What Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The word “gospel” refers to an announcement of “good news.” The Bible teaches that all people, each one of us, have sinned and are under the judgment of God – this is the bad news. To make matters worse, the Bible teaches that there is nothing we can do to fix the situation. The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that we can have our sins forgiven and be saved from the inevitable consequences of our sin, namely, eternal death and separation from God. The gospel is about what Jesus has done to reconcile us to God. The following points are essential to understanding the good news of the gospel…
God Created and Owns Everything, Including You
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. The Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him (Genesis 1:1, 27). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, and worship.
God is Holy
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore, He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). He is separated from sin and in Him is no unrighteousness at all (Romans 9:14). God requires perfect holiness of us as well (I Peter 1:16).
Mankind Is Sinful
According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin (1 Kings 8:46; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10, 23; Ephesians 2:1-3). As fallen men and women, we are utterly incapable of keeping God’s commands or in any way pleasing God on our own (Romans 8:7-8). We do not love Him first and foremost, nor do we love others as we love ourselves (Luke 10:25-37). Our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 4:18).
Sin Demands a Penalty
God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4). God, because He is just and holy, cannot simply sweep sin under the rug. He must administer justice for every sin committed. We are dead in our trespasses and sins and therefore under God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). If you do not repent and turn to Christ by faith, the Bible is straightforward in declaring that you will live eternally in hell, a place of unimaginable suffering (Mark 9:43-48), separated from God and all that is good. Hell is described by Jesus as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of outer darkness and isolation, a burning fire, and a place of punishment and conscious destruction. As terrifying and difficult as that truth is, God is gracious to warn us so that we might find our refuge from the wrath of God in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Lord and Savior
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (John 3:6; Romans 5:6-10). Jesus Christ came to earth as an infant, born of the Holy Spirit by the virgin Mary. As such, He is fully God and sinless man. He alone is able to mediate between God and man, as if putting an arm around each, He is able to reconcile us through His sacrifice on the cross (1 Timothy 2:5; I Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice and Christ’s perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). After three days in the grave Jesus rose again to life, demonstrating God’s acceptance of His atoning sacrifice as well as His power to conquer sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
The Character of Saving Faith
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Isaiah 55:7; Luke 13:3; 5; I Thessalonians 1:9). Faith, then, pursues Christ (Matthew 11:28-30, Luke 9:23), rests in His substitutionary sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27; 9:28), and surrenders to Him in obedience (I John 2:3). It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Jesus. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don't love, serve, or obey Him. True saving faith always responds in grateful obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
If you have any questions about how you can become a Christian, or want help knowing how to live the Christian life, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Foothill Christian Fellowship (530) 878-0293.