What is the Gospel?

In our Christian culture, we default to “the gospel of Jesus’ when referring to the New Covenant message. But, what does that mean?

Actually, the word of God has always been, well, about God. So, it should come as no surprise that the good news (Gospel) as explained by the One we call ‘Jesus’ is about God the Father and not Jesus Himself. In fact, explore Jesus’ teachings, especially in the form of parables, and you’ll learn that the Gospel by Jesus was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

The ‘good news’ is that Jesus, through His obedient sacrifice and resurrection, has given us access to the Kingdom of God. Through choice, we can choose to accept this gift of life and follow … or not. And, choices have consequences.

Choose the Kingdom of God and follow, or decide to do nothing or outright deny God. The choice is yours, but so will be the consequence.

Choose well and live, or, well, don’t.

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” …  Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels …’

 

 

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The Nature of God … First Thoughts

In our Christian culture, and at a glance, the question, “What is the nature of God?” may seem easy to answer. Responses I’ve heard typically evoke the image of an elderly father-figure who just wants us to sit on his knee and be ‘loved.’ Relative to the image is our title of “Daddy God.” But is God truly a ‘one size fits all’ experience that best suits us at the time of our need – whatever it may be? What kind of love is our God? And how do the Father, Son, Spirit relate to the title of God? Let’s briefly explore these questions and my initial thoughts, all of which will be addressed further and deeper in a subsequent three-part Spiritual Formation course by the same title.

To kick things off, let’s clear up the conundrum of the Trinity and different manmade theologies surrounding that nature of God. The Father, Son, and Spirit are discreet entities that play distinct roles in our salvation and restoration: The Father creates, heals, provides for, and performs many other activities as the One who asked the Son we earthlings call ‘Jesus’ to become the sacrifice to satisfy humanity’s debt to Him; the Son agreed and was obedient to the Father in completing the task for our benefit; the Spirit empowered human Jesus and raised Him from the dead and is our helper in the here and now as we move down God’s path. We see the term God used several ways in the Old Testament and one that defines this ‘corporate’ God is the Hebrew term Elohim. More on all this in subsequent postings. I’ll finish today’s entry by offering a few thoughts about the nature of God the Father in particular.

  • God is love, but it’s the actionable love that emotion may compel but isn’t emotional love in itself. Our God of love is love because He is just and merciful and keeps His word! Some will benefit from that just nature; others will create for themselves a bed of coals, euphemistically speaking.
  • We cannot sum up the nature of God in a word (can we do that with anyone?!?). His nature is complicated and multifaceted. At any given time, it will depend on the recipient and where they’re at relative to His covenant.
  • Remember that God disciplines those whom He loves.

That’s it for now. Remember to devote yourself and all you have to God, keep YOUR word, and stay tuned for more on the Nature of God.

Blessings,

Crosswalker

Our Covenant & Connection to the Kingdom

At the time of Abraham, an agreement – covenant – whereby the people of a land would swear loyalty to their king and serve only him was the common way of ensuring survivability. Because the people understood this close and mutually-beneficial relationship, God used it to establish a close connection and reconcile them to Himself.

The covenant involved terms like, “I will be your God if you will be my people … Honor and obey and serve no other.” It also involved sacrifices to confirm the agreement and penalties for breaking it. He later renewed the covenant similarly with Moses and the people of Israel and, finally, with the world through Jesus, who became the once-for-all covenant sacrifice.

Read: Exodus 6:7; Leviticus 26:12 & 14-17; Deuteronomy 6:1-6 & 13-18; Matthew 22:36-40; 26:28; 2Corinthians 3:6;

Question: Would you say that marriage is a covenant (perhaps because of vows)? Why? Why not?

Question: What do you imagine a covenant contract should contain?

Stay tuned for next time when we’ll explore briefly the truth behind ‘faith, love, and hope’ and how the concepts relate to our path to God.

Blessings,

Crosswalker

The Beginning …

Welcome to our first journal and expression of the good news revealed by Jesus of the Kingdom of God! Let’s start by delving into Christian fundamentals such as the need for a covenant with God and His desire to restore – reconcile – creation.

Our Separation (from God & Perfection)

Why is a covenant with God necessary? How did we get to our current state of imperfection and wickedness and death if everything started out in a perfect state? Humans disobeyed God’s single commandment. Because God is fair and just and must keep His word, humans would from that point on experience death and hardship through separation from God and the Tree of Life. But, God has a plan to reclaim creation and return all to perfection.

Read: Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 15-24; 3:6, 11-13, 16-19, 22-24; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:18, 3:23 14:10; 2Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 2:1-3

 

God’s desire (reconcile creation)

Although humans separated from God by choice through the first man Adam, the Creator wants us back and has a plan! A perfect being willingly died in our place so God would not have to allow humans to continue a path of death and destruction.

Thankfully, the One we call Jesus the Son of God agreed to be that sacrifice to pay for the rebellion humankind has done against God the Father, who then raised Him from the dead as a sign for all who would and will believe and follow Him. We must choose to believe and give our entire life to God in return if we wish to be part of the restoration of creation to perfection. But, what do we do while we wait for the new, perfect world to come?

Read: John 3:16; Romans 5:10-11; 2Corinthians 5:18-20; Colossians 1:21-23; Revelation 21:1, 5, & 7.

 

What we do in the meantime (perseverance)

We must stay in this covenant with God by keeping our word to give all we have and are to God and obey His commandment to love Him and humans. Doing this won’t always be easy! Regardless, we learn God’s ways and live by them. Our obedience proves our love for Him and others and is why we’ll be rescued – saved – from punishment after judgment and kept with God in the meantime. As we’ve already read, this salvation begins with entering covenant with God.

Read: Matthew 24:13; Romans 2:7; 1Timothy 4:16; James 1:12; Revelation 14:12.

 

Stay tuned for more on the covenant, faith-love-hope (not the mushy romantic emotion-based gut-wrenching feel-good stuff but true, actionable love!) and salvation!

Blessings,

Crosswalker