The Irreducible Core
The “Irreducible Core” are the essential points that make up the Gospel. In other words, these are the ideas that absolutely need to be included when communicating the Gospel. We can easily add to the Gospel by requiring faith in Jesus plus…church attendance, good behavior, etc. We can also take away from the Gospel by watering it down to simply say that Jesus died for us so we should be loving like He was. It is important to clarify what is absolutely necessary to communicate when explaining the Gospel. These are the essentials:
It is important to clarify what is absolutely necessary to communicate when explaining the Gospel.
God is Holy
This means that God is separate from His creation and pure in every way. The implication is that only holy people can be in the presence of a holy God. If God simply overlooked sin, He would no longer be holy as He would be allowing impurity to corrupt His purity. We must be as holy as God to be in His presence.
People Are Sinners
The word sin means “to miss the mark.” It is to fall short of God’s holiness in any way. We typically think of sin as stealing, lying, or killing someone. However, Jesus tells us that having lust or hatred in our hearts is sin – even if we do not act on it. Selfishness is sin. Ignoring God is sin. Thinking about ourselves most of the time is sin. We fall short constantly. Since God is holy and we are sinners, we deserve God’s righteous judgment against our guilt: eternal separation from God. This is hell.
Jesus Paid for Our Sin in Full and Rose from the Dead
This is the “good news”! God sent His Son Jesus Christ to live a sinless life and die a criminal’s death as a blood sacrifice for all of our sins in our place. He then rose from the dead signifying that His sacrifice was accepted by God. He did this out of sheer love for us, which glorifies His name.
Faith Apart from Works
Our role is to repent and put our faith in Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for our sins and as our Lord. When we do this genuinely, the result is a life that is transformed by the love of Christ and work of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s forgiveness or the righteousness we need to be reconciled to God. This salvation is given to us as a gift when we trust in Christ alone.