What Is The Gospel?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The word ‘gospel’ literally means “the good news.” When Jesus was born and the angel of the Lord said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10), what was the big deal? What is this good news that was so important that God sent an angel to announce it? To understand that, we must begin with the “bad news.”
The Bible reveals to us that there is coming a day when we will face God in judgment (Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 20:11-15). God will judge every person based on His holy and perfect law. The standard is perfection. The ten commandments are a summary of that law so we can look at the ten commandments and see whether we would be guilty or innocent in God’s judgment (Exodus 20).
You shall have no other gods but me. (Have you ever done anything without putting God first?)
You shall not make a god for yourself. (Have you made a “god” of your own liking in your mind?)
Do not take God’s name in vain. (Have you ever used “God” or “Jesus” in an irreverent way? Have you ever covered up a lie by saying “I swear to God”?)
Keep the Sabbath day.
Honour your father and mother.
Do not murder. (The Bible teaches that hating someone is the same as murder.)
Do not commit adultery. (Jesus said that having lust in your heart is the same as adultery – Matthew 5:27-28)
Do not steal. (Have you ever taken anything that is not yours regardless of value?)
Do not lie. (Have you ever lied even once?)
Do not covet anything that is your neighbour’s. (Have you ever wanted something that someone else has? Have you ever been jealous of another’s possessions?)
Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love God perfectly and to love your neighbour as much as you love yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).
If you face God’s judgment would you be innocent or guilty? The Bible tells us that everyone will be guilty (Romans 3:23) and that nobody will have any excuse for their guilt before God (Romans 1:20).
God does not take your guilt lightly. God is holy and righteous and therefore hates evil. The Bible teaches that if you have broken His law that you are a rebel against Him, that you are His enemy (James 4:4), and that His wrath abides on you (John 3:36). The sentence for breaking God’s law is death and eternity in Hell (Revelation 21:8).
Does this concern you? It should!
We can do nothing to make ourselves right with God. We cannot pray enough, confess enough, or do enough “good deeds” to erase the guilt of our sin against God. We are helpless in ourselves to reconcile ourselves to God.
But there is hope! God, in His mercy, did all that is necessary to reconcile us to Himself.
For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son (John 3:16). In love, Jesus Christ willingly took the form of a man and came to Earth. He was born of a virgin and lived a perfect life in complete obedience to God’s law. Jesus was able to meet God’s standard of moral perfection. He never sinned. But even though Jesus pleased God in every way, he died the death of a criminal on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8). The Bible says that He took sin upon Himself and with it God’s wrath (1 Peter 2:24). Although He was perfectly innocent He paid the penalty for sin on the cross and died, but on the third day He rose from the grave proving that He had satisfied God’s wrath against sin (1 Corinthians 15:3).
He has commanded everyone to repent of their sin (turn from it) and place their faith in Jesus’ one-time payment for it (Acts 17:30,31). Recognize the extreme evil of your sin before a perfect and holy God, turn from your sin, and believe that Jesus paid for it on the cross and rose from the dead. If you will do this God’s Word teaches that your guilt will be placed on Jesus and paid for, and in exchange you will be given the gift of Jesus’ innocence (Romans 8:10, Philippians 3:9).
Jesus invites anyone who is under the weight of their sin to come to Him and He will bear it. He said:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
This is the only way you can be forgiven of your sin. Once you are forgiven God sees you as perfect and innocent because of Jesus.
Jesus promised that anyone who would come to Him in sincere faith and repentance would be accepted by Him and forgiven. That person becomes new (2 Corinthians 5:17), is born again (1 Peter 1:3), has peace with God (Romans 5:1), belongs to God, is adopted by God as His child (Romans 8:15,16), and is given eternal life (John 3:16). This gift of salvation can never be lost! You will have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ for the rest of your life and eternity! For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. – Romans 5:6-11
However, anyone who rejects Jesus and does not come to Him for forgiveness will die in their sin (John 8:24), and will be required by our Holy God to pay for their own sin forever in hell (John 3:36, Revelation 21:8).
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13,14)
Please come to Jesus Christ and be forgiven today! You do not know when you will face God in judgment.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
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