Friday DIVE – 01 December 2023



The Gospel in ‘P’s    

A.  As members of the Church, it is necessary for us to have a good understanding of the Gospel.

  1. For one thing, making disciples involves baptism … and, since we only baptize believers, the thing that potential disciples must believe is the Gospel.
  2. When Peter says we must be ready always to give an answer for the reason for the hope we have (see 1 Peter 3:15) … that “reason for the hope” centres on the Gospel.
  3. We are here, as Christians, because we have believed the Gospel.
    • It’s very important, therefore, that we have a fairly good understanding of the Gospel.

B. There is only ONE Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) … but there are many ways to present that Gospel:

  • The ABC’s to Salvation …
  • the Evangelism Explosion outline script …
  • the Roman Road to Salvatio …
  • One-Verse Evangelism,
  • etc.

C.  The Gospel in ‘P’s is just another way of presenting the one Gospel.

  • It’s called the Gospel in ‘P’s because it focuses on a number of words that begin with the letter ‘P’
      • Purpose … Problem … Provision and Potential.

D.  The key, of course, lies in understanding NOT just what the purpose, problem, etc. are, BUT in understanding whose purpose and problem, etc. we are talking about.  The answer, of course, is that it’s God’s Purpose, Man’s Problem, God’s Provision and Man’s Potential that we will be discussing.

S.P.S.  In this session, I want to look at two of the ‘P’s — Purpose and Problem.



  • Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  
  • Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [a]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27 So God created man in His ownimage; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  
  • Genesis 3:22-23 Then the LordGod said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” — 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
  • Luke 11:1-2 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”  So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven ….”
  • Revelation 21:1-4 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

While Christ was on earth, He hinted at one aspect of His mission when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

  • The life He spoke of was everlasting life – the same kind of life that God was prepared to give Adam.
  • Based on what we read in Genesis 3:22, Adam could have gone on to live forever by receiving everlasting life … but he didn’t. Obviously, he had a problem.  What was that problem?



Many people agree that the cause of Adam’s problem was one of sin.

  • Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

What is sin?

  • 1 John 3:4 (NKJV) Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
  • 1 John 3:4 (KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
  • James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
  • Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

When we consider Man’s problem, SIN is obviously a big part … but it’s NOT the main problem.

  • Genesis 3:22-23   Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
  • Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

Based on those two verses … SIN is only a cause of the problem … The real problem is SEPARATION FROM GOD.

When we drill further, however, we see that sin is NOT the only cause of the problem that Man had.

  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [a]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Ephesians 2:1-4 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

Death is a big part of Man’s problem …

  • Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned —
  • Romans 5:21  so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If SIN is what caused Man to become separated from God …

Then DEATH is what sustained the separation, causing Man to be unable to reunite with God.

  • Romans 8:7 Because the [u]carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
  • Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength[d]in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
  • Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins …
  • Ephesians 2:5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),    we were dead in trespasses …

According to Paul, the Ephesians (like the Romans) were dead before they became Christians.

  • As “natural” men, they were dead (spiritually) … so any efforts they made to try and save themselves (spiritually) would, in effect, be “dead works”.
  • They had no way of saving themselves.
  • Thankfully, God made provision for them to be saved.

How did they come to be dead?  When did that death first take place?

  • Genesis 2:15-17   Then the Lord God took [d]the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
  • Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
    • NB: the word “life”
    • “life” … from the Heb. Word “hayyim
    • hayyim” is a plural word, which has been translated as “lives” in the Bible.
    • Could it be, then, that the “breath of life” that God breathed into the man gave him not one life, but two lives (a physical life and a spiritual life)?
    • And could it be, then, that when Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, he died “spiritually” (lost his spiritual life), but he did not die “physically” (by losing his physical life)?



  • God had a PURPOSE … But Adam had a PROBLEM
  • God’s purpose was RELATIONSHIP
  • Man’s problem was SEPARATION … caused by SIN and sustained by DEATH.
  • Sin caused the separation;
  • Death caused the inability to reunite … and thereby sustained the separation.
  • The net effect … Man found himself in a position of helplessness and hopelessness.
  • Mankind had no way of saving themselves.  Thankfully, God made provision for them to be saved.



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