We “do” a lot at Hope Chapel. We take seriously that we are the ambassadors of Jesus in our homes, neighborhoods, offices, and cities. In many ways, we are the mouth, hands, and feet of Jesus. As you learn more about us, you will find many examples of this. However, you will actually miss everything if you miss this:
The Gospel (which is a word that simply means “good news”) is the motivation and animating power behind all we do. All that we do is motivated by and empowered by what we have already been given in the Gospel. All that we do is a response of gratitude and love to what Jesus has already accomplished and secured for us.
Nothing we do makes us better people, nothing earns us more credit with God, and nothing we do balances out the scales of the good and bad in our life. In actuality, relating to God with those motivations attempts to make God owe us something and leads to insecurity and depression (if we feel we don’t measure up) or self-righteousness and arrogance (if we feel we do measure up), both of which lead to emotional and spiritual destruction.
THE GOSPEL SAVES US FROM ALL THAT.
So what is this gospel? What is this good news?
The eternal God has taken on human flesh and come to earth, in the form of a man, as a servant, to be the promised deliverer, the great Messiah King. History called him Jesus Christ, a revolutionary teacher, but to us, he is the Son of God who, by his life, death, and resurrection, paid the penalty we deserved for our sin (rebellion against God) and secured for us justification (freedom from guilt and condemnation), by grace through faith. In other words, he didn’t do this because we humans did good and avoided the bad. Rather, it is a gift, accomplished by Jesus alone, without any contribution from us in any form, and received by trusting in Jesus alone. On the cross, he broke the dominion of sin and evil over us and when he returns he will complete the work he began, renewing all of material creation, including the resurrection of our bodies to eternal life.
Only by trusting in Jesus, proclaiming him your Savior and King, is one adopted into the family of God. Then, and only then, can all we think and do be for our King’s glory, flowing from an every-growing gratitude in what has been given to us.
“Without the gospel everything is useless and vain; without the gospel we are not Christians; without the gospel all riches is poverty, all wisdom folly before God; strength is weakness, and all the justice of man is under the condemnation of God. But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made children of God, brothers of Jesus Christ, fellow townsmen with the saints, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, heirs of God with Jesus Christ, by whom the poor are made rich, the weak strong, the fools wise, the sinner justified, the desolate comforted, the doubting sure, and slaves free.”— John Calvin