What is the meaning of the gospel?

The meaning of the gospel, the good news, is that Jesus Christ has finished the work of forgiveness. Because of the gospel, you are a forgiven person.

We heard the gospel message and we responded with faith: we believed in, relied on and put our trust in the gospel. Immediately, we were made into a new creation. We were born again!

We have not only received a second birth, but we have also been given a new identity. Our new identity is that of a forgiven person.

It is uncommon for a believer to understand this in the beginning of their new life with Jesus. Most of us spent years wandering in the wilderness of “works” trying to get forgiven. We spent years asking Him to forgive us; we continually repented and rededicated ourselves to a life of obedience.

But hopefully, by now, you have been set free from the legalistic way of life and have been set free from a religious mindset. Hopefully you have left behind the ‘wandering in the wilderness’ and have come to lie down in the green pastures of the Promised Land of Rest.

The book of Hebrews talks about this promised rest. The author tells us that there remains a rest, a Sabbath rest, for the people of God.

“For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God."

Hebrews 4:8,9

This rest occurs when we stop trying to get forgiven. You will find rest when you let go of that cursed life of wandering in circles in the wilderness of religion, of legalism, of Churchianity, of works-righteousness, or whatever you want to call it!

We enter His rest when we come to understand the true meaning of the gospel: that we are forgiven people.

Trust that Jesus has finished His work through His death, His burial and His resurrection: through the gospel. The work is finished, and He is RESTING!

Since God is resting, we may enter His rest as well.

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Hebrews 4:10

P.S.: for more on this topic of forgiveness, please listen to this excellent audio series by Aaron Budjen of Living God Ministries.

Jesus is gonna crush your head, Satan. . . Jesus, not Moses.

In Genesis 3:15, God spoke the first prophesy of the Messiah when He told the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

This prophesy reveals God’s plan to redeem and save mankind through the coming of “the seed of a woman.” A person powerful and perfect enough to crush the head of Satan. Of course that man has since come; He was born in Bethlehem, and His name was Jesus.

The solution to the problem was NOT the giving of the Law to Moses. Jesus is the Messiah, not Moses. God did NOT say that the head of Satan would be crushed by a life of obedience to the 613 laws given to Moses and the children of Israel.

And yet the Christian world is obsessed with obedience to what is good and repentance from what is evil. . . . Okay. I get that. It is totally understandable — especially since God Himself ‘gave’ the Law to Moses, but that is a different topic covered in different blog posts.

I just think it is really interesting that despite the clear prophesy of Genesis 3:15 telling us that JESUS is the Savior, many of us get sucked into legalism, nonetheless. We essentially make Moses the Savior, believing that obedience to the Law will restore us to perfection. Silly, huh? The majority of Christians are looking to themselves and to their “commitment” and their “works” to attain perfection.

I really want to emphasize the point that God did not prophesy the giving of the LAW of Moses in Genesis 3:15. He did not say that the head of Satan would be crushed once humanity was finally given the perfect definition of good and evil. In fact, if we stop and think about it, perhaps it could be argued that the giving of the law and commandments was an afterthought. . . . You know? As if God gave the 613 commandments to Moses because we are so enamored with ourselves and our own self effort.

Jesus the Messiah is the fulfillment of the prophesy of Genesis 3:15. It was He who solved the problem created by Adam and Eve; it was Jesus whose death, burial and resurrection solved the problem once and for all. The solution was found in the restoration of the Holy Spirit to dwell within men and women. “Restoration” as in “restored” because the actual Spirit of God had dwelt within Adam and Eve when God “breathed life” into them. God’s Spirit had departed from Adam and Even when they rejected God and chose to believe the lie of the serpent, a.k.a., Satan.

Genesis 3:15 predicts the death of Jesus by saying that His heel will be bruised. Having your heel bruised is not really a big deal compared with having your head crushed. Though Satan was able to “strike the heel” of Jesus through His death, essentially, the head of Satan was crushed when Jesus rose from the dead, a momentous event that solved both problems that occurred in the Garden of Eden: sin and death. It is by putting our trust in this accomplishment — the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ — that a person can be saved from hell and reconciled to their God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The gospel message — the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah — has the power to redeem and save humanity. When we hear the gospel and respond with faith, God comes to live inside of us again. Just as Adam and Eve were indwelt by God; we are restored.

Have you believed in the gospel? If not, you still have the opportunity to have the Spirit of God dwelling inside of you.

Trusting in the message of good news is what saves you. The solution to the problem (created in Genesis 3) is not obedience to the Law, obedience to a list of commandments. That is NOT the solution that God promised to Adam and Eve. He promised JESUS. Not Moses.

Can God be our best friend?

Aaron Budjen has a really interesting take on Proverbs 20:27; the insight he reveals is unique, and as always with Aaron, his teaching points us directly to the heart of God; to a closer relationship with our Savior.

I’ve never heard any other Christian pastor teach the way Aaron does, and this is especially seen in his take on Proverbs 20:27 — you can listen to his teaching on this verse found here.

Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.”

His heart? Whose heart? In his radio broadcast (linked above), Aaron explains that “his heart” is referring to the heart of God. And that our born again spirit — “the spirit of a man” — has been created as a lamp that can shine light into the very heart of our living God. Our spirit is the part of us that is brand new, the part of us where our God resides, the part of us that was resurrected from the dead (we were spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses, and God has made us alive together with Christ; Eph 2:4-5).

Our God wants us to know Him and He has given us the ability to “search all the inner depths of His heart.” This verse in Proverbs shows us that this is the way that God intended for us to relate to Him. We relate to Him by growing to know Him. We grow to know Him as our spirit searches and reaches out for the depths of His heart.

We are encouraged in the Bible to grow to know our God. Think of the words of Peter telling us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Our goal as born again believers in God is to grow and mature in the knowledge of Him, Jesus our God.

When people look at me, they see my “outer man,” my flesh, my shell, my tent, my “jar of clay.” But the REAL me is on the inside, the “real me” is my spirit. To get to know my spirit would take some effort on your part, it would take some time, it would take patience. Most people don’t know the real me, and if you think about it, you will probably agree that the majority of people that you interact with do not intimately know the true, inner part of who you really are.

The same is with our God. He does want to be our best friend, and I can testify that He is my best friend. This has taken effort; this has taken time; this has taken patience. But as I have grown in grace, as I have come to understand all that I have been given in the New Covenant, in my inheritance in Christ . . . I have grown to know how gracious He is, I have grown to actually know the heart of Jesus Christ. I know Him better than I know anyone else. He truly is my closest and best friend.

This has been made possible because he has created my spirit to be like a lamp, like a light that can shine into the innermost parts of the depths of my God. He has revealed His goodness to me, and I can attest that He truly is the best thing that there is in this universe.

Please check out the audio message by Aaron that I linked above. I’ll share it again here. This is completely 100% possible: God CAN become your best friend.

Let me know your thoughts and if you can say with me that God is your best friend.