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Concise Gospel
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CONCISE GOSPEL:

Motivated by love, Jesus Christ seeks the suffering, sick, and rejected, frees us, restores us, heals us, adopts us, and proves we are his by extending himself—his holiness—in an exchange that makes us whole.

 

He suffered and died on the cross to free us from the bondage and misery of pursuing our own selfish desires and the destruction it brings. He rose from the grave to free us from the curse of death.

 

He ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of the Father, praying for us who will follow the path he blazed as we are transformed into a new creation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, whom he sent as a deposit on his kingdom to come.

 

We receive by faith and repentance all that he does for us so we might joyfully lay down our own lives in love for others, which is the will of God, our Father.

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THE PROBLEM

R. C. Sproul said that in his seminary classes, he often asked his students (who are pastors and seminary students) to provide a concise definition of the gospel and he was pleased when 10% could actually do so. Seriously?!

 

How can we expect to communicate what we've been tasked to preach, drive out demons, heal the sick, and so on, if we cannot say what the gospel is?
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Dabbing in Water

We're looking for a concise, objective definition of the full gospel of Christ.

Christ's gospel of servant-hood is so counter-culture, how do we explain it simply? How do we communicate that the future age is breaking in and we, being in Christ are partakers of it? What does this inheritance include? How do we communicate the "downpayment" of this inheritance that is already happening (e.g. the Fruit of the Spirit and signs and wonders)? How do we communicate that we are sealed because we belong to him and he is responsible to complete the work? How do we communicate the Great Exchange that the Gospel provides?

The Call of the Gospel

THE CALL OF THE GOSPEL

Can you summarize the gospel of Christ with words you could use on a street corner before authorities haul you off to jail or share with a mom on a park bench or prisoner in a jail cell?

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" - Romans 10:14

This site is a CLARION CALL to understand and walk in the gospel and full understanding of what Christ did when his Kingdom broke in, what he is doing now, and what he will do in the future.

Enjoying the Nature

PREACH THE GOSPEL

You may have heard a saying, "Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words." It's often mis-attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, who evidently, never said it. While it is important to live what we preach, this saying is contrary to the Bible. The Gospel has always been verbal—then followed by signs and wonders.

While we should LIVE the gospel, we should also preach it. It is good to live as though we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, here, now. But what if our subtle living is totally missed because the people who are supposed to be paying attention to it can't (or won't) care. Or our elevated brethren who make glaring mistakes drown out our humble living?

We must know, understand, and preach the gospel.

The Breakdown

BREAKING IT DOWN

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Here is the CONCISE GOSPEL breakdown:

Motivated by love...

Since God is love and everything Jesus Christ did starts with the love he has for his Creation, the CONCISE GOSPEL starts with this as well.
(John 3:16, 1 John 4:7-8, 1 John 4:9-11, Ephesians 2:4-5)

 

Jesus Christ seeks...

Since Jesus Christ is not dead and his ministry has not ended, it seems appropriate to say that he still seeks, rather than focus on the past (Jesus sought). (Luke 19:10)

the suffering, sick, and rejected...

In the Bible we see Jesus Christ seeking out those who were suffering, sick, and rejected—the ones who knew they were desperately in need of a Savior, not the ones who were still under the illusion they were fine, so the CONCISE GOSPEL focuses on these as well. It seems that this is the "good ground" Jesus Christ referred to in his parable and the best ground for receiving the gospel.

(Luke 4:16-20)

frees us, restores us, heals us, adopts us...

The antidote to our suffering, sickness, and rejected state is found in Jesus Christ and the identity he gives us when we accept the gospel's message that he has come to make us his own. (A link to 41 verses on Jesus Christ healing and restoring.)

 

and proves we are his by extending himself—his holiness—in an exchange that makes us whole.

The proof that we are his and no longer belong to what we once belonged to is when we are transformed into his image, which is both instantaneous and a process. The Great Exchange is that every lack we have and every flawed part of who we are can be exchanged for his perfect image so we can become whole, and wholly his. (A link to verses on the many exchanges Jesus Christ provided for.)

 

He suffered and died on the cross to free us from the bondage and misery of pursuing our own selfish desires and the destruction it brings.

The CONCISE GOSPEL does not use the word "sin" because it doesn't seem to be understood by today's culture. However, every person we encounter understands words like "bondage" and "misery" and "selfish desires" and "destruction" that they have enacted on others and had enacted on them. These words are the direct result of the sin that separates us from God, but instead of going down a rabbit hole of what sin is and what it is not, the CONCISE GOSPEL focuses the hearer on the recognizable symptoms, skips the diagnosis, and goes right to the cure, which seems to be what Jesus Christ did when he called people to him, healed them, and set them free. His suffering and death paid for all our sins, once, and for all time. We need only accept that gift to be free. (A link to verses on this topic.)

 

He rose from the grave to free us from the curse of death.

While Christ died to free us from sin, it was his power over death that also frees us from the curse of death. Everyone fears death until they understand it is no longer a curse, but a passing over from this place to the next. The next part of the CONCISE GOSPEL gets more into living the eternal life that Jesus Christ provided now, rather than thinking of eternal life as something that begins when we die.

(A link to verses on Jesus Christ rising from the dead.)

 

He ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of the Father praying for us...

It is potentially life-changing to know that Jesus Christ's current ministry in heaven is to intercede for us from his position of authority, at the right-hand of the Father. (1 Peter 3:18-22)

who will follow the path he blazed...

The CONCISE GOSPEL briefly makes this statement to indicate the path we are to follow, which is clearly the same one as Jesus Christ. This includes Heaven, of course, but does not emphasize this as the reward for eternal life, since eternal life being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ IS the reward, not just eternity in Heaven in his presence. (Romans 8:34)

as we are transformed into a new creation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit,

The purpose of living eternal life by the Holy Spirit, now, here on earth is so that we have the opportunity to be transformed into Jesus Christ's image as we receive the glorious presence of God, abide in it, and return it to him in the form of worship. All of this is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. (A list of verses on the new creation, indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a video on eternal life and what it means to live eternal life, now.)

 

the deposit on his kingdom to come.

Here, the CONCISE GOSPEL, uses a word that might be unrecognizable to anyone not familiar with the vocabulary of fairy tales or literature, so it is, admittedly, the weakest point. (If you have a suggestion, let us know below!) However, when the disciples declared "the Kingdom of God is at hand" which we are also directed to do, the hearers didn't know all that the Kingdom of God encompasses. Indeed, few probably do to this day. For our purposes, we define the Kingdom of God is all that is found in the nature of Christ made available to those who submit to his rule in their hearts. Grace makes the Kingdom of God available to us in our time of need. (A list of verses on the Kingdom of God/Heaven and a video on what Jesus Christ meant by Kingdom.)

 

We receive by faith and repentance

At the end of the CONCISE GOSPEL hearers are introduced for the first time to what it takes to accept this gift of Jesus Christ. They must believe it is available to them through Christ, acknowledge their need for it, repent of their own rule in their hearts, and turn their hearts over to him. Hopefully, those sharing the CONCISE GOSPEL will take the opportunity to ask the hearer if they would like to repent of their actions and their attempt to rule their own hearts and receive the free gift of what Jesus Christ did for them. (A list of verses on salvation by faith and a list of verses on repentance.)

 

all that he does for us so we might joyfully lay down our own lives in love for others, which is the will of God, our Father.

And now we come to the commission of all believers: to share what Jesus Christ did in the past, what Jesus Christ did for us, and what Jesus Christ currently does for us. Here is where our personal testimony comes in and where we obey the rule of Jesus Christ in our hearts as we are transformed by Love to love others as Jesus Christ did.

(Matthew 28:16-20)

QUESTIONS? SUGGESTIONS?

It's a work in progress, so if you have a suggestion or a clarification, please contact us!

Thank you for contacting us!

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