The gospel of Jesus Christ is the foundational distinctive to our existence as a church
body. All the other Distinctives must be seen through the lens of the gospel. We cannot
know God apart from it. Therefore, we are a Gospel-centered church that lives and dies
upon this truth. “It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew
first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
as it is written, but the righteous man shall live by faith” (Rom 1:16-17). The gospel reveals
the character of God, man, Jesus Christ and our responsibility in this life.
God is the Holy Sovereign Creator who is righteous and committed to His glory.
Being the Sovereign Creator, He knows what is best for His creation and has designed us to
find satisfaction in Him. Being the Holy and Righteous God, His judgments are perfect and
just and He will not overlook sin. He will demonstrate perfect judgment in all things and
nothing will be hidden from Him; the thoughts and intentions of every heart. God is holy
and perfect and demands perfection and holiness. He will not accept anything less. All
must come to Him on His terms and conditions to be accepted by Him.
Mankind was made in God’s image and designed to glorify and worship Him. But,
we rebelled against God; we did not glorify Him but chose to worship ourselves and His
creation. “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the
incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man” (Rom 1:22-23). As a result
of our rebellion, all mankind is condemned and cursed by God, separated from Him and
justly deserving His punishment. “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things
written in the book of the law, to perform them” (Gal 3:10).
God is love who demonstrated this love by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was
born of a virgin, lived a perfect life without sin. The Father said of His Son, “this is my
Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). This Beloved Son voluntarily and
sacrificially gave Himself to die the humiliating death on the cross. His death satisfied God,
“The Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10). The innocent
One became guilty on our behalf. He did this to be our substitute and satisfy the wrath and
judgment of God that we deserved. God demonstrated His justice by punishing His
Beloved Son so that He can justify the believing sinner. The gospel declares that God in
His great love for us, mercifully and graciously made us alive in Christ Jesus even though we
were dead in our sins. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. “He made Jesus
Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteous of
God in Christ Jesus” (2Cor 5:21).
Therefore, it is necessary for us to repent from our sin and believe in Jesus Christ.
He alone satisfied and pleased God. There is no other name under heaven by which we
must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one can
come to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). We must call upon the Lord Jesus Christ
to be saved (Acts 2:21; Rom 10:13). This is not on the basis of man earning or meriting
God’s acceptance, but because we are accepted on the basis of the person and work of Jesus
Christ. This is the good news that God’s grace alone saved us on the basis of Christ alone
demonstrated through faith alone. Therefore, we can say that we “are not ashamed of the
gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:16).