1. The gospel is the IncarnationJesus is Immanuel, God with us, not a God who is remote from us.
2. The gospel means God is loveThrough Christ we discover that God is Triune, a communion of three Persons. What the doctrine of the Trinity means is that God is love. We were made for this Trinitarian communion and our love for one another is the expression of the image of God on the human plane.
3. The gospel means that Jesus is LordHe is the Victor; he has triumphed over every power in heaven and earth. Because Jesus is Lord, all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:38–39). Whatever may come, Jesus is there with us. He has been there before. He will never give up on us; never let us go. He will see us through. He is Lord of all. In the person and work of Christ, all things in heaven and earth are redeemed, re-made in a new creation, re-created from the inside out. Through the whole course of his life, from conception to ascension, and especially in the triumph of his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ maintained a union of humanity with God, or as theologians like to say, a union of his human and divine natures in unbroken communion and love with the Father.
4. The gospel means that we’re included in ChristBecause Christ has joined with us in our humanity, becoming one with human flesh, we are brought into the life of God. Christians are those who are awakened to the reality of Christ and who embrace the reconciliation he has accomplished for us--a reality that is both “already” and “not yet.” We are already in Christ, but we do not yet see fully who we are in Christ. After the Ascension, at the right hand of the Father, Jesus Christ bears, believes, hopes and endures all things on our behalf and in our place. Therefore, our hope is based not on what others see in us, nor on what we see in ourselves, but on the new creation that is hidden with Christ in God and will be revealed at the last day.
For an earlier Surprising God post on this topic, click here. For a GCI booklet, click here.