What’s the most fundamental problem the gospel addresses?
Is the gospel fundamentally about meeting our needs? Fulfilling our desire for meaning? Transforming society? Teaching us to live better lives? Lifting up the poor? Making us rich and healthy?
All of these ideas about the gospel latch onto a perceived problem and say, “That’s what the gospel is all about!” But are any of those things what the gospel is all about? Are any of those things the fundamental problem the gospel addresses?
The Bible says “No, none of them.” The Bible clearly teaches that humanity’s fundamental problem is our sin and God’s wrath against us because of our sin.
- “Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him” (Nahum 1:6)
- “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18).
- “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6)
- “Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Rev. 6:15-17).
God’s wrath against our sin is the fundamental problem the gospel addresses. Jesus died on the cross as a propitiation, a sacrifice that turns away God’s wrath (Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 2:2, 4:10) in order that we would be saved through faith in him.