The Gospel

At the core of everything we believe as Christians, lies the Gospel. Though the Bible is God’s breathed word collected in 66 books by at least 39 authors, in truth the Bible is one story and one message. And that message is the Gospel.

The word Gospel in the Bible is derived from the Greek word evangelion from which we get our modern day word evangelize. Evangelion literally meant Good News and became the word Gospel in the 16th Century as an Old English term for the heralding of announcements from the royal court.

So in Christian terms what is the Gospel? What is the Good News from our King? We can spend a lifetime, and many scholars have and do, plumbing the depths of the Bible to better understand the Gospel message and all the God has spoken to his creation, but in short, the Gospel comes down to a very famous verse that almost everyone is familiar with.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

In that short piece of scripture, God’s whole plan for reconciling and rescuing us from our sinful nature in order to stand in righteousness before a just and mighty God and to be restored to a perfect eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father is made plain.

At OVBC our main focus is in understanding the eternal truth of the Gospel message and all that it means to us today. And then in that knowledge, being empowered in God’s word and Spirit to go forth into the world to share the Good News with everyone we can through our right living, right action and right heart.

The Gospel Truths

The Heart of the Gospel

The core of the Gospel message was best summed up by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church of Corinth when he said:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve..” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-5

In this we see the three most important truths that as believers we must hold fast to.

  • That Christ went to the Cross willingly verified his purpose in dying for our sins.
  • The fact that Christ was buried verified His death.
  • The fact that He appeared to others verified His resurrection.

By understanding and accepting the heart of the Gospel, we can stand confident in the Promise of the Gospel.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at 714.637.3250 or email us at info@orangevilla.org. We would love to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Most of all, we want to feel welcomed when you come.

The Promise of the Gospel

In the Gospel we see the fulfillment of God’s promises that he made throughout the Old Testament and that Jesus and his Apostles proclaimed throughout the New Testament.

  • All of us have sinned and will stand in judgement before a Holy God to account for our actions.
    “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
    “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds.” – Romans 2: 5-6
  • We cannot achieve salvation on our own and are in need of a Savior to stand in propitiation for us before God.
    “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21
    “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
  • That Jesus Christ is that Savior who is the Son of God, who became flesh, who led a perfect, sinless life, who died on the cross and willingly took God’s judgement meant for us upon his own body.
    “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11
  • That by accepting Christ as our Savior and repenting of our sins, God sends his Holy Spirit to dwell with us to:
    • Justify us – that God pardons, accepts, and declares a sinner to be “just” on the basis of Christ’s righteousness
    • Sanctify us – that God sets us apart to begin a Holy work of bringing our heart, body and soul in growing righteousness and compatibility with his will and purpose for our lives.
    • Glorify us – that one Day, God will bring us into his presence and remove sin forever from our lives and that we will dwell eternally in resurrected bodies holy before our God and Savior.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:4-9

In these promises a Christian is said to have new life, or to be reborn. As a result we then can begin to walk in right relationship with God which means that daily we must be faithful and persistent to our Response of the Gospel.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at 714.637.3250 or email us at info@orangevilla.org. We would love to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Most of all, we want to feel welcomed when you come.

The Response to the Gospel

For those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, it is important to understand a profession of faith is not the end of a journey to God, but rather the beginning of an an eternal walk WITH God. Accepting Christ is NOT:

  • a get out jail (Hell) card.
  • getting access to a 24/7 vending machine who will give you your every earthly desire.
  • an excuse to go on sinning trusting that ALL your sins will be forgiven.
  • a guarantee that the rest of your life will be filled with joy and peace.

Indeed, the life of a Christian can be increasingly one of trials and alienation from the secular world as you begin to see how deep sin has crept into your life and you strive to become more Christ-like in your attitudes and behavior. We have a phrase we use around OVBC a lot when struggles, persecution or battles with God’s word happen; “That’s Sanctification baby!”

Indeed Jesus warns that any who would follow him should “count the cost” (Luke 14:28). And in fact, what cost does Christ ask of us? Everything! When we consider that Christ purchased our salvation with his blood, we come to realize our lives are not our own and we begin to willingly put aside our desires and our wants and replace them with prayers to just be in God’s will and grace.

The more one comes to understand the Gospel, the more the immensity of what Christ has done becomes clear and with that is the realization that the gift of the Gospel requires a life-long response from us. Some of the key ways in which we are called to respond to the Gospel are:

  • Repentance of our sins: Sin is simply those action where we fall short of the perfection that God requires. All of us have sinned and will continue to sin even if we have accepted Christ.  The difference once we have accepted Christ as our Savior is that we begin to recognize sin for what it is and that we turn away from it because we begin to see Christ as more desirable than whatever temporary fulfillment our sins may offer now. We realize that ultimately sin leads to death and separation from Christ.
    “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19
  • Study the word of God: As Christians we believe the Bible is God’s message to his people. In studying and reading the Bible we can come to a greater understanding of who God is and what hiss will is for our lives. Through the Bible we gain wisdom and reinforce our faith in order to become aligned with God’s will and purpose.
    “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16
    “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” – Hebrews 4:12-13
  • Be in constant prayer: Through prayer we open a dialogue with God. Prayer is our opportunity to praise God, to give voice to our love and gratitude and to offer to God the right desires of our heart. Through prayer we begin to see how our will is becoming aligned to God’s and to recognize and affirm God’s work in our lives. Through prayer we become intimate with God because he longs for us to be with him, to know him. We were created for this purpose to be in communion with God. Prayer allows us to fulfill his purpose in our lives and be obedient in carrying out our duties to pray always. Prayers allows us to obtain the blessing of God in our lives and those around us.
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
  • Share the Gospel: As you begin to grow in understanding of who God is, what Christ did, and how immense the gift of God’s Grace and Salvation is, it is with a new heart and a new mind that you begin to love and to want to serve God. In fact in Ezekiel 36:36 God says “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” The gift you have been given is not yours to keep, rather it becomes one you will want to share with others. Sharing the Good News you have received, sharing the Gospel, is one of the main purposes we are called to do. And when we realize the importance of saving grace, it is something we should want to do. It is the Great Commission that Christ gave his apostles and everyone who believes in him.
    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina]”>[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

The message of the Gospel is very simple, the truth and impact of it is so enormous, and the living out of all that it implies is part of the eternal walk we now take with God.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at 714.637.3250 or email us at info@orangevilla.org. We would love to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Most of all, we want to feel welcomed when you come.