Often at PBC we explain the Gospel using four C’s—creation, curse, cross, call—so let me give you another way to understand. One popular approach is to explain the Gospel using four words: God, Man, Christ, and Response.
First, the Gospel begins with God. He has existed for eternity as one God in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit. For eternity past God has needed nothing. He was and always has been the most satisfied being in the universe.
Despite being completely satisfied in Himself, God decided to create. He created a universe teeming with life to showcase His glory. And the pinnacle of that creation was the species Man. He made our first parents, Adam and Eve and placed them in a garden paradise. The Bible says that they and their offspring were created in God’s image, which means they were designed to reflect and represent God to the rest of creation. In a way, Adam was created to be king.
But the throne of Adam and Eve would not last long. In a universe filled with “yes,” God gave them one “no.” Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet that’s exactly what Adam and Eve did. Their rebellion is what the Bible calls sin. When our first parents sinned against God, the entire human race was cursed. Instead of a garden paradise, we would now live in a world plagued by suffering. To make matters worse, the pandemic of sin would now infect every single person who descended from Adam and Eve. Every single person except One.
Because God loved us, He sent His Son Jesus the Christ to restore the Kingdom, to renew the paradise that was lost. But because God is holy, we could not be restored unless our sinful rebellion was first dealt with. So the eternal Son of God became a man, born of a virgin. He grew into adulthood and lived His entire life free from sin. Like Adam, Jesus was tempted by a serpent. But unlike Adam, Jesus resisted. The true King had finally arrived.
But God’s plan was not complete. It was not enough to crown Jesus as King, because His subjects were still plagued by the disease of sin. So Jesus did something that, at the time, nobody understood. Jesus willingly died. He was arrested, falsely accused, beaten, flogged, and crucified. But He wasn’t dying as a martyr. He knew this would happen. He chose this path. Why? Because He was taking the penalty that we deserve for our sin upon Himself. He was dying in our place. Three days later Jesus rose from death, securing His rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That’s the Good News of the Kingdom of God!
But the story still isn’t over. God wants you to be a citizen of this Kingdom. Nobody is born a citizen, and it’s impossible to work for your citizenship. You must Respond to this Good News. You must do exactly what Jesus said in Mark 1:15, you must repent and believe. To repent means to turn away. You admit and confess your sin. You admit that (like Adam), you too have rebelled against God. You stop trying to live a life like you’re the king or queen. You give up control of your life and turn it over to King Jesus. To believe means to trust. Even though you can’t see the kingdom or the King, you trust that it’s real. You believe that Jesus really did what the Bible says He did, and that He really is coming again to consummate His kingdom.
And that is Good News.