At the heart of the Christian faith is what the Bible calls the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word "gospel" means "good news." More specifically the gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of what God has done to save human beings from His own righteous wrath against their sin through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. This incredibly good news only makes sense, however, if you understand something of the bigger picture of reality revealed in the Bible.
First of all, the Bible teaches us that there is only one true God who created the universe and everything in it out of nothing (Genesis 1:1). And human beings are His special creatures whom He made in His image to subdue and rule the earth according to His will (Genesis 1:26-28). As His image bearers God expected human beings to reflect His holy character and to live in perfect obedience to Him. If they did this they would experience unhindered fellowship with Him and all the blessings that come with it. If they did not they would experience alienation from Him and death for their rebellion (Genesis 2:17).
Tragically the Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that the first man, Adam, chose to disobey God. As a result of this original sin Adam became guilty before God and corrupt in his nature. Adam’s guilt and corruption were then passed down to all His descendants, that is, to the entire human race (Romans 5:12-21). Finally, as a result of the fall of man into sin God subjected the entire creation to a curse so that it was no longer perfectly good (Genesis 3:14-19).
At this point God could have simply put an end to His rebellious creatures. But amazingly He chose not to do so. Rather, what the Bible goes on to say is that even though human beings had fallen into sin and come under God’s righteous wrath (Romans 1:18), yet at the same time God was filled with compassion for them (John 3:16) and initiated a plan to redeem a remnant of fallen human beings, along with the creation, from all of the dreadful consequences which had come upon them as a result of Adam’s sin. And this plan of redemption involved God the Father sending God the Son into the world to become a real human being, namely, Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5-8). In his humanity Jesus accomplished the salvation of everyone who would believe in Him by fulfilling the law of God for them in His perfect life and bearing the wrath of God for their sins in His sacrificial atoning death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). After finishing this work of redemption He rose from the dead in triumph on the third day. And before He ascended into heaven to take His seat at God’s right hand he sent out His disciples into the world to spread a message of good news. This message was that whoever would repent of their sins and put their trust in Him as their Savior and Lord would be justified, that is, declared righteous in God’s sight on account of what He had done for them. This justification would be a free gift of grace apart from any merit on their part (Romans 3:21-26). In this way they would be saved from God’s wrath and granted eternal life in fellowship with Him (John 3:16).
This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is incredible news! John Wesley put it well, saying, “Amazing love how can it be!” May every sinner who hears this gospel embrace it in faith and be saved.
It is also important to understand, however, that all those who truly do believe in this gospel of Jesus Christ are not only justified in God’s sight but are also given new spiritual life by the power of God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sanctifies their hearts so that they are no longer enslaved to sinful desires but begin living increasingly holy lives in accordance with God’s will revealed in the Bible (Titus 3:3-7). Anyone who does not experience this inner transformation of the Spirit but continues to live a life of rebellion against God, has not truly repented and believed in this gospel at all but remains lost in sin.
If you would like to explore the gospel of Jesus Christ in greater detail please check out the presentation called Two Ways To Live.
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