How to Know God 

This is the question above all questions.
To answer it, you need to know the message above all messages—the gospel.

What is the gospel?

The word gospel simply means 'good news.' And it's a story whose main character is God himself.
The story can be told in four major movements–Creation, Fall, Redemption, and New Creation.


The drama of the Bible begins with God singing the world into existence. From the account given in the first two chapters of the Bible, a few things are abundantly clear: God is powerful. God is holy. God is glorious. God is good. The immensity of the cosmos and all their minute details are all very good and beautiful.

The apex of creation is his crafting of the first man and woman. They were designed to know, love, and enjoy God. And they did! They were quite literally living in paradise with God. Until the story takes a dark and sad turn.

[See Genesis 1-2]


God is a God of freedom. He gave Adam and Eve the whole world to enjoy. But he barred them from eating from a single tree, 'the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.'

In a strange sequence of events, an opponent enters the story in the form of a serpent. The serpent causes Adam and Eve to doubt if God is actually favorably disposed toward them. The distrustful thought enters their minds. "Maybe God doesn't want the best for us, and that's why he has kept us from that one tree."

So, in short order, they are reaching for the fruit that wasn't theirs to consume. In this first sin, the whole world of paradise began to unravel. The greatest fracture was that the human race no longer related to God perfectly. Their relationship with him was broken. And the whole world has been plagued by the effects of sin ever since. The Bible says that all people have been affected by the sinful nature that Adam and Eve fell into at that moment. We were all 'in adam' and fell in him. We are all at odds with God.

Genesis 3 is some of the most tragic literature the world has ever been given. But its depravity also perfectly interprets the world we live in. A world filled with pain, suffering, violence, catastrophe, tears, and bitterness.

Is there any hope for this human race?

The rescuing heart of God is quickly on display even moments after the faithless actions of his son, Adam, and his daughter, Eve. He promises that from their offspring will come one who will crush the head of the one who deceived them—the serpent. A son will be born to set the world straight again.

[See Genesis 3]


And so the drama takes a hopeful turn. Yes, it's riddled more and more with pain and tears. And the further we get into the story, the darker it gets. But the hope of the rescuer also becomes clearer and clearer. The offspring of Eve will bless all nations. He will be a king who rules over all things and sets things straight forever!

But he will also do this in surprising–even shocking–ways.

The prophet Isaiah describes how redemption will come with such clarity that he describes it as if it had already happened.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." – Isaiah 53.5-6

The savior is setting things straight again by being pierced for the ways we have faithlessly sinned against God. His wounds have the power to heal us. He bears the iniquity that we committed, that we might enjoy the blessing that he warranted.

And this is precisely what Jesus Christ does. The New Testament begins by telling us that this son of Eve was, in fact, the very Son of God! Fully God, yet fully man. Like us in every respect, sin excepted.

And this Son of God shows us how seriously God takes our sin. And how seriously he is set on making all things new. Jesus Christ lives a life pointed from the outset toward a roman cross. And on the cross, he dies a sinners death, that he might supply a savior's life to whoever would come to him by faith.

Because he doesn't stay dead. He's buried, yes, and is in a tomb, but the brightest day since the creation of the world is not too far behind. On the third day, the dead man Jesus Christ comes alive and is resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit. And he walks out of the tomb as a resurrected savior! This is history. This is victory. This is mystery.

And the gospel message develops with even more clarity. Now the whole world can see that if you come to Jesus Christ by trusting in him, you will also inherit eternal life. You will, even now, have the deposit of heaven himself– the Holy Spirit. God sends his Spirit to live with and in all believers.

The Spirit is the guarantee of a new world that is coming.


Because sin has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have a sure promise that he will come again soon to finally and decisively set all things straight. The final book of the Bible uses the imagery of a new heaven and a new earth coming down out of heaven from God. God is establishing his perfect and glorious kingdom once again on earth. There is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears. Christ has wiped them all away!

For centuries, Christians have called this their only hope in life and death. Eternal life with God.

We know God not by texting him or emailing him. We don't know God by speculating about him or fancying up some notion of who he is in our imagination. We know God because he re-introduces himself to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the only story that leads you to a personal knowledge of God. Will you pay attention to it? Will you go on to study it further? Will you give this good– even amazing news a chance?

[See Revelation 21-22]


This is the question many ask after the first sermon is preached after Jesus' ascension back into heaven. The answer? Turn away from your sinful life and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Faith alone will save you from God's wrath. And faith alone will save you to a relationship with God.
So, repent and believe in Jesus Christ. This will be the best decision you will ever make. We guarantee it!


The following steps are a mere guide to what to do next. The important thing is that you continue cultivating your knowledge of God and his word. This will clarify what he expects of you now that he has opened your eyes to his amazing gospel. The following might be a helpful course to follow.

  1. Pray. Call out to God. Address your prayer to our heavenly Father, and pray through Jesus Christ, his Son. He will hear your prayers. And if he hears them, he will answer them. Simply pour out your heart to him. Begin to
  2. Read. The best summary of the gospel in the Bible comes in 1 Corinthians 15. This is a long chapter of the Bible, but it will still only take a few minutes to read. It will be the best minutes of your day, even if you don't understand each detail completely. Read it, then re-read it. Then ask, 'what does this mean for my life?'
  3. Discuss: Talk to a Christian friend that you trust. We suspect that they would be more than happy to talk you through what it means to follow Jesus on a day-to-day basis.
  4. Reach out: If you don't have anyone to talk to, we would be delighted to talk you through all of this and get to know you.
  5. Watch: A few videos might be your cup of tea. Enjoy these different angles on the one true gospel from trusted pastors. VIDEO | VIDEO | VIDEO 
  6. Find: A gospel preaching church near you. This is the best place to learn to love God!  9Marks Church Finder | The Gospel Coalition Church Finder

  1. Read: The gospel of Mark is the shortest gospel but will give you a beautiful introduction to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It should take you about one hour and thirty minutes to complete. Then read the book of Romans. Follow up your reading of Mark with a book that reflects and interprets everything done in it. Romans will take you about one hour and eight minutes to complete.
  2. Join us: Come to a worship gathering at Addison Street Community Church. We always talk about the gospel–every Sunday. Because the beauty of the message is endless!
  3. Read: The Gospel by Ray Ortlund. This is an excellent next step to help you understand what you've been reading in the Bible and hearing at church.

  1. Read: Begin a Bible reading plan. There are so many good ones out there. What matters isn't which plan, but that you have a plan. The M'Cheyne yearly plan is beloved by many. We have two different Bible reading routes. One will get you through the Bible in a year. One will get you through the Bible in two years.
  2. Read: According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy. An excellent book that shows how the story described above is actually the overarching story of the whole Bible.
  3. Read: Biblical Theology by Geerhardus Vos. this book is not for the faint of heart, but it will be worth every effort you put into it.
  4. Join us! The gospel doesn't just save. It also sanctifies. That simply means that the same message that gets us into the life of faith is the message that sustains us and helps us grow in godliness! That's why all our services are about the gospel!