Our central and most basic message is “the gospel,” which means Good News. After His resurrection, and just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus told his disciples: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We preach the Good News that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, left heaven, took on humanity, died on a cross for mankind, was buried, and rose from the dead, demonstrating that He has the power over death and the ability to give life (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
The reason this is good news is that humans are faced with a harsh reality. We face the reality of death, physical and spiritual. We inherited this from our God-ordained representative, the first man, Adam. Romans 5:12 affirms that “through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men….” Not only do we receive a fateful inheritance from Adam, but we each individually choose to sin. Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Isaiah 64:6 gives the humbling news that “we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” The best we have to offer God is disgusting in His sight! This is because God’s standard is perfection. In fact, James 2:10 declares that “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” Humans simply cannot meet God’s standard of goodness, righteousness, or holiness. Because of that, “the wages of sin is death,” according to Romans 6:23. We’re doomed!
That’s why we need Good News, and that’s why the Good News is so good! God has given us a gift in Jesus Christ: “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
So, even though we are doomed, there is a happy alternative: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). When we recognize our sinful, doomed condition, but trust in what Jesus Christ did for us, in our place, we can experience eternal life instead of eternal death, which is separation from God forever in hell. There is not a single thing we can do to deserve this. It is simply by God’s grace and mercy that we have an alternative to eternal death: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works…” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Heritage Baptist Church regularly invites people to exercise “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). As Jesus preached in Mark 1:15, “Repent, and believe in the gospel [good news].” All who come to Christ in repentant faith can be forgiven of their sin and eternally saved!
The gospel is our foundational message, but there is much to build on that foundation! We seek to build up believers here by faithful teaching of all of God’s Word, the Bible. Once people come to faith in Christ, there is much to do and learn! Our goal for believers is discipleship that follows the admonition of Colossians 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”