What is the good news? Has there been a period in your life when you have tried to piece it all together? Or maybe you’ve had an “ah ha” moment with a rush of increased love and understanding. We know God wants us to seek and discover this treasure of grace that he has embedded in history. He wants us to tell others the good news. So what is it?
Well, here is my understanding of the Gospel. I’ll share it in two parts so as not to be so overwhelming. If you are looking for a succinct way to share the good news with others, perhaps the bolded titles will help best. If this is new to you, let me know how I can encourage you along the Way! For those of you who are familiar with this and are daily grappling with living the Gospel, as am I, I would love your feed back! In this summary of mine, What is clear? What is strange? What seems like heresy? What is true? What is helpful to you?
God, the Trinity, is the eternal source of all goodness
God is and always has been. The Trinity exists in an eternal relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Trinity are One. There is only one God. Like the light of a fire, the Son exists because of the Father, generated, begotten by Him. In the same way that a fire has never existed without its own light, so also, there never has been a time when the Son didn’t exist. The heat from the fire also is concurrent with the fire and the light and so, the Holy Spirit exists because of the Father and the Son and yet he is co-eternal. Everything good and perfect originates in God – beauty, truth, peace, power, being, etc.
In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2
We are created for Love
God, who is pure Spirit, created the world in an act of love – making wonderful physical matter- out of the chaos of nothing. It is the Logos, the ordered life of God in created things, which continually gives existence to everything that is. Similar to the animals and all creation, we have value because we were created by God. But even greater than that, unlike anything else, we share God’s own image. The crux of who we are is patterned after the likeness of the Trinity. Our ability to will, to reflect and to love give us windows into this likeness. God created us to relate with Him eternally both individually and communally through being known and knowing, being loved and loving, being served and serving. In order for God and man to experience this relationship, it is, by the necessary nature of love, a free invitation to exchange selves – not forced. Adam and Eve experienced this as they walked with God in the cool of the evening, naked and unashamed.
All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Without him, nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3-4
We fundamentally wounded ourselves
In the freedom that God gave and does give, there was an openness to receive or reject. Many wonderfully created heavenly beings, namely Lucifer, rejected the Trinity and chose an absence of love which we commonly call “evil.”
Likewise, our first parents turned away from God, listening to the mistrusting, prideful voice of the evil one. They momentarily disobeyed, fundamentally and lastingly taking themselves out of that mutual exchange of love. As a natural result (call it a punishment, consequence, natural effect or perhaps even a part of a remedy), death entered human experience. Not wanting people to exist forever in that wounded state, the first man and first women were removed from the eternal garden of Eden. As man and women worked and filled the earth with family, God renewed his relationship to a chosen portion of His people as protector, father, life giver – God – and he solicited from them a response of committed love. This was a formative example of what he intended to do with all people. With the covenant (a familial bonded promise), God gave ample laws to His nation, Israel, which lead to the path of life. This was a vital but small portion God’s larger plan of redemption. For he knew that although tribes, families and individuals often loved and had many moments of covenantal faithfulness, all people sinned, all people served themselves. Having inherited the wounded, sinful, disrupted nature of Adam, all people, even His chosen Israel, continued in the falsely alluring death grip of the message of Satan – no hope. no love. no reason. the self is king. fear. mistrust.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Christ Joins Us
Desiring to live in union with those He made, and knowing Himself to be the only cure, God the Father sent His Son, the second person of the Trinity, to live with, in and as humanity. And so, by the power of the Holy Spirit, God was incarnate, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary- a young Jewish woman who had been chosen and preserved from original sin to be the mother of God, to be the new Eve. Jesus was like us in all things except sin.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14
Jesus taught and healed
Jesus grew and learned to work by his foster father, Joseph, as a carpenter. When he was about 30, he wandered the region of Judea, teaching and healing. His interactions with people were both earthy (caring for the immediate needs of those around him) and yet full of an eternal perspective. He helped a young couple who ran out of wine at their wedding feast and in so doing, indicated the marital relationship that God desires to experience with his people. He brought an abundance of fish to some out of luck fisherman and in so doing, initiated them into a new occupation of gathering to people God’s house. He forgave the sins of a paralyzed man and then healed him of his paralysis. He miraculously fed over 5,000 people and promised his own body as food to give eternal life to anyone who comes to him. His entire life, he did the will of the Father. He desired God’s plan.
He sat down and taught the people. Luke 5:3
part II coming soon… please let me know your thoughts!