What is the Gospel?
The word, “gospel”, literally means “good news”. The Bible uses “gospel” to refer to the message of salvation offered to all people through Christ.
Though the entire Bible is the gospel, the good news of salvation can be summarized into five basic truths:
1. God is the Good and Holy Creator
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
There is only one eternal God who created all things. He is the supremely good King of everything and created man to love, serve, and enjoy fellowship with Him. God also gave man good laws that man might know God’s will and God’s glorious character.
2. Man is a Sinful and Condemned Rebel
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3
The first man and woman rejected God and exalted themselves instead. All of us since have inherited the same deceitful and rebellious heart. Even though we know God’s law is good and right, we do not keep it. We do not love God with all of our hearts nor do we love our neighbors as ourselves. We are all sinners who fall short of God’s perfection, and no amount of our “good works” can make us right with Him.
3. Man’s Sentence is Eternal Death and Torment
But they will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:5
God is good — so good, in fact, that He cannot allow evil to go unpunished. All of our sins, even ones that seem small to us, are heinous to the good heart of God. Moreover, our rejection of God defames His infinite worth. As rebels guilty of countless infinitely evil crimes against God, our just judgment is eternal death in hell, a place of unending darkness, burning, and pain.
4. God Provided Christ as the Only Substitute
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6
God, however, determined to show His greatness to all creation in an amazing way. God sent His Son Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, into our world. Jesus lived a perfectly righteous life and then, on the cross, suffered sin’s hellish penalty on behalf of all of those who believe in Him. Jesus died, rose again in triumph, and now sits at the right hand of the Father.
5. Man Must Believe in Jesus Christ to Be Saved
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
Because of Christ’s work, salvation is available to all people but will only be given to those who believe the above good news. And this belief must not simply be head knowledge; this belief must be a fundamental heart change toward God and a wholehearted trust in Jesus Christ as the only One who can reconcile us to God.
Such belief will change our behavior. If we really believe the gospel, we will love Jesus Christ and seek to be obedient to Him in everything. We will turn away from our habits of sin and submit every part of our lives to His will. In short, we will follow and obey our Lord. This obedience starts with being baptized as a sign to all of our new life in Jesus.
Is That It?
There is also a cost to accepting Jesus: we will experience trouble and persecution in the world because of Him. However, in the gospel, one gains complete righteousness, eternal salvation, and God Himself. What could be a better exchange?
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
Do you believe the good news of God? Does your behavior show it? There are no more important questions for you to answer. Believe today, since you are not guaranteed tomorrow. God is patient, but His patience does not last forever. When we die, there is no longer any opportunity for salvation; there is only judgment.
Do you still have questions? Would you like to find out more? Please contact us or, better yet, come talk to us at church!