The Story of the Gospel in four acts:

1. Total Dignity

God created the world and he created it good (Genesis 1:4,10,12,18,21,25). And the pinnacle of his good creation was the creation of human beings in his own image. This was not only good, but very good (Genesis 1:26-31). Human beings were created to rule and to tend God's good creation (Psalm 8; Hebrews 2:5-18). Therefore, we affirm the dignity of every human being as made in the image of God. We affirm that the creation is not something to escape, but a world to explore and enjoy; it is still good (1 Timothy 4:4). God loves his creation and always will. Total dignity is why there is such amazing beauty in the world.     

2. total depravity

However, God's own image bearers rebelled against him and therefore brought sin and misery into the world, and ultimately death: not only physical death, but the spiritual death of the loss of communion with God for which they were made (Genesis 3). This is the tragedy of fallen man where sin pervades every aspect of our existence: our hearts, our minds, our wills, our bodies, our relationships, our work, etc. (Psalm 51:5), and leaves us in need of redemption and unable to redeem ourselves (Romans 3:9-23). Our depravity expresses itself chiefly through idolatry (the worshiping of false images in the place of God (Romans 1:25)) and injustice (actions that destroy the image of God in others). Total depravity is why there is such pain and brokenness in the world.  

3. Total Christ

In love, God sent his own Son into the world to redeem his creation from sin and misery. Christ is the fullness and the fulfillment of the entire story of salvation (Luke 24:25-27, 44-47). He is the true prophet, priest, and king foreshadowed in the Old Testament. He is the true Israel who brings blessing to the entire world. He fulfills the covenant: he lived the life we should have lived in perfect obedience to God. He died the death we should have died, the just penalty for sins. He rose again from the dead in victory over sin, death, and hell. Christ has done everything to bring you back to God (1 Peter 3:18). This is the good news. To believe is to receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation as he is offered freely in the gospel. Total Christ is why there is such love in the world.   

4. Total renewal  

The goal of salvation is a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17-25) where God's people will once again dwell in the complete presence of God, with the complete absence of sin and all its effects (Revelation 21:1-5), and with the complete renewal of the creation, including resurrected bodies (1 Corinthians 15). This will happen at the return of Jesus. Until then, the church is central to Jesus's mission in the world to make all things new (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 3:21) as his people recover their image-bearing vocations to bless and renew the world (1 Corinthians 15:58). Total Renewal is why there is such hope in the world.