What is the Gospel?
We believe the gospel, the good news that God is restoring all of creation to himself through Jesus, is a Story that changes every part of our lives. This story is about restored relationship to God, so we live in such a way as a community that we engage with God together through regular times of learning from the Bible, prayer, and worship.
Remember that time when you stopped and asked in a moment of confusion and pain: “Why is life so hard? Why does it have to be this way?” You let out a long sigh and wished, for the briefest of moments, that you had the smallest piece of the puzzle to this mess called life.
What is wrong with this world? Why do we get battered, bruised, and betrayed? Why do our dreams evade us and our plans mock us? Why is gray a color?
Well, no good reader starts in the middle of a book. So, to make an honest attempt at an answer, we’ll need to go back to the very first chapter of this story of the world. It is a story you know. It’s your story and mine.
It all started with a Painter, an Architect, a Builder who flung this universe into existence with only his words. God spoke; and every bit of this world obeyed him and showed up. Everything–including the first man.
That’s right. God made a man and they hung out together. They talked, and walked and laughed together. Father and son. And the man was happy. Perfectly happy. Happy in the way that the whisper deep inside your bones tells you that happiness is really supposed to be.
But then. One day the man decided he didn’t want to love God any longer. He wanted to love all the things that God had made without the God who made them. He turned and became more concerned with his own will than the will of the holy, loving God who painted him into existence with very words.
The world cracked like a brick thrown against a mirror. Man rebelled against his God and took Him off the rightful throne of the universe, replacing Him with selfishness and greed. Enter chaos. Man sinned against heaven and turned inward, striving and fighting to get what he wanted in his owns terms. Who needed the Painter anyway?
But then, God. One day God choose to set in motion a plan to fix what this man destroyed. And this plan was better than the best science fiction story, intriguing romance, or suspenseful mystery any man has ever conceived. In fact, the plan was almost like a fairy tale. Except it isn’t a fairy tale at all. You see, the best part of this plan is that it’s true.
God’s plan was to become a man and show others how to come back to God.
So the Painter came, was born of a virgin, grew up from a boy to a man, and reminded a world of men of the Maker that their father (the first created man) walked away from. And he told them how they could walk and talk and laugh with their Maker once again. So how did the world respond to this best of all news?
They killed him. In the worst way they knew how, they killed him. They nailed Jesus Christ to a cross and mocked him as he choked, bled, and died.
Not a chance. Because, you see, the Maker’s plan was not over. In the strangest of ways the Painter was wiping his brush against this dark canvas too. He knew they would do this. He knew they would reject him once again. After all, the first man did not want God’s interference in his life. Why would a world full of his children feel any different?
So that brush hit the canvas over the tomb of the Maker they had murdered three days before. And just like that, Jesus rose from the dead. Death could not hold the one who was Life itself.
See? It sounds a lot like a fairy tale doesn’t it? But did you ever stop to think that all the fairy tales might be trying to tell this one? The one that really is true? That there really is someone, a hero, who came and rescued us.
So why is gray a color? Because we all turned from the bright, holy, white light that is our God. We wanted to turn away. We still want to. You see, we’re the problem. You and I. Our hearts push against God’s will as though it is something to be spurned. We have drunk deeply of the poisonous lie that tells us we are alright on our own. That we are doing just fine without the Maker. So our lives, our own painting, are full of gray. We are left wondering why we hurt and if it all even matters at all. We are left wishing we had that one little piece that lets us know that we truly matter.
But we do have that piece.
It’s the gospel, the good news about Jesus. That’s that puzzle piece you wish to find. I doesn’t give us all the answers. But it tells us that Jesus came to set everything back to the way it was always meant to be. He came to love us even when we were rebels against Him. He came to heal us, to fix us, to make us new.
He came to restore us.
We at Restore love reminding one another of the gospel, of how God has entered into our daily lives, how He wants to be our Friend and Savior, how He makes all things new and enables us to live out our identities. We would love to talk with you about the gospel as well.