The Gospel literally means, the “good news.” What is the good news? To put it simply, the good news is that Jesus came to save sinners from a problem they couldn’t fix. Below is a bit more explanation.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Familiar words? This is the first line of the Bible and the first thing we have to understand: the world was made by the eternally happy God. The sole author, the rightful owner and the only sustainer of the world is God. It is His and no one else’s. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
Given that God created everything, that includes human beings. However, they are no mere creation; they are given the awesome and unique privilege of being made in His image. That simply means that God made humans like Him and that they represent Him on earth. After God made Man He said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” God made people to rule over the world like He rules the universe. Then He blesses them. What a privilege! What a gift! What a God!
But is that how it is now?
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:11-12
If you live in this world then you know the picture described above is nothing like what is going on now. What happened? Well, we turned away from our good God. Our parents, Adam and Eve, from whom all people have come, disobeyed the one prohibition God gave them because they wanted to be their own gods and they wanted to call their own shots. Since then, we all have done the same. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12)
So what will God do about this rebellion?
OUR JUST WAGES
“The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23
When you turn away from the God who is the source of life, you face death. God won’t let us rebel against Him forever and He will bring all who rebel against Him to judgment and death. He is not a wicked judge who let’s guilty people go free without the proper punishment. The problem is that we are guilty and can’t make ourselves un-guilty. We can’t take away our guilt. “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Is there any hope?
JESUS, OUR SUBSTITUTE AND SAVIOR
“Jesus suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
The Bible says that God, in love, sent His one and only Son into the world: the man Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. He did everything that was supposed to do and never did anything He wasn’t supposed to do. He is God, who became a man. Why did Jesus become a man? So He could live a sinless life in our place and die in our place.
Jesus came to die on a Roman cross in the place of sinners. On the cross He endured death for sinners. He paid their debt and He took their punishment. He lived and died as the substitute for rebels like us who failed to love God and obey Him. He took the full force of God’s punishment on Himself so that forgiveness can be made available to us.
But that’s not all…
JESUS, THE RISEN ONE
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” 1 Peter 1:3
Jesus did not stay dead, but God raised Jesus to life again as the ruler of the world. Jesus, unlike any other religious leader or founder, has conquered death, ascended to heaven and He will return to judge the world. He overcame what no man has been able to overcome and by His resurrection He has shown that His words are true and that His work on the cross is trustworthy. Jesus died for sinners.
So where does that leave us?
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36
Your destiny is determined by your response to Jesus.
If you choose to live your own way
You may choose to reject Jesus as ruler try to run life yourself. The result of this decision is that you will be justly condemned as the rebel you choose to be and you will face Jesus in judgment.
If you choose Jesus
You may forsake all attempts to save yourself, turn away from living life your own way, rely on Jesus to save you and follow Him. The result of this choice is that you are forgiven on account of what Jesus accomplished for you, you are given new life in Jesus, and you are adopted into God’s family. All because of what Jesus has done.
Jesus is not only the one who is able to save you, but He is the only one who has come to save you. Jesus is not only all we need, but He is all we have.
Religion, good works, church attendance, charitable giving, or anything else we try to do to make God love us will all fail. Only Jesus is able to save us and it is only through repentance and faith that we can make His sacrifice our own.
This is the gospel. This is where the Bible desires to point all people: to Jesus. Christians do not believe that they are good people and are going to heaven because of that.believe they are corrupt and have rebelled against God and the only way they can come back to Him is through faith in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
To take the word’s from Princess Leah from Star Wars, Christians call out to Jesus saying, “You are our only hope.”
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