For many, the Gospel is only a theory or a theology. But, the Gospel is much more than that. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). It is a life giving force that comes straight from the throne of heaven. It is the power that makes us His children.
The question most people have is not whether the Gospel is powerful or not, but “How do I know it is changing my life?”
If this is you, my first question to you would be do you really understand what went wrong because of sin and what was restored through the resurrection?
Sin and Salvation affected (and still daily influences) four major relationshipsof everyday life. Let’s look at each.
When God created the universe He first of all created time, space and matter. (These three elements are the basics over which we need to take authority. But more about this in a later email). This was the creative activity that took place when He spoke the words, “let there be light” (Gen 1:3). Later, we were created to rule and reign over creation. We can only do this if we love creation and have a caring relationship towards it.
After God created the physical world, the second significant thing He created that was influenced by redemption was Adam; a human in His image. The first thing Adam saw when he opened his eyes after God breathed into him, was the face of God Himself. His creator. His friend. We were created in perfect union with God. This relationship is the source of all life, love and goodness.
The third thing God did was to give Adam his identity and “job description”. He was to take care of God’s creation. It was now under Adam’s rule. To know yourself and love yourself as a child of God is important. The way we approach everything in life is linked to this third relationship; the way we see ourselves.
The fourth and final relationship God designed was human interaction and relationship. He created Eve and together with Adam he gave them the mandate to multiply. We were created for bonding relationships. It is never good for man to be alone!
Creation. God. Ourselves. People.
Sin separated us from God but it ultimately destroyed all four these relationships, as designed by God.
Creation. Death and decay entered into the world and the destruction of nature was the result. It also resulted in mankind losing its connection with nature and the spiritual world.
God. Our spirits died and we lost our connection with God. Everyone has fallen short of God’s Glory.
Ourselves. Our own personal identity became that of sin instead of godliness. The love for self turned into pride instead of humility and resulted in people lording it over each other.
People. We lost our ability to connect with each other on the level that God intended us to bond. This resulted in relational breakdown and people waging war against each other.
All human pain and brokenness is the result of broken relationships. Any struggle you have in life, whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual can be traced back to the fact that one or more of these relationships are not completely functioning in its God given design.
But then Jesus came.
The reason God came in the flesh and lived among us was to restore these four relationships. As a human being, Jesus restored our human response to a relationship with God, He restored the relationship with nature and with people. He lived in the identity as the Son of God and destroyed the broken image that sin caused in us.
God has called us to this ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18, Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
This is how you know the Gospel is fully at work in you. You will obey the Great Commandment in Matt 22:37-38 “ … love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’... love your neighbor as yourself”.
When the great commandment is visible in your life, the Gospel is healing your relationships.
Over the next few weeks I will unpack these four relationships individually and explain how the Gospel restored this for us.