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Hello, my name is Nate I’m a youth pastor from the Detroit area and you’re listening to the OnTrack Devotions Pulse Podcast. If you are listening you’ve somehow found our app or podcast and we are glad you’re here.
Each week we take user-submitted questions and answer them in various formats including in a “micro podcast” format.
This week we will begin answering the question “What is the Gospel?” To be honest this is going to be a whole series deep dive into the Gospel and my hope for you is that you’d come out on the other side with a deeper understanding of who God is and what He did for you.
The Short Answer
The short answer to this question is that the “Gospel” is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Christians believe Jesus being God died, was buried, and rose again as a sacrifice for our sin. If by faith we confess and believe in Jesus, we can be saved from sin and death.
The Long Answer
Before we begin breaking down the Gospel, I want to create for you a mental set of flashcards that you can remember. They are as follows:
- God Created
- Man Sinned
- Jesus Came
- Jesus lived a sinless life because He is God
- Jesus died as a sacrifice for Sin
- Jesus resurrected
- Confess, Repent, Believe by Faith we are saved
You will hear me repeat this many times and that is simply done as a learning aid.
This week we will study Genesis 1 and 2 to learn about the first flashcard, God created.
Here’s some quick background info on Genesis:
Genesis can be divided into two sections. The first 11 chapters give a primeval History of God and man. Basically, they are an overview of History before Abraham.ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version, ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008). Chapters 12-50 focus on the line of Abraham and God’s covenant with them.
The word Genesis means beginnings and thus all of what we read is a part of a beginning. The beginning of creation, of man, of sin, and of the Covenants.Hill, A. and Walton, J., 2009. A survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, pp.79-82. As you read Genesis try and keep this in mind.
We do not actually know who wrote the book for sure, but church tradition has held that it was Moses.
Whoever God led to write Genesis carefully and beautifully lays out God’s design and intent to fellowship with man in the first 2 chapters. Take a moment to read Genesis 1 and 2 on your own and after your done hit play and we will dive right in.
Here are some quick observations to make in this passage:
- First, we see that in the beginning there was nothing but God
- We see the source of all nature is created by God
- It is apparent that God took time and care to create including the creation of a timeframe called a day
- Everything that God creates He calls good
- We see that God created everything with the ability to grow, multiply, and develop with language such as “yielding seed” and “bearing fruit” “be fruitful” “multiply”
- God created everything according to its kind meaning he created with order and purpose
- In verse 26 we see God created man in His “image”. We will dive into that meaning in a little bit
- God created a Man and a Woman from the man.
- God told the Man and Woman to subdue and have dominion over His creation
- In Chapter 2 we get another detailed description of the creation of man and woman
- God gave man work to do
- God kept one thing from himself, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Everything else was Man’s to use
- In Chapter 2 verse 20 we see that Adam needed a helpmate and God created Eve.
- Finally, we see that Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. Why would God put that in there?
So what does all this mean?
- First, we notice that it is God who exists before time. He is Eternal and infinite.
- God is the creator of all things, and what he created was perfect, without any hint of sin. We know this for a couple of reasons. First, God said it was Good. We also see that Adam and Eve were naked and without shame. Shame, of course, is indicative of something being wrong. As there was no sin there was nothing wrong and thus nakedness had no negative consequential implications.
- For the purposes of our Gospel study, we will focus on man being made in God’s image. What does this mean? Isn’t God Spirit? How can we look like him?
- The idea of man being made in God’s image shows up in Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 5:1,3, Genesis 9:6, 1 Corinthians 11:7, Colossians 3:10, and James 3:9.
- There are 2 Hebrew words that are used interchangeably, 1 Is translates likeness and the other is translated as image. They are used in the same way. So, what does it mean?
- According to Dr. Rolland McCune, the image of God in man means that man replicates the infinite God on a finite level. In other words, in mankind’s personality, spirituality, and morality mankind reflects God in a limited way.McCune, Rolland., 2009. A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity. Vol. 2. Allen Park, MI: Detroit Theological Seminary, pp. 25
- This means that man has a personality. Intellect, will, spirit, and the ability to make choices based on a knowledge of right and wrong.
- Being made in God’s image means that mankind is different from the rest of creation in that he was given the ability, and the task of entering into a covenantal relationship with God, ultimately resulting in the New Covenant which we will address later in this series.Horton, M., 2011. The Christian Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, pp. 379-380.
What does any of this matter to you?
- First, we worship a God that is not distant from us. Rather He is intimately involved with what He created. I am so thankful for this as I wouldn’t desire to worship a God that
- Isn’t in control
- Isn’t relational
- In regard to being made in God’s image, I am so thankful that I have been given a conscience. I know I can make moral choices that honor God, and I am humbled by that responsibility
- It also means that as a Christian I must view people through this lens. Every person I will ever meet is made in the image of God. Yes, they are flawed, yes people can be tedious, annoying, angering, or even scary, and we will talk about why that is next week, BUT! They’re still made in God’s image. I have the responsibility to treat every person with the same dignity and respect I would hope to be treated with.
How can we put this knowledge to practice?
- First, I want you to picture how you talked about, and viewed people who voted differently than you in the last election. Did you speak about them through an “image of God” lens? I know I am guilty of failing at this multiple times.
- How about you? Do you remember that God created you in His image? Write down five character traits in you that reflect who God is.
- Perhaps you could take a walk outside, look at the trees, the animals around you, notice the order that we see in creation. Observe the ever-consistent seasons, or if you’re in a place it snows contemplate the power of a God that can make a new snowflake Every. Single. Time it snows
- On your walk, observe the creativity of man. Perhaps it’s in the architecture of your city, or in the organization of a planted field. It could be in a creative advertisement or a delicious meal at a nice restaurant. That is a gift from God. Be thankful and humbled by that.
God Created. That’s the first “flashcard of the Gospel” that we have addressed. I hope it’s an encouragement to you to know that God created with the intent of the universe being in His words “Good”. Next week we will address the problem of sin. But for now, just appreciate God’s design and intent for mankind.
- God Created
- Man Sinned
- Jesus Came
- Jesus lived a sinless life because He is God
- Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin
- Jesus Resurrected
- Confess Repent Believe, by Faith we are saved.
This podcast was written and recorded by me, Nate King. The editing and music is provided by Evan Braddock. All source material is provided in our transcripts.
|↑1||ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version, ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008).|
|↑2||Hill, A. and Walton, J., 2009. A survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, pp.79-82.|
|↑3||McCune, Rolland., 2009. A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity. Vol. 2. Allen Park, MI: Detroit Theological Seminary, pp. 25|
|↑4||Horton, M., 2011. The Christian Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, pp. 379-380.|