Last August I started a new position as Assistant Pastor at a church in Suburban Chicago. Listening to the Senior Pastor preach and teach, I heard a new way of articulating the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The GOSPEL of Jesus Christ:
… He was BORN – to be our SUBSTITUTE;
… He lived the PERFECT life – to be our RIGHTEOUSNESS by faith;
… He DIED – to earn the FORGIVENESS of all sin;
… He ROSE from the dead – that we too might RISE from the grave one day; and
… He ASCENDED with the promise to return and give all believers in Christ eternal life in HEAVEN.
He gives the Gospel in five points that can be learned quickly so as to be able to share with others. I am now writing a Bible study series based on this 5 point Gospel presentation.
The first point is the Christmas story. But it is also so much more. Christmas is, for many people, a wonderful time of year. The music, the feelings, the get-togethers, and the traditions help many people celebrate Christmas.
But at the heart of Christmas is the Christmas Story. The Christmas story – true in all its glory – is the fulfillment of thousands of years of promises and prophecies. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem He was born to be our substitute. Our sin separated us from God. The only way to remove sin is through shed blood and death. But if we shed our own blood and die we cannot survive. While we would pay the cost for our sin, we would not live. We need someone to take our place if we hope to live. The Good News is that God loves us so much that He provided that someone!
Jesus, the Son of God, was born as a human being to take our place, to be our substitute. He was born to fulfill the requirements of God’s Holy Law for us, because we could not do so.
Each week there will be five Bible passages for our “heart work.” These are passages of God’s Word that we can lock away in our hearts so that they are “at the ready” when we are given opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus with someone else.
This week, the heart work is:
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.