Text: Acts 13:13-52 | Listen to Message
The Heart of the Christian Gospel
Ask a dozen people on the street what they think the essential message of Christianity is, and you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. Some think Christianity is little more than advice for living a religious life. Others think Christianity teaches that God is mad at everyone or, conversely, that God loves everyone and just wants everyone to be happy, regardless of who/what they believe. Still others think you’re just supposed to ask Jesus into your heart – whatever that means – and then good things will happen to you.
Many of the assumptions people make about Christianity are just plain wrong. Others describe a relatively minor aspect of the faith, but incorrectly assume that it’s the heart and soul of what Christians believe. But in Acts 13, the apostle Paul does a masterful job of summarizing 3 core beliefs of the Christian faith. These constitute the foundation of Good News that all true Christians build their lives upon:
- Jesus is the climax of God’s story. The Old Testament is not a random collection of myths, rules, and proverbs that you can take any way you want. It is a purposeful collection of true stories that point to and find their ultimate, fullest meaning in the person and work of Jesus Christ. And it’s only in light of The Story that the stories of our own lives find their meaning, purpose and significance.
- Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Old Testament is filled with detailed prophecies and promises that were fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The promise of a personal, substitute Savior was realized in the person and work of Jesus. No one else can claim that. So these fulfilled promises are the ultimate assurance that our hope has a sure anchor in Christ.
- Jesus is the Savior of God’s people. Through his sinless life and atoning death, Jesus won forgiveness and freedom for his people. Jesus did for you what no religion or law could ever do: he made you blameless before God. So even in the disappointments and pains of this life, you can experience unquenchable joy and satisfaction in knowing that you have been loved and accepted by the free grace of Jesus.