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The Gospel: The Best Story in Every Story

The Gospel! That best of good news! Here at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, no sermon or Sunday School class for adults on down to the 2 year olds, is complete without it.

The Gospel for the Non-Christian

To the non-Christian, it is the warning of judgment and the offer of forgiveness and eternal life.

The Gospel for the Christian

To the Christian, it is a reminder of the depths of God's love shown for them. It is a call to worship the One who has loved them so deeply; to live and love well in light of what He has done for them; and, to set their eyes on the hope of everlasting joy in His presence one day.

The Gospel in Every Story

That's why there is always a gospel presentation in every Praise Factory story--either woven into the actual story, or at the end as a response to the story.. Below are two versions of the gospel--a longer and shorter version--that we keep in mind as we teach our children. Perhaps they will be helpful to you, too.

The Gospel: A Fuller Version

God is the perfectly good and holy Creator-King of everything. He made us to know Him, love Him and obey Him.

But even though we should all love God and obey Him, we have all rebelled against Him. We have all chosen to live life our own way rather than His good and perfect way. This is what the Bible calls sin.

God hates sin. Sin ruins the world. It breaks our friendship, our fellowship, with God. Sin is terrible and it must be punished by our holy Creator-King. The punishment for sin is death: separation from God and everything good. How great is the punishment for sin? It is so great that we can never earn God's forgiveness by what we do! It is so great that it goes on forever!

God would be perfectly right and just to let all people receive this forever punishment for sin. Yet in His great love and mercy, God chose to send His Son Jesus to take the punishment for sin. Jesus came to earth--the Son of God became a man! He lived a perfect life--without any sin--and offered it up as He suffered and died on the cross, as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all who would ever turn from their sins and trust in Him as their own Savior. Then on the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead in victory over sin and death. God's people were saved once and for all time!

Now all who turn away from their sins and trust in Jesus as their Savior are forgiven their sins. God adopts them as His very own people, filling them with His Holy Spirit and giving them the delight of knowing Him as their Heavenly Father, Savior and King. He works in their hearts and prepares them for the delight of living with Him forever in heaven.

The Gospel: A Shorter Version

God is the perfectly good and holy Creator-King of everything. He made us to know Him, love Him and obey Him. We are all sinners, who have rebelled against Him. We deserve His forever punishment for our sins.

God would be just and right to punish all people for their sins. Yet in His great mercy and love, God sent His Son Jesus to become a man. Jesus lived a perfect life and offered it up on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all who would ever turn and trust in Him as their Savior.

Then on the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead, in victory over sin and death. God's people were saved, once and for all time!

God calls us now to turn from our sins and trust in Jesus as our own Savior, that we might be forgiven our sins and have the delight of knowing Him as our Heavenly Father, Savior and King, both now and forevermore.

Different Truths Highlight Different Gospel Beauties

Am I saying that every time we present the gospel it must be worded just like one of these? Absolutely not! The beauty of God's Word is that different truths emphasize different facets of the gospel.

Example 1: God's Power in the Gospel
For example, a story on God's power can be used as a chance to particualrly stress how powerless we are to pay for our sins, yet how God sent Jesus to do what we could not (and did not want) to do, by dying on the cross and taking the punishment for His people's sins. It is a chance to reflect on God being so powerful that He broke the power of sin and death on the cross, and raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. He is powerful enough to save us!
Example 2: God's Holiness and Mercy in the Gospel
Yet, a story on God's holiness and our sinfulness can be used to highlight the vast gulf between sinful people and the Holy God. It can be a wonderful reflection upon how great is God's mercy in offering and providing salvation to sinners who turn to Him through Jesus.

Yes, every story is a gospel story. Just like every day is a gospel day: another offer of forgiveness, another show of God's love and mercy; and another chance to worship Him with our lives and our hearts. Best of all, it is another day closer to fullness of joy in His presence forevermore.

Three Favorite Gospel Resources

  • Gumtree Gully: A 'Two Ways to Live' Bush Yarn by Kel Richards Matthias Media ISBN 1-921068-11-6
  • Who Will Be King? Two Ways to Live for Kids Matthais Media
  • The Gospel for Children: A Simple, Yet Complete Guide to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Gospel of Jesus Christ by John Leuzarder and Regina Orr