For a visual presentation, click here.
What is the Gospel? Even many Christians who’ve grown up in church their whole lives don’t understand what it is about the death of Jesus that rescues us from sin and hell. In order to understand the Gospel better, we ought to examine three pictures that come from the three times that God the Father spoke from Heaven during the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Water: The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3.17)
- Baptism is for sinners (3.5-6)
- Jesus came to be baptized (3.13-15)
- God the Father declares Jesus as the Righteous One (3.16-17)
- “this” – A specific person we must pay attention to.
- “beloved” – A unique affection that the Father has for Jesus. Implication: the Chosen One.
- “Son” – A special relation between the Father and Jesus. Implication: Davidic heir (Ps. 2.7).
- “well pleased” – A righteous condition before God. See Isa. 42.1; Hebrews 10:5-10.
- Water=Jesus Identified as the Righteous Chosen One+Jesus Identifies with Sinners.
Message: The Transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17.5)
- Jesus identifies as the divine message (i.e., logos) to mankind (17.2).
- Jesus identifies with the great messengers of Israel’s past (17.3).
- The Father calls us to hear and obey the Gospel message of Jesus (17.5).
- Word=Hearing the Gospel Message+Obeying the Gospel Message
Cross: Jesus Ministers in the Temple (John 12.28-29)
- Glory among the Gentiles (12.20-22)
- Glory in death (12.23-24; 30-33)
- Glory to the Father in the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus (12.28-29).
- Cross=Death of Jesus+Glory to the Father
Conclusion: God’s Silence in the Death of Jesus (Matthew 27.46)
- Water: Jesus is left without vindication by himself and the Father so that he could identify with sinners (1 Pet. 3.18; Rom. 3.24-27; 2 Cor. 5.21).
- Cross: Jesus brings glory to the Father by absorbing his wrath against sinners so that they might be reconciled to God (Col. 2.14).
- Message: This Gospel of Jesus Christ must be heard and obeyed (2 Pet. 1.19, cf. vv. 16-18).
- All people must hear and respond to this Good News in faith — that Jesus identifies with them and has paid their just penalty.
- Christians must respond in meditation coupled with rejoicing, lifting up the Gospel in order to glorify God, and by identifying daily with the reality of the Gospel.