Let’s start with what is probably one of the most recognized Bible verses universally: John 3:16
This verse does explain in a nutshell what the Gospel of Jesus Christ was about, but in order to understand the implications of it you need to understand more than just this verse. There are many “misconceptions” about what all of this means. A lot of this is too “heady” for people to fully grasp and therefore it makes it difficult to apply to your own life. The reality of Jesus’s life & continued ministry is that its not meant to apply to you for some future date when you die or when “Jesus comes back”, it’s meant to apply to you now.
GOD & HUMANITY BEFORE JESUS
Before Jesus’s ministry was completed, the Bible essentially was a series of continuously failed attempts for God to create and the people to keep the covenant relationship that God had designed with them. The first breaking of the covenant happened in the Garden of Eden where God essentially told Adam & Eve to be fruitful and multiply, and to have dominion over all of creation, but that they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil. There is a lot of symbolism here that we could go into but that’s really deserves its own article so for now let’s just say that the first humans failed to do this.
The main consequence that we see played out is that, just as God had told Adam when he warned him, humans would die. So essentially, before this action was taken by Adam & Eve, human beings already had everlasting life. But since this took place, that was taken off the table.
There were all sorts of other terrible consequences of this decision actually led to people trying to be like God and doing some pretty awful stuff and so God decided to wipe out humanity (except for a handful of them) by using a flood. You may have heard of Noah’s ark, that’s this story.
God establishes another covenant with humans through Noah’s family and that’s actually where we get the rainbow from. God created this as a sign that said, I’ll never wipe out humans in this same way again. The next major covenant that is set is with Abraham where God promises to make Abraham’s descendants more numerous than the stars of the sky or the sand of the sea.
It was through this Abrahamic Covenant that God gave the Israelites Mosaic Law (Mosaic stands for Moses if you’re not familiar). Essentially, God established a series of laws that were given to Moses and the Israelites but realistically they applied equally to all people. This covenant said that anyone who follows these covenant laws in totality will receive blessings from God, and those who don’t will receive curses.
Well, not shockingly, since humans weren’t able to keep one rule (Adam & Eve), and this hadn’t been fully reconciled yet, we weren’t able to keep hundreds of rules either. So the history of humanity was essentially a series of cause and effects of God’s people not following these laws and the consequences thereof. Sometimes they tried to get it all together, but it was always unsuccessful.
Now the Bible is split into two parts the Old Testament (which means old covenant) and the New Testament (meaning new covenant). Every book in the Old Testament prophesies about the coming Messiah who will come and set all of the world right and establish Israel’s kingdom forever. That’s where Jesus comes in.
Jesus Enters the World
Jesus was born of a virgin mother and was the direct descendant of God the Father. Essentially, God had pretty much had enough of regular humans not being able to do it themselves and so He promised that He would come down to lead His own people. He chose to do this first through Jesus Christ. Now, Christ isn’t his last name, Christ means “the anointed one” the same as “Messiah” it also means the anointed one.
Jesus Christ was anointed by God to do a handful of things:
- Fulfill the law’s requirements once and for all to break the curse of sin and death on humanity.
- Part of this was that a blood sacrifice was required, before it was a lamb, that had to be done every time a sin happened, and at least once a year for the entire world (Passover). Jesus instead offered himself up to be this sacrifice in order to fulfill the law’s requirement once and for all.
- To show the world how to walk by the Spirit and the Truth of the Kingdom’s existence.
- To prove that those who walk by the Spirit of God are not held back by any worldly constraints, including death.
Number 4 is not something that you’ll hear at church very often. They may speak about it philosophically but it typically entails some future state of being where “when Jesus comes back” we’ll all be saved and a mighty Kingdom will come. This is both true and false at the same time. It is True that Jesus Christ will come back and fully establish his Kingdom and those who have walked according to the covenant will be saved for eternity.
It is false to believe that this is a future state of being. We must operate by the same means that Jesus did now to help establish the Kingdom so that when Jesus comes back he has a Bride who is ready for the wedding feast. This doesn’t mean people who go to church and read their Bible’s regularly and check the “I’m a Christian” box. This means people who are living their entire lives fully in alignment with the covenant of grace that was established at the coming of the Jesus Christ, proven to be real by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and carried forward in truth by the original ekklesia (the “church” following the day Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples) and God’s miracles were played out through the disciples as well.
Jesus’s first words in his ministry in Matthew 4 were “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” John the Baptist, who paved the way and made the path straight for Jesus’ ministry through the baptism of repentance was the first to utter these words. Jesus came to fulfill these words, this is why he was baptized into repentance in the first place, to fulfill all righteousness and to show us the way.
It was at these words that the Kingdom was established. Jesus’s ministry, death & subsequent resurrection proved this to be the case. He was baptized into repentance and received the Holy Spirit, submitted to God and resisted the Devil’s temptations (in other words sanctified by the Holy Spirit), and then walked out his entire ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit (see John 5:19 & John 12:49 where Jesus says He doesn’t do anything or say anything that isn’t given to him by the Father) The Holy Spirit is the method of communication between Father and Son through prayer & instruction.
What The gospel means for you
What it really means is stop living life like normal. Stop pretending that the world matters because it doesn’t. Start living and walking by the Spirit of God. There is nothing that stands against God that will stand, no economy, no government, nothing. Those who walk by the Spirit are fully protected by the promises of the covenant relationship (Jesus was resurrected, as was Lazarus just for being Jesus’ friend, we also know that many more will be resurrected at the end and at least two more will be resurrected before the end).
If you walk in this covenant relationship, there is nothing that can stop you from fulfilling your God given purpose but you must walk in agreement with the covenant that God established. I can attest to this personally having seen the full power of the Holy Spirit in operation through my vessel on two separate occasions that others can verify the validity of. I’ve spoken of them in other articles. This doesn’t point to my ability, it points to God’s Truth being the Truth.
Stop what you’re doing, stop living life as if the things of this world matter, they don’t. God’s covenant is the only one that matters. If you walk in full agreement with it, you will be protected fully and God even has grace for the periods where we mess up as well. But your entire heart, your entire mind, your entire soul must be in it. Without this, you’re double-minded, serving two masters and you are at risk of losing your covenant protection.
By the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of me and in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord who has come in the Flesh, the above words are true. Do you have the faith to live by the Word of God fully or not? That’s the question being posed here.