What is the “gospel“?
The gospel is the “good news” about what Jesus Christ has done to reconcile lost sinners (i.e., violators of God’s 10 Commandments such as lying, lusting, hating, coveting, etc. – see Exodus 20) to God and to provide the way to salvation. To enhance the explanation of the gospel message, we have incorporated colorful and descriptive illustrations as shown below. We hope you enjoy, but more importantly we pray you gain a deeper understanding of this powerful, all-important, and life-changing message!
To begin, the Bible tells us we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and that our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). In other words, because of God’s holy and righteous nature, He cannot associate with sin, which is evil, impure, and wicked. The Bible continues to tell us that the wages, or penalty, of sin is death, which means eternal separation from God in a terrible place called hell (Romans 6:23).
Many people try to find or earn their way back to God by doing good deeds, trying to be religious, and other similar efforts. The problem is none of these activities or approaches can get us reconciled back to God, and they ultimately all lead to the same death penalty (eternal separation from God in a terrible place called hell). The Bible states there is only one way to God, which is through His son Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Fortunately, our great Creator, God, loves us and does not want any of us to perish. Therefore, He devised an inconceivable rescue plan. God sent His son Jesus to die on a cross approximately 2,000 years ago to pay the penalty for our sin (His sinless blood shed on the cross provides atonement for our transgressions)(John 3:16). In other words, we (sinners) broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid our fine, which allows God, the Almighty Judge, to legally dismiss our criminal case. Jesus was then buried and raised from the dead, which demonstrated that God accepted his sacrifice. Now, Jesus becomes the way or the “bridge” to God (2 Corinthians 5:18)!
Friends, this is the “gospel” story, and it is indeed “good news”!
The Bible states if we repent (turn away from our sinful ways and turn towards God and His ways)(Acts 3:19) and put our full trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) and confess Him as our Lord (surrender to God’s will and ways) (Romans 10:9) and Savior, God provides His supernatural and saving grace upon us. When this transformational process happens, the Bible states we are born again into a new life (1 Peter 1:23), become children of God (John 1:12-13), receive the Holy Spirit within us along with many extraordinary gifts (Ephesians 1:13-14), and will spend eternal life in heaven with God (John 3:16). Finally, it’s important to realize that being a Christian is a lifelong and exciting journey that entails many other activities beyond receiving God’s precious gift of salvation (the gospel), such as getting baptized (Matthew 28:19), reading and studying your Bible (Joshua 1:8), praying continually to God (1 Thessalonians 5:17), learning to be obedient to God’s commandments (Matthew 28:20), joining a Bible-based church (1 Corinthians 12:21-26), etc.
So, there’s more good news! In addition to saving us from the “penalty” of sin (hell and eternal separation from God), Jesus also provides us salvation from the on-going “power” of sin. In other words, we can now have victorious living due to the Holy Spirit indwelling within us, which gives us the power to conquer sin when it comes knocking (tempting). In fact, the Bible states we have died to sin and thus we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6, 11-12). Please see the below informational chart to help further understand this additional good news about God’s amazing salvation plan!