This paper highlights on the Gospel, Biblical storyline, Christian world view and the Christian doctrine. The four concepts are intertwined in meaning and interpretations as they are all elements of the Christian religion whose followers are the Christians. The gospel is the good news of redemption to the mankind through God’s only son Jesus Christ. The Biblical story line is centered on God’s promise to save mankind from sin and prepare him for eternal kingdom. The Biblical storyline climaxes with the coming of Jesus Christ the son of God to save mankind just as it is emphasized by the Gospel. The Christian world view is the framework of ideas through which Christians interpret the events of the world and thus yields the Christian doctrine as it emphasizes a life of holiness just as the savior Jesus Christ lived. The emphasis of these four aspects is the worship of the True God whose love is above every other. They also emphasize the saving act of Jesus Christ to mankind through his death and resurrection to conquer sin and death and thus restoring hope for the salvation of mankind. The eternal, rewards are also emphasized in the four aspects whereby there is hope of eternal life to those who accept and believe in Gods son Jesus Christ and eternal punishment to the non-believers.
Relationship between the Gospel, Biblical Storyline, Christian World View, Christian Doctrine and a Personal Response
Christianity is a monotheistic religion that affirms the existence of only one God that is the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit also known as the Holy Trinity. It is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and followers of this religion are called Christians. The Christian belief is founded on the death and resurrection of Christ, Day of Judgment and promise of eternal life to the righteous who accept Christ and eternal punishment to the nonbelievers.
According to Gilbert and Carson, the Gospel comprises the good news of redemption of people through God’s only Son who came as of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is called the good news as it is the message of salvation and hope to the people, and it comprises the books of the New Testament. The word ‘gospel’ derives from the old ‘god-spell’ meaning good news or glad tiding. It specifically refers to the canonical books that are Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. The word ‘gospel’ also used to mean the apocryphal gospels, Gnostic gospels, and the Jewish Gospel. The authors of the Gospel are called the evangelists. (Gilbert and Carson, 2010), they portray Jesus Christ as the very center of Christianity, and views God as the righteous. Man is observed as a sinful, whose redemption was only made possible through the sacrifice of God’s Son who is Jesus Christ.
Originally, the Gospel was the good news of redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son who was crucified and resurrected on the third day to save mankind, and redeemed them from sin, reconciling them with the Father; this was preached by the apostles. Today the Gospel is still the good news of salvation which is made possible through the simple act of accepting and believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Christian central message is based on the scripture of John 3:16, which proclaims the amazing love of God upon the world such that He gave His only Son so that the world may receive salvation for those who choose to believe in him. Before it was written, Paul used the term ‘gospel’ to refer to the preaching he did to the Corinthians, where he insisted that they were being saved by the Gospel and thus attached its importance to the resurrection of Christ as he puts it in 1st Corinthians 15:3-8. In this Gospel Paul says that he delivered to the Corinthians that what he first received is the message of Christ death for the sins of mankind. He told them that Christ had been buried and rose again on the third day which was witnessed by Cephas and the disciples of Christ, by James and the apostles, and finally by he himself thereby attesting the resurrection of Christ.
The Gospel was evangelized proclaiming the God’s saving activity in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Jesus Christ preached the agape message and his Gospel was characterized by many popular stories, parables, and sermons which includes Jesus humble birth in Bethlehem, the beatitudes, the sermon at the mountain Sinai, the last supper, and the great commission which elaborates the suffering of Christ for the sake of humankind’s redemption. In the Gospel of John, the apostle describes Jesus Christ as the eternal word and the Savior of the humanity unique in nature who is in himself God (MacArthur, 2009).
The Gospel portrays Jesus Christ as a leader, who led a group of disciples performing miracles, preaching in Jerusalem, and then his crucifixion and resurrection marking his triumphant victory over the death and sin. This therefore gives hope to the mankind to reconcile with God as well as gives them hope for eternal life. In the synoptic Gospels, Jesus is represented as the exorcist, preacher and healer in parables like the coming of the kingdom of God. Starting from Galilee to Jerusalem where he cleansed the temple, Jesus preached the message of hope and repentance and thus fulfilled the prophesy of being the light of the world where he brought hope and restoration to the mankind that was estranged from God due to sin.
Mark portrays Jesus Christ as the heroic man of action who put up with many emotions including agony. Mark told the Jews that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who was the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophesies. Luke on the other hand told the gentiles that Jesus Christ came for the poor while he emphasized the power of prayer and the significance of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus Christ as well as the Christian community as a helper. He portrayed Jesus as a humble servant unto the point of his death as he was sinless but died for the sin of the world so that it may receive redemption and salvation (MacArthur, 2009).
Therefore the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the message of salvation through the Son of God in which is a promise of the eternal life. The ultimate gift of Christ that is eternal life is seen as the kingdom of perfect righteousness that will bring those who have been saved and redeemed through his blood into a new earth and heaven where there will be no more sin, death or misery as they are all conquered by the Savior’s grace. However, the road of following Christ is not easy, but with faith it is possible.
According to Chester, the biblical storyline is centered around God’s promise to save the mankind who had been estranged from Him due to sin. The biblical storyline just as the Gospel reveals God’s good intentions for the mankind from the very beginning to reconcile the people with Him and grant them eternal life. God had promised to save a people whom He would make His people by giving them a land that would be a place of God’s blessing. God also promised to re-establish His rule over the earth characterized by peace and freedom. The Bible storyline also seeks to expound on God’s promise to bring salvation to the mankind and also His promise to the people who know and acknowledge Him as their God. It also focuses on God’s promise to build a lasting kingdom and his reward of eternity to both sinners and the forgiven through the acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The biblical storyline is awesome whereby it reveals God’s creative work in the very beginning. It shows the greatness of God who existed even before the formation of the foundations of the earth. God’s supremacy as a ruler and creator is revealed whereby all things were created through His sovereign decree. God’s favor upon man is revealed whereby He creates a man with His own hands and image and breathes life into him and offers him the garden of Aden to enjoy and tender it. Just as in the Gospel, God’s profound love and good intension towards the mankind is felt through His care and favor. During this time every one of God’s creations impressed Him and He saw it as good. And a fellowship between the man and God was established.
God acted as a provider to Adam and his wife Eve and they lived dependent and trustful in God. However, Satan offered the man a lie that led to man contravening God’s will and his beautiful relationship with God was estranged and ruined and man attempted to hide from God. This marked the beginning of man’s struggle with sin and there arose many evils like greed, murder, selfishness, violence and the savored relationship between the man and non human creation among other evils. Yet again in all this, God’s righteousness is portrayed just as in the Gospel whereby He rewards sin with death and punishments just as He has promised to sinners. It also shows God’s sovereignty over the earth and His profound hatred for sin.
However, despite man’s rebellion, God initiated His redemption plan upon His children by providing them with kings. After God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden of Aden, God promised to rid of all evil forces that had sprang for the weaknesses of Adam and Eve as put in Genesis 3;15 where the coalition of sin was destroyed. This reveals God’s superiority and hatred for sin as He sought to rid of the sin which had destroyed His relationship with man as put in the Gospel whereby He sent His Son Jesus Christ so that he may redeem mankind from sin. God’s faithfulness just as in the Gospels an in the Bible storyline is amazing. After Abel died, God brought Seth signifying hope and continuity of His saving grace. God chose leaders like Joshua who led the children of Israel to live in Holy Communion with God. Due to their unbelief, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness and finally He fulfilled His promise by giving them the land of Canaan where they lived in God’s providence until they rebelled and were taken to exile. And through God’s grace they were brought back (Wolters, 2005).
The biblical storyline climaxes with the coming of Jesus Christ, the spreading t of the Gospel, his death and resurrection, the growth of the church and the eagerly awaited second coming of Christ with an eternal reward for all. The biblical storyline reveals the profound love of God towards the mankind and the continued rebellion of men despite God’s desire to reconcile the mankind with Him. The emphasis relies on the Gospel that through faith and acceptance there is hope for all to be reunited with God after his second coming.
The Christian world view can be described as the idea of framework of ideas through which groups of Christian individuals interpret the events of the world and also interact with it. Goheen and Bartholomew describe the term ‘worldview’ as the nature and existence of the universe. It can also be described as the cohesive and comprehensive vision of life. A worldview is the subsequent thinking that is shaped by the beliefs that people have about the world and which dictates how we comprehend the reality.
The Christian worldview may vary in different churches and denominations, but most of the thematic concepts are similar. This is the perception of the people as for the doctrine of Christianity which is different to different people. A worldview is determined by several factors like education, culture, upbringing, media, movies we are exposed to, and books we read among others. However, the Christian worldview is based on Christ and the living word of God which governs the Christian ways and behavior.
Christians believe in God and the Holy Trinity in whom their standards are formed. The culture of worship of only one God, who is believed to be the only and true God, and their lives are an effort to please God as they have hope for eternity through His Son Jesus Christ. The apologetic ministry of the Christians is part of the Christian worldview whereby it defends the Christian faith against many other opposing forces and the desire to preach the word of the lord till the coming back of Christ. Christians take on the apologetic ministry to equip and teach people to think within a cohesive and comprehensive biblical worldview. Christians try to influence those around them by living a Christ like life just as the Gospel demands just as entire biblical storyline serves to show the profound love of Christ and God’s tireless effort to reconcile the man with Him with the emphasis on accepting and believing in Jesus Christ the Son of God to receive salvation.
Christians believe the Bible to be God’s holy word that was divinely appointed and revealed to the mankind to act as a guide to live a godly life. As put in 2ndTimothy that the Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and that is good for the doctrine, instruction and correction in righteousness. Christianity also believes in the existence of God (Hebrew 11; 16) and also the second coming of Christ. Christian worldview also believes that despite the profound love of Christ, man rebelled, therefore sin and death arose (Romans 5; 12-14).
Christianity is seen as a matter of choice coupled with God’s grace. Christianity is a matter of faith and while the unbelievers believe in worldly things, Christians believe in the Lord who is dependable and never failing, and who never forsakes those who trust in him. The Bible answers disturbing questions on human origin, what is wrong with the world and also the hope for restoration (Zukeran, 2008).
The Bible has much that explains about the nature of man, the purpose, the world, truth and morality among others. For example, Genesis 2;15 explains that in God’s original plan man’s purpose was to dress up the garden of Aden where the Lord had placed him after his creation (Genesis 1;27-28), where God created both man and woman in His own likeness and gave them responsibilities. The Bible further explains what is happening in the world through explaining the beginning of hatred as explained in Genesis 3; 15, where God placed enmity between the seed of man and the seed of the snake. It also explains how the world can be fixed (Isaiah 65:17-25), where the Lord promised to build a new heaven and a new earth where the former things will be forgotten as the Lord creates a place for His people to rejoice forever. The Lord promised to end the misery of His people by replacing their sorrows with eternal joy here they would rejoice in the new Jerusalem where their joys would be fulfilled and all would be in harmony again just as the Lord intended it from the beginning.
This Christian worldview just as the Gospel and the biblical storyline are the accounts of man’s struggles and failures and the unfailing love of Christ and the Lord’s promises upon His children to restore them. The Christian worldview comprised the beliefs of Christians and how they affect their behavior and how they interpret the events of the world. The most important assignment for the Christians as they await the second coming of Christ is to spread the word of the Lord to all and living a Christ like life that is exemplary, thus drawing people to Christ. Since Christians standards are based on God Himself, then the Christian walk becomes an everyday walk and strive for righteousness that the Lord desires (Zukeran, 2008).
According to Gruden & Gruden, the Christian doctrine is the call to live a holy life. This is the doctrine centered on the truth of Jesus Christ, the growth of the church and the authentic history of Christianity is based on the word of God. Where the Christians believe that they were created by God to live for Him and act as His representatives on earth and justified by the blood of Jesus, thus living as the sons of God and for God.
Christians practice the doctrine of testifying about the doings of the Lord in their lives and also to proclaim the salvation given to them by the Savior who is the Son of God. This doctrine of testifying began with the disciples who testified about the risen Christ as they preached the word of the Lord to the nations, an example being the apostle’s creed that testifies to the belief in the risen Christ. Christians preach the word of the Lord to the nations to bring reformation and build faith based on the living word of God (Wolters, 2005).
Christians practice the outright confession of belief in Jesus Christ; however, it’s an important doctrine among the Christians to live true to the word of the Lord and governed by it. As for the living contrary to the word, the Bible warns in (Mat 7; 12-23), where Mathew warns that not everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall enter the kingdom of God. He emphasizes the true fellowship and also warns about the narrowness of the road that leads to eternal life. This makes the Christian walk a daily walk characterized by faith and guided by the word of God with the hope for eternal life and also a walk with the Holy Spirit of God.
The Christian doctrine believes in the justification through Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior. Justification is believed to be God’s acceptance of one. The Ten Commandments act as a guide and the emphasis of the word of God which are demands to live in holiness. Therefore, the doctrine of the church can only be understood by understanding first the foundation of Christianity which is based on its history, the battles which have been fought for the truth to be established, the struggle to understand the word of God and the need to grow in it.
The Gospel of Christ is profound and true. The Gospel which narrates the story of Jesus Christ, his ministry and the account of his actions, attests his greatness. The Gospel has its core in the belief in Jesus Christ who came and suffered for the sake of mankind which marks the great love that God has for the people. Christians are reconciled to Christ through the simple act of believing and trusting in Christ Jesus who is the way to the truth and the life. The Holy Spirit of God is important to individuals and the church community in the Christian walk and also in asserting boldness in Christ just as the apostles did even in the face of persecution.
The greatest call for the Christians today is to live a Christ like life that is, an exemplary life that emulates Christ and echoes the biblical teachings. Christians also should continue the Gospel of Christ by preaching it to the very end of the world as commanded by the word of the Lord so that all may know Christ. This is an important fulfillment before the coming of Christ as it is not the desire of the Lord for any of His creation to suffer in the eternal fire (Zukeran, 2008).
The biblical storyline refers as the event of God’s good intensions upon mankind as transient from the beginning. God’s plan was to create man and live in harmony with Him. However due to man’s rebellious nature, the man was estranged from God and thus suffering from pain and death, came onto earth among other evils. Despite the man’s rebellion, God’s saving effort on man and the effort to reconcile the man with Him have been tireless climaxing upon the coming of Christ to save the world and thus his death for us so that we may have eternal life (MacArthur, 2009).
The Christian worldview aims to explain the conduct of Christians that is the guiding values and beliefs that depict their faith in Christ. It is of paramount importance that the Christians try to better their faith everyday by reading the word of God and fellowshipping, which are important elements in the Christian life as it not only strengthens their faith but also helps them be able to preach the word of the Lord to the nations just as the Lord has commanded us. Christians should defend their faith at all times and strive for righteousness despite the growing opposition in the world as encouraged in the Gospel, Christian doctrine, and the biblical storyline .This is the way of living guided by the word of God which means living in holiness and trust in God. In conclusion therefore, Christianity is a call to holiness in the everyday walk, living in hope and trust in the Lord and the Holy Trinity awaiting the coming of the Lord Jesus with his eternal reward and therefore this is a means to a beautiful end.