A friend on FB was asking: What do you say to yourself when you remind yourself about the gospel? I am so glad she asked. This was my answer:
It depends what you mean by the gospel. The standard evangelical version is that Christ died to save us from our sins… But redemption was always just the end of a detour. The good news that Jesus came to preach was about the kingdom of God.
So, to answer your question, what I remind myself about the good news is that God has an eternal purpose, which is older than sin. God’s purpose is to make the invisible visible, to make divine life incarnate, to fill the earth up with heaven.
It is in this sense that Christ was second Adam. Jesus living in Nazareth was the first fruits of the good news for the world because Jesus living in Nazareth was like the tree of life growing legs and walking around in the garden of Eden. Jesus did what Adam (if not literally then as a symbol for all humanity since the beginning of time) failed to do.
The Lord spent three decades honoring God and loving his neighbors. Jesus spent 30 years doing all the things did he talks about in the sermon on the mount. Jesus spent 30 years living as the personal fulfillment of everything that we read in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus spent 30 years living his life in a way that was so perfectly pleasing to God, that the voice of the Almighty could be heard in the sky saying this is the one guy who has made me really happy.
And that is eternal life and that is the kingdom of God.
And the benefit of redemption is not that we are saved from death and hell. And the benefit of redemption is not that we now get a chance to try and live up to his great moral standard. And the benefit of redemption is not that we get a second chance to be good little creatures for once, after all.
The benefit of redemption is that we now have access to the just rewards which Jesus has earned, not only with his death but with his perfectly pleasing life.
And the good news of the kingdom is that God loves Jesus and Jesus loves God and that is the whole party and you are invited.
Now somebody say praise the Lord...