This week’s conversation is tough to summarize. Marion wanted to get a clear handle on what exactly is the gospel, anyway? In its essence, it is about the restoration of the human race to what God willed for us from the beginning.
This restoration includes relationships with God, other human beings and even our fellow creatures.
The restoration involves fixing the human heart and will so that our natural selfishness is changed into something else – outgoing concern (love) – that does not result in harm to self or others.
The restoration involves re-centering humanity on the story of God’s care for his creation.
- This care is why Jesus Christ was born as God-in-the-flesh. This care is why Jesus Christ died to wipe our slate (of disobedience to God’s will) clean in order to give each of us a fresh start (without being unfair by leaving “sin” unpunished or unaccounted for). This care is why Jesus was resurrected from the dead in order to enable us to live a new life in him through his presence and power by the Holy Spirit.
The gospel is a story of hope for a bright future for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. (We need to bear in mind that a “Lord” is someone whose will counts more than our own in terms of what should be done.) Finally, because it is a story of hope, we need to be able to tell it in our own words, in the context not only of our own story, but of the story of our listener. I (John) commend the Apostle’s Creed as a way of remembering the story’s main outline, but strongly recommend putting it in words that we would normally speak and in a way that shows we are also living within the story of Jesus’ grace and power.