** There will be no worship service on Oct 24th as the church instead serves the city on that date. More info under Events!

believe

Simply Good News

Christianity centers on embracing and sharing a core message called "the gospel." Scripture tells us that this gospel message is "the power of God for salvation" (Rom 1:16). At Fellowship, we want everyone to experience God's transforming power and salvation in their lives. And so, we are a people eager to share the gospel message with others.

The word "gospel" simply means "good news" and in ancient times was associated with the proclamation that a new king has come to power. 

"Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages... proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction."
Matthew 9:35

We live in a culture where "kings" and "kingdoms" aren't very familiar. Perhaps the very notion of kings and kingdoms raises amusing images in your mind – men dressed in colorful robes, living in castles surrounded by motes. But in the ancient world, kings were often considered semi-divine or even worshiped as a god. When the king walked into the room, everyone stopped and paid homage. The king was a big deal.

The Christian gospel is the powerful and transformative good news that Jesus has become King with all authority over heaven and earth (Matt 28:18). A couple of words the Bible uses to express the idea of Jesus’ kingship are the words "Christ" and "Lord." Both of these words are essentially synonyms for “King.” Sometimes the authors of the Bible even pile up these terms (“the Lord Jesus Christ”) to emphasize Jesus' universal kingship and authority as Lord. So, in its simplest form, the gospel is the good news that "Jesus is the Christ" (Jn 20:31) or "Jesus is Lord" (Rom 10:9) — that is to say, Jesus is King. And this is good news for the whole world because Jesus is a good king, and his rule extends over all creation.

As it unfolds in scripture, the gospel story includes the following details.

Jesus the King:

  • Is the eternal Son, one God together with the Father and the Spirit. All things were created through him and for him. (Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17)
  • In the fullness of time was sent by the Father. (Gal 4:4)
  • Took on humanity, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary in the lineage of King David in fulfillment of God’s promises. (Lk 1:27, Rom 1:3)
  • Lived a sinless life and went about doing good (teaching, performing miracles, healing, confronting and overcoming dark spiritual powers). (1 Pet 2:22, 1 Jn 3:5, Acts 10:38)
  • Was crucified and died for the sins of the world, in accordance with the scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3)
  • Was buried. (Mk 15:46, Acts 13:29, 1 Cor 15:4)
  • Rose again from the dead on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures. (1 Cor 15:4, Matt 28:1-10)
  • Appeared alive to many witnesses. (1 Cor 15:5-6)
  • Ascended into heaven to the right hand of God the Father where he is enthroned as King over all things. (Acts 1:8-9, Acts 2:32-36, Lk 24:50-53, Eph 1:20-23)
  • Poured out his Spirit on his Church to effect his rule in human hearts. (Acts 2, Rom 8:1-14)
  • And is coming back again to judge the world in righteousness, rendering to each person according to their deeds. (Acts 10:42; 17:30-31, 2 Cor 5:10, Rev 22:12)

Global and personal

This good news means that God, through the Lord Jesus, has launched the project of worldwide renewal, reversing the effects of sin and corruption in his good creation. New creation is breaking into this present world, and the old kingdom of sin and death is passing away as God is establishing his global rule through Jesus and his people. This gospel message is to be proclaimed in all the earth that every tribe, tongue, people, and nation would know this good news and experience God's saving power before the end comes (Rev 5:9-10, Matt 28:19-20). This is the Church's "Great Commission."

However, as the gospel goes forth into all the earth, its effects aren't just global as more and more people are brought into the family of God. It's also intensely personal. For every person who submits to this gracious, forgiving, compassionate, and loving King and lives a life of allegiance to him alone, their whole life and destiny are forever changed. Those that turn from false gods and sinful lifestyles to follow King Jesus:
  • are forgiven of all their sins
  • are filled with his Spirit to walk in newness of life
  • are united to his body, the Church, God's family and kingdom on earth
  • are given a glorious mission and purpose
  • and ultimately expect final salvation and eternal life when Jesus returns
When Jesus comes back from heaven to judge the world, all the dead will be raised – every person, the good and the evil alike – and all will receive judgment based on their deeds. From the beginning, God has warned us that sin leads to death (Gen 2:17, Rom 1:32; 6:23). And so for those who have rejected God and his established King, Jesus Christ, none of their deeds are considered “good,” since none have come from a faithful heart (Rom 14:23, Heb 11:6). These are the "wicked," those who will not submit to King Jesus, go their own way, and live in the service of self and the spiritual powers of darkness. In the judgment the expectation for the wicked is a second death: wrath, eternal punishment, and destruction. But for the "righteous," those who have lived in faithful loyalty to Jesus as their King, the expectation is exaltation and everlasting life in a renewed world where heaven and earth are reunited at long last under God's good and eternal reign, accomplished through Jesus his Son.

"For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

Your Response

What does this mean for you? Becoming a Christian isn't about earning anything. Salvation is always a gracious gift (Eph 2:8). It’s not about being “good enough,” but if Jesus is your King, your life will inevitably change. If the proclamation of the gospel is that "Jesus is King," then a right response to that gospel is allegiance to King Jesus above all. No one does this perfectly. But if you have believed the gospel message is true and your posture is one of faithful submission to Jesus alone as your ultimate authority then your next step is an initiation rite—to be “baptized” (immersed in water)—by which you publicly declare your allegiance and new life in Christ. Baptism is also when you are initiated into membership with God’s people in a local gathering called a “church.” You can learn more about baptism and start the process by clicking "get baptized" at the bottom of this page.

If you want to deepen in your understanding of the gospel, firstly we would encourage you to consider reading through the first four books of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – which comprise the fullest accounts and retellings of the gospel story. Secondly, you can listen to this sermon that goes deeper into the question "what is the gospel?" And thirdly, to learn more about the Christian faith, we would also recommend listening through our Apostles Creed sermon series, which will walk you through the core, essential beliefs of Christianity. Lastly, we also would love for you to reach out to us via the form at the bottom of the page. It would be our joy to talk to you more about the Lord Jesus, what a kind and amazing Savior he is, and how he can change your life now and forever.

Conclusion

To sum up, the gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is King over heaven and earth. All things are subjected under his cosmic reign. He was sent by the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary as a descendant of King David according to the flesh in fulfillment of God's promises. By his sinlessly obedient life, death on the cross for our sins, resurrection from the dead, ascension into heaven, enthronement at the right hand of God the Father, and pouring out of his Spirit on his people, he has decisively and eternally triumphed over Satan, sin, and death for all who are loyal to him as King. And the day is coming when he will return to judge the world in righteousness. On that day, all the dead will be brought back to embodied life and will stand before Jesus for judgment. Every enemy kingdom and power will be destroyed. But Jesus' faithful followers will be vindicated, glorified, and made immortal to rule creation together with him forever in a reunited new heavens and new earth.

This is the core faith and confident expectation of all believers around the world. It is what unites us as Christians. It is our sincere prayer that this good news would be your faith and hope as well.

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