The gospel is the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to reconcile sinners to God. Here’s the whole story:
- The one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him (Gen. 1:26-28).
- But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him (Gen. 3; Rom. 3:23).
- In his great love, God sent his Son Jesus to come as king and rescue his people from their enemies—most significantly their own sin (Ps. 2; Luke 1:67-79).
- Jesus established his kingdom by acting as both a mediating priest and a priestly sacrifice—he live a perfect life and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of many (Mark 10:45; John 1:14; Heb. 7:26; Rom. 3:21-26, 5:12-21); then he rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted his sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted (Acts 2:24, Rom. 4:25).
- He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness (Acts 17:30, John 1:12). If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God (John 3:16).
Now that’s good news.
A good way to summarize this good news is to biblically unpack the words God, Man, Christ,
- God. God is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1). He is perfectly holy, worthy of all worship, and will punish sin (1 John 1:5, Rev. 4:11, Rom. 2:5-8).
- Man. All people, though created good, have become sinful by nature (Gen. 1:26-28, Ps. 51:5, Rom. 3:23). From birth, all people are alienated from God, hostile to God, and subject to the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3).
- Christ. Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to bear God’s wrath in the place of all who would believe in him, and rose from the grave in order to give his people eternal life (John 1:1, 1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 7:26, Rom. 3:21-26, 2 Cor. 5:21, 1 Cor. 15:20-22).
- Response. God calls everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and trust in Christ in order to be saved (Mark 1:15, Acts 20:21, Rom. 10:9-10).
(Some of this material has been adapted from The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark
Dever, p. 43)
OUR CONFESSION OF FAITH
Bethany Baptist's official confession of faith is the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. You can read it by clicking here. Below is an abbreviated version of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man…. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter… All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
There is one and only one living and true God… The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace….God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary… He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, …He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. …. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation… By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race… The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.
God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners….All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall preserve to the end.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel…and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth…This church is an autonomous body….The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Baptism & the Lord’s Supper
Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water…It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believers faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members…memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
The Lord’s Day
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day… It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end…Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly… the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell…The righteous… will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Evangelism & Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations…to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort.
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence… there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility… The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.
Christ’s people should… organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches… Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations.
The Christian & Social Order
Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society… The Christian should oppose in the spirit of Christ every form of greed, selfishness, and vice.
…Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends… A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society… Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime… The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people… Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.