When it comes to the Gospel, Grace Communion Jamaica (GCJ) believes the same as Grace Communion International (GCI), as stated in their study guide, WE BELIEVE. The following questions and answers (except for the sections in italics) are taken from the study guide.
11.1 What is the Gospel?
The Gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God and salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. To preach the Gospel is to proclaim the fulfillment of God’s purposes through the sending of the eternal Son of God in the power of the Holy Spirit to break into our fallen world, overthrow its evil and transform and redeem all who were captive to sin and evil’s power and eternal consequences.
11.2 What are the central events of the Gospel?
The central events of the Gospel are about Jesus: his birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Through these events in the life of Jesus, God’s kingdom has broken into our time and space to bring about our salvation.
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
- Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
- John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- 1John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
11.3 Is the forgiveness declared in the Gospel extended only after repentance?
No. The Gospel is the astonishing good news that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God’s forgiveness of us is unconditional … and it is given before our confession of sin and repentance. Freed by the Holy Spirit in response to the Word of God, repentance is how we receive the forgiveness that has already been freely given to us on the basis of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. To refuse to repent is thus to refuse God’s gift of forgiveness.
- Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
- Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
- Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
- Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
- Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
- Romans 5:6-10 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11.4 How should we respond to the Gospel?
With repentance and faith. The Son of God was sent by the Father to assume our human nature to himself and to rescue and transform it in himself. This was done to reconcile us to God so that we might become his beloved adopted children. Jesus Christ came, lived and died for our sins and has made us his own before and apart from our believing in him. He has bound us to himself by his love in such a way that he will never let us go. Therefore, the Lord calls on all humans to repent and believe in him as Lord and Saviour.
- Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
- Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- Titus 3:4-6 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
- 2Timothy 1:8-9 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
11.5 If sin is so evil, how can God forgive it?
God forgives our sins because he has the grace and power to overcome them and set things right. In forgiving our sins, God is not overlooking or ignoring evil. God is opposed to sin and evil … and always will be. God judges what is sinful and evil and condemns it. By forgiving us, God rescues us from the dominion and eternal consequences of sin, making all things new, including our human nature.
11.6 How does God make human nature new?
Our problem as humans is not merely that we sin, but that, by nature, we are sinners. We have a corrupt, fallen nature that is inclined toward sin, often not able to resist temptation to sin. That is the bad news … the good news is that God has remade human nature … in and through the eternal Son of God who, in becoming human, took upon himself our corrupt human nature and healed it on our behalf.
- 2Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
- Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
11.7 What part does the Holy Spirit have in this renewal?
Because Jesus renewed human nature, the Holy Spirit is able to minister to us as individuals on the basis of Christ’s finished work, uniting us to Jesus with his perfected human nature in a spiritual union. Through this union, the Holy Spirit imparts to us a continuous sharing in Jesus’ love and life so that we are transformed, little by little, into the image of God found in Jesus.
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
11.8 How can anyone resist the Holy Spirit’s bringing about this transformation?
No one can entirely resist the Holy Spirit. In the end, the Holy Spirit will make clear and evident to all the truth and reality that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour of all. In the end, all will either willingly or unwillingly admit the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. However, Scripture warns of the real danger of willfully rejecting, and thus blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Apparently, some will do this, even after being convicted of the Holy Spirit’s undeniable witness that Jesus is Lord and Saviour and there is no other. Exactly how this rejection is possible we are not told. We are simply warned of its possibility, which we are to take seriously lest we resist the Holy Spirit, presume upon God’s grace and minimize the many directives in Scripture to accept, receive and respond positively, in repentance and faith, to the proclamation of the grace of God in Jesus Christ that comes to us by his Word and Spirit.
- Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.
- Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.