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What is the Gospel Message?

The word Gospel is used all the time in the media, by religious people, and even as a genre of music. But what is the Gospel?

The Gospel is the good news that:

I. Jesus is the Messiah.

II. Christ is risen!

III. We can be saved.

So what does this mean?

I. Jesus is the Messiah

It’s apparent to anyone who’s awake these days that there’s something wrong with the world. Of course, it’s not just the world that has something wrong with it, but as Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.” Every human being has evil in his heart, whether he sees it or not, and this evil separates him from God, his Creator (Rom. 3:23; 1 Jn. 1:10). This is what sin is.

The word sin means “to miss the mark.” Sin is therefore not only separation from God but also the failure to live up to the full potential of what God created us to be, created beings filled with the uncreated energy of God Himself, in intimate communion with our Creator, united with Him in both body and soul (Eph. 4:13).

Jesus, Who is the eternal Son of God Who became a human being, just like any of us, is therefore our Messiah (“Christ,” “anointed one”) because He came to Earth to save us from the separation of sin and from the power of death. Because He is both God and man, He bridges within Himself the gap that formed because of sin. His coming was foretold in the ancient Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament), and when He came to Earth about 2,000 years ago, history was forever changed. Continue reading What is the Gospel Message?

12 Things I Wish I’d Known

First Visit to an Orthodox Church
(written by Frederica Mathewes-Green)

Orthodox worship is different! Some of these differences are apparent, if perplexing, from the first moment you walk in a church. Others become noticeable only over time. Here is some information that may help you feel more at home in Orthodox worship—twelve things I wish I’d known before my first visit to an Orthodox church.

1. What’s all this commotion?

During the early part of the service the church may seem to be in a hubbub, with people walking up to the front of the church, praying in front of the iconostasis (the standing icons in front of the altar), kissing things and lighting candles, even though the service is already going on. In fact, when you came in the service was already going on, although the sign outside clearly said “Divine Liturgy, 9:30.” You felt embarrassed to apparently be late, but these people are even later, and they’re walking all around inside the church. What’s going on here? Continue reading 12 Things I Wish I’d Known