Last time I wanted to clarify the nature of Gospel; it is "good news". It is not a set of instructions. The Gospel is the news of an objective chain of events that has already happened that deeply effects our lives if we will only believe. Today I want to start digging into the substance of the Gospel. What is the actual "news" that is called the gospel and why is it so good? Where to start? I've written, erased and rewritten this sentence about 8 times now and I am still at a bit of a loss. Let's start with an outline. (Note: As soon as you read my outline you will think of 5 things to add to it, please do not hesitate to do so! More than an exhaustive list, which may be impossible, I am attempting to get your mind rolling along these lines so you will erupt in worship as you get a panoramic view of the universe of good news we call the Gospel. Please comment and add your own thoughts! How has the Gospel been good news to you?)

Let's start with a history -
Eternity - God was God. Father Son and Holy Spirit in perfect joy and satisfaction in each other. Needing nothing and wanting nothing but overflowing in joy and love for each other they decided according to their immutable will to express their ultimate joy in one another by creating the universe as a love gift from one to the other. A universe that would shine forth the beauty of their character and wisdom. A portrait of the God-head to be marveled in not for its own magnificence but for the glory of the painter and subject matter. The God-head itself.

I. Creation - God made everything and He did an amazing job! There was no sin. No brokenness. No separation between man and God. No separation between man and man. The world was beautiful and unspoiled. Everything worked EXACTLY as it was meant to work. People were creative, curious, fulfilled, confident, and related to each other and everything around them with love and out of the desire to cultivate and bring out the beauty and productivity of all things to the Glory of God.
The universe spoke eloquently from every corner of who God is and how His ways are perfect; His glory ultimately beautiful and valuable. Human beings as the pinnacle of creation, perfectly carried the image of God. Everyone was satisfied by the God that created them and looked to Him for all that they needed, and they got it! It was quite literally a perfect world.

II. The Fall - One day this balance and perfection was shattered violently by the rebellion of man against the divine order and command. God, the creator and source of all things was supplanted as the ultimate source in the hearts of men when Adam and Eve believed the word of Satan over the word of God. In that moment they looked to themselves for fulfillment of their own destiny and reached for the forbidden fruit to give them something that God could not. The perfect image of God was broken in man and forward from man the ability of nature to shine forth His glory began, in that moment, to decrease. Men ceased being satisfied by God and tried to satisfy themselves, and they could not.

Creation's perfection began to unravel. Man's connection with God was broken because of rebellion. Man's connection with each other was broken by guilt and shame. The world continually fell apart for the next several thousand years. - Man continued to try and provide for himself, and could not.

OK now that you know the bad news! The good news is so much better

III. Redemption - Even in man's failure God is at work. After the fall and the expulsion from the Garden God spoke to Adam and Eve and promised a savior. He told Eve that from HER seed would rise one that would defeat the serpent. He prophetically slaughtered an innocent animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. Many years later God chose a man named Abraham and filled Him with faith so He could be counted righteous. The promise
of a coming savior He had given to Eve; He now gave to Abraham. From Abraham a nation was born. The promise was given to Isaac Abraham's son, and to Jacob Isaac's son, and then many years later the promise was given to David. Finally when the time was right God's promise of redemption came to fulfillment in the womb of a teenage virgin named Mary. Jesus was born fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life before the Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He taught and showed us the true nature of our Father. He healed and showed us that the brokenness of sin can only be fixed by God. He died to destroy the power of sin forever, and he ROSE from the dead to give life to all those who would call on His name. His resurrection body the first born from among the dead to a new creation. A recreation restoring the glory of God to creation as it had been in the beginning and Jesus restored in Himself the image of God.

IV. Consummation - (that is what theologians call it anyway) On the cross Jesus purchased our redemption. His work to destroy sin is completed but we do not see sin destroyed yet. God put everything subject to Christ at His resurrection, but we do not see everything subject to Christ. Jesus resurrection promises a defeat of death, but people are still dying. Jesus resurrection promises a recreation of the universe fixing all that sin has broken, but the universe is still decaying and degrading. Things will not stay this way forever! The end has been postponed because of God's grace and patience, so that the good news of Jesus redemptive work on the cross can go out to all the world and more of mankind can be saved. One day, however, not to long from now, the time will come, and the End Time Plan of the Almighty Sovereign God will unfold. We will see Jesus come back and set foot upon the Mount of Olives. He will come for a kingdom. He will come to STAY! The reign of Christ Jesus will begin on the earth. No more waiting for the redemption of our bodies. No more groaning of creation. No more injustice. No more fear. No more death. The Heavens and the Earth will be recreated and the Glory of God will shine from all of creation once again. Sitting at the right hand of our groom the bride of Christ will rule and reign with Him forever! All that was lost because of sin will be regained and even more. We will be with Jesus enjoying Him and being enjoyed by Him for time without end.

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