Gospel Threads – Part 2 of 6By Cory Varden
In the first post of this series we introduced what we are calling the “threads” of the gospel, and a basic definition was given that answers the question, “What is the gospel?” The first part of that definition, The just and gracious God of the universe, encapsulates the first of five gospel threads, namely, the character of God.
God is the just and gracious Creator of all things. God is the starting point of the gospel. The gospel flows from God. It is “the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). We cannot understand the gospel unless we understand God. Therefore, if we have a distorted understanding of God, we will inevitably have a distorted understanding of the gospel.
We live in a culture that has a very warped understanding of God. Sadly, this same warped understanding infects our own evangelical church culture as well. And all of this misunderstanding about God affects our gospel witness. So when we talk to people who don’t know Christ, we really can’t assume anything as it relates to God.
Pastor David mentioned during the Threads series that when he’s in a conversation with a person who may not know Christ and they look at him and say, “Well I don’t believe in God,” the question he will inevitably ask them is,”What kind of God do you not believe in?” To which they may reply, “Well I don’t believe in a God up in the sky who’s looking down on us waiting for us to do something wrong so He can pounce on us.” When they give this depiction of God, he looks at them and says, “Well that’s good, I don’t believe in that God either. Let me tell you about the God I do believe in.”
As followers of Christ, we must be prepared to present God accurately. In short, God is our Creator (Gen 1:27; Rom 1:18-20), our Judge (Rom 2:2-6), and (praise God) He is our Savior (Rom 3:23-24). He mingles justice with mercy, holiness with grace. This gets at the core of the gospel. Because God is our Creator, we belong to Him. As our judge, we’re accountable to Him. And as our Savior, we desperately need Him. We need Him for the forgiveness of sins, for eternal life, and for every breath we take.
As you begin to weave these threads into the fabric of your life, make sure you hold up a biblical view of the character of God. Give unbelievers a view of God as He has revealed Himself to us in Scripture. This is a foundational gospel thread.