If you have never read the Bible or gone to church you might not know what Christianity is about. You have probably heard about rules such as the Ten Commandments or notice that a lot of churches and Christian organizations do charitable work but not really know what it is to be a Christian. It really all comes down to the Gospel. Below you can read through the story of the Gospel, which starts in Creation at the beginning of the Bible and works through the entirety of the Bible telling the story of God carrying out his rescue plan.
01: CREATION The beginning of the Gospel story starts in Genesis. God is the creator and sovereign Lord of all His creation. Our identity as humans starts in Genesis 1:26-27. God made us in His image, meaning we would reflect God’s glory and know, love, and live with him. Being made in God’s image speaks to our dignity as an image bearer of God, our being relational, and moral-rational beings. From the beginning he made us both male and female in his image. Genesis 2:18 also gives insight, in speaking of all of his creation thus far God had said it is good, however after creating man for the first time in his creative process God said it is not good; because man was alone. As God himself is relational in the trinity being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all three in one, in his image we are made for community with other image bearers.
02: FALL In the beginning man lived in perfect harmony with God and his creation and the only thing forbidden was eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan’s first attack was to cause doubt about God’s goodness and truthfulness and to cast disobedience toward God in a good light (Gen 3:1-5). Adam was our representative in the garden, and fell to sin, therefore we inherited a depraved sin nature(Romans 5:12). The result of breaking this law was separation from God (a physical and spiritual death), shame, and the curses that came with that separation (Gen 3:16-22). From the moment sin entered the picture God had a plan to rescue his people from their own brokenness. In Gen 3:15 He revealed his plan; He would send a savior who would crush the head of the serpent. God’s plan was Jesus and continuing from this point is the story of God’s redemptive plan to send the God-man, the second Adam to represent man and pay the price for our sin so we may be redeemed (1 Corinthians 15: 21).
03: REDEMPTION Jesus was the offspring spoken of in Gen 3:15; born of the virgin Mary, from birth was wholly man and wholly God, lived a perfect life, was crucified died and was buried, then rose again conquering sin and death. He then ascended into heaven and sent his spirit to testify and empower believers for ministry. Redemption is a one time event where God softens the heart of a sinner and they agree with God about their sin, who Jesus is, and their need for him, then they are called Sons of God, and cannot loose this free gift of salvation (Romans 3:23-24, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10). Christ’s death on the cross absorbed all the consequences of our sin, bridging the gap between us and God, which we could never do by our own actions, and started his reign over his new creation defeating sin once and for all, fulfilling God’s redemptive plan.
04: RESTORATION Sanctification is the process in which God progressively makes us resemble his character. Unlike a human adoption where the child will bear the name but never resemble their parents God, our heavenly father, works in our hearts restoring us to the image bearer we were intended to be, properly reflecting his glory through the process of knowing him, and living with him. God starts this restoration in those he calls, but it will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns again (Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:29, Phil 3:21, 1 John 3:2).
The process of sanctification is not a works based behaviorism, it is a spirit led, joy filled basking in the grace of God for calling us his treasured possession, and living out the love he has imparted on us in our daily lives. The end of the Gospel story is yet to come, the work of atonement was finished in Christ, but until his return he has commanded his disciples to share the good news and take part in his mission of redemption and restoration, making disciples and teaching them to do the same (Matt 28:19-20).