1. God, our maker * [Obligation]
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Acts 17:24-28 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘ For we are indeed his offspring.’
“The Gospel tells us of God our maker, in whom we live and move and are, and whom we have been made to worship and serve, and in whose hands, for good or ill, we always remain, and whose will and purpose should always determine ours.Like Paul at Athens, we must introduce folk to the creator whom they have forgotten to remember, and go on from there. Not till the Creator’s claim is seen can we ever grasp the sinfulness of sin.” (J.I. Packer)
The Bible teaches/Christians believe that God made everything and everyone, and therefore we are all accountable to him, and obligated to and created for worship.
Divine Creator – Man created as His Image, to Image Him – To Glorify and Enjoy Him
2. Sin, our failure * [Problem]
Romans 3:23 . . . all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 1:25 . . . they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
“The Gospel tells us of sin, defining it as a failure to meet the holy Creator’s claim first by aping him and then by fighting him, and depicting it as rebellion against his authority, lawlessness in relation to him as our lawgiver, missing the mark which he gave us to aim at, and becoming guilty and unclean in his sight in consequence. The Gospel tells us that we are the helpless slaves of our own rebelliousness and cannot put ourselves right. Not till we begin to grasp these things can we ever appreciate the dimensions of the declaration that Jesus Christ saves us from sin.” (J.I. Packer)
Our fundamental problem, then, is – we have decided to worship ourselves rather than God. As a consequence we have become idolaters, and are thus under God’s just judgment.
Sin – Guilt – Penalty – Death
3. Christ, our Savior * [Solution]
Romans 1:1-4 the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Romans 5:8 God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“The Gospel tells us of Christ, and we must teach both the facts and the meaning of his life, death, resurrection and reign. We must spell out who he is and what he has done, and we must teach folk to interpret the meaning and purpose of human life in terms of him. It is sometimes said that it is the presentation of Christ’s person, rather than of doctrines about him, that draws sinners to his feet, and it is certainly true that a theory of atonement, however orthodox, is no substitute for the Saviour: it is the living Christ who saves, not an theory about him. But Jesus of Nazareth cannot be known as the living Christ unless we are clear that he was eternal God and his passion was really his redeeming action of bearing away men’s sins; nor shall we know how to approach him till we have learned that he is now God’s king on the throne of the universe. Not till we are aware of these things can we see what the response for which Christ calls really means.” (J.I. Packer)
The amazing and utterly unique thing about the Gospel is, that it points us not to ourselves, or to religious performance for our salvation, but to the person and work of Christ.
Grace – Atonement – Deity
3. Faith, our answer (Repentance) * [Reception (response)]
John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“The Gospel tells of faith, repentance and discipleship, and so must we. Faith is credence and conviction regarding the Gospel message, and a consequent casting of oneself on the promises of Christ and the Christ of those promises as one’s only hope. Repentance is a change of heart and mind, leading to a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as king in self’s place. Discipleship is a matter of relating oneself to the living, exalted Christ as both learner and follower, and to the rest of Christ’s disciples as one who longs both to learn from them and to give to them, and who knows that his masters will is for him to be in their company. These things must be clearly taught, or the nature of the Christian life will surely be misunderstood” (J.I. Packer)
Because the source of our salvation is outside of us and the source of our condemnation is inside of us, we have to turn away from our sin and self (repentance) and turn to the Savior (faith) for salvation.
Faith (knowing, believing, trusting) – Repentance
5. New Life, our pleasure (Discipleship) * [Renovation]
2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Romans 6:4 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
“The Gospel tells of newness: new life in the spirit, who assures and enables; new relationships in the body of Christ, where love expressed in fellowship through mutual ministry is the rule; new goals in the world for all disciples, who finds that, though who they are no longer object, Christ leaves them in it to render service to it; and new Hope for both one’s personal future and that of the world as such, it is much as Christ is publicly coming back.” (J.I. Packer)
The Goal of our salvation is not simply our being spared from hell and judgment, but our new life with God, through Christ.
Discipleship – Church membership – Mutual Love