth, God. And, then He was murdered on a cross because everything He said and stood for threatened the very order of this world. It still does.
The good news about Him is that He lives today. His death on the cross satisfied God's demand for justice for all of the sins of God's creation. Jesus physically, actually came out of the tomb in which He was buried. Christians have referred to that as His “resurrection” for centuries.
For weeks after His resurrection, Jesus talked with, ate with and taught His friends and followers. Then, He went up into the sky before their eyes, and as His story explains, He is with the Father, standing as our access to Him and living in us. It is amazing!
We follow Jesus and live in His way only as we are made able to live in His way. That may seem strange to say. But, the truth is that no one can really live like Jesus by our own ability, skills, ideas or talents. That has always been true. And, that’s a good thing. Why? Because genuine life in the way of Jesus means doing life with the same guidance that Jesus knew.
The Bible writings about Jesus mention time and again that Jesus followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus was murdered, He promised His followers that the Holy Spirit would live in them and guide them and also give them the power and ability to do what Jesus did. That was a great comfort to them. And, Jesus kept His promise.
After His resurrection and His rising return to the Heavenly Father, the followers of Jesus met and the Holy Spirit came to them and actually began to live in them. (Scholars like to use the word “indwelled” to describe that truth.) When we read about the wonderful things that the followers of Jesus did after the Holy Spirit “indwelled” them, it is a great comfort to us, too. Why? Because, the promise is made real in every followers heart will follow Jesus.
The Holy Spirit guided Jesus and leads us and lives in us. So, we know and experience the very kind of life that Jesus lived and intends for us to live. That promise is for you, too.
Some people think of being a Christian as “being saved”, and that you become a Christian by “getting saved”. Theologians and translators have used a hefty word — Salvation — to describe both the process of becoming and state of being a Christian. We don't disagree with any of that.
To be a follower of Jesus means you have been rescued by God. God rescues people when they trust His Son to lead and direct their lives. Really trust Him. In fact, the trust that God tells us about is described as a kind of death to one's way of living before encountering Jesus, and waking up to a whole new, freely given life from God. It is this kind of life that we have and want to share with the people around us. That includes you. It includes everyone.
The Jesus kind of life is the one we are committed to living. It is a revolution of the soul. It is the life that unfolds love, hope, community, faith, sacrifice, and the sharing of the loads of life's hardships that become unbearable alone. One of those loads is sin.
The life that follows Jesus is also one that leads away from the heavy, life-destroying sins and toward the power to do good to oneself and to everyone else. That makes God happy. And when God is happy with you? It doesn't get any better than that.
No matter what you may have thought from all the hotel rooms you've stayed in, the Bible was not written by a man named Gideon. The “Holy Bible”. The “Word of God”. The “Sword of the Spirit”. These are all phrases that people who follow Jesus have used to describe the Bible.
We don't score a lot of points in originality with that because the Bible itself uses these phrases to describe God's Word, committed to writing, that we sometimes also call “Scripture”. It is God's story of Himself, written down, for our benefit. It came to be over thousands of years, and is simply the most remarkable book ever.
The Bible is chock full of adventure, intrigue, drama, comedy, irony, poetry, and good advice and most importantly, the good news about Jesus Christ and our hope in Him. It is the ultimate reality show. We don't just read it. We live by it. We love it. And, it helps us live in the way of Jesus like no other writing possibly could. So, we order our lives around what it says, and we live in the hope of doing all the good that it shows us.
Next time you enter a place of worship, look around you. You see the walls? The windows? Doors? Chairs? The stuff? That's all they are. They are just stuff; they are not the church.
See the people? They are — WE are — the church. But every time we get together we think it is great because in that place we get to meet and talk about God's Story, Jesus, and what it means for us to live today like He would live if He were physically in our own shirts and shoes.
We actually love to meet and talk about all that, and to share what that life is and can be: the ups and downs, the unspeakable horrors we encounter and the unspeakable joys we have. What is good for one is good for all of us, and where life gets rough, we commit to go through it together. In this group, we share it all. And, we share it with Jesus, too, because of His promise that wherever two or three people are gathered together to do life together with Him, He is there.
Really and truly. Our own gathering is committed to making followers of Jesus better followers, and to invite those who aren't followers to see what real life, God's life, can be. That's one of our reasons for getting together often, and we're not ashamed of it. We're thrilled. We think it is great. And Christians for centuries have thought so, too, and have called this kind of life the “great commission.”
Did you know Jesus was baptized? No kidding. If you knew that already, chances are that you've been baptized, too. Maybe you were sprinkled with a few drops of water and didn't have to change your clothes afterward! But, we personally prefer to get wet. Here's why… you ready?
Jesus did it, and He said for His followers to do it. We told you we want to do what He did and to follow His ways. Baptism is a dramatic, beautiful celebration of new life in Jesus. It is a public coming-out party for followers of Jesus.
Everyone who truly commits to living His way should do it. Living is doing. Baptism in water is a confirmation to oneself and to the whole community that a person has committed his or her life to Jesus and His way.
When Jesus was baptized, a dove landed on Him and God's voice spoke from the sky, “This is my Son and I am very pleased with Him.” He'll be pleased with you, too. But, we'll actually be the ones to say it.
History has recorded lots of different names for it. But, whatever you prefer to call it, we honor the example of Jesus based on the last meal that He ate before His death on the cross.
Periodically, we gather to read the story of Jesus' last meal, and what His death on the cross and His life in us means now. We eat small pieces of bread and drink grape juice, as symbols of His body and blood that He gave for us.His followers everywhere are told to remember Him in this way until He returns to Earth. Speaking of that…
“I will come again and receive you… ” Jesus said that to His followers after His resurrection and just before ascending to the Father.
We believe it. In fact, we're counting on it so much that we are living like He is already the King of this world. For now, He lives in and among us, and He is easily found. We don't see Him visually, but the Bible describes Him as being “at the right hand of the Father”. We do not know what that fully means. Whatever it signifies, we know He is for us and that He will one day return to this Earth for us.
For those who follow Him, life with Him forever is what He has promised. For those who do not follow Him, we believe that eternal judgment and punishment await. We hope that everyone we know and meet follow Him, and we are going to treat you as if you are the most important reason for this world to get together, in the hope that you will see that we genuinely love you.
It isn't because we're nice people, although we want to be nice. It is because God loves us and He loves you. You matter!
Is that it? — Of course that is not everything we believe. We couldn't begin to list everything the scriptures teach on one web page, so the best way is to invite you to come and learn with us as we examine the Bible verse by verse, concept by concept each week.
We don't focus on politics, opinions or gimmicks— our time together is too important for that. We spend our time together on the things that matter for eternity.
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