What is the gospel?
The gospel is God coming to earth as a human to save humans for Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.
The word gospel literally means good news. The gospel is the good news about Jesus, because of Jesus and from Jesus. Why are we in need of this gospel? In order to understand this we need to go back to the beginning.
The God that created both you and me is not just the Creator of the universe in which we exist. This God ultimately sustains and upholds everything that has ever existed and continues to exist. He also reigns over the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. The God that created us is absolutely deserving of our continuous worship, praise, adornment and obedience. In fact, the very reason why God created us was so that we could love him and worship him as heirs who were entrusted to take care of the things on this planet. The God that we worship is loving, righteous and holy. At the same time, He is a just God in that every human that has every lived will give an account of their life to Him.
The world in which we live in currently was not always filled with calamity, affliction and catastrophic instances. At first this world was the epitome of perfection. This was until the first man and woman to ever populate this planet [Adam & Eve] demonstrated a gross disobedience (Gen. 3). This couple defied the precepts that were created for them by God. Their act of rebellion introduced what we now know as sin into this world. Sin naturally ushered in with it evil, suffering, affliction and death. The stain of sin is now upon all posterity because of our predecessors. As a result, every single person who has every lived (or will live) is a sinner, both by nature and choice. Because of our sinful nature that we have inherited from our first parents, not only do we not seek God, we have no ability to pursue Him apart from the divine intervention of the Spirit of God. Because we are under the curse of sin, we deserve death, both physical and spiritual. There is absolutely nothing we can do as mere humans in order to escape the punishment for sin because we are born in it and are enslaved by it. We stand before the righteous and perfect Judge, critically condemned.
Because of the great love that God has for those whom He created, there is a pardon that is available to fallen men. God fully knew that we as humans would have never been able to save ourselves. For this very reason, He sent us His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus was God who came to this earth in human form. Jesus was able to live a life we could not live (without sin) and pay the penalty (for sin) we could not afford (death on a cross). Jesus did not deserve to die on a cross but he chose to do it willingly. Jesus became sin so that we could be free from sin. Jesus died on the cross only to experience a miraculous resurrection, three days later. By coming back from the dead, Jesus satisfied the justice that God demanded and He now rules and reigns in heaven.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one can come into the goodness of God the Father except through Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no way we can save ourselves by attempting to do good things or asserting to be good people. Salvation that comes only from Christ is based on the work He did for us in our place on the cross and not in our futile human efforts. We must realize that without Christ, we are sinners in rebellion against a Holy God. If we will confess that Jesus is Lord over our life and believe in our heart that God raised him [Jesus] from the dead, we will be saved. Those that reject Christ and do not trust in Christ for their salvation will have to stand before the judgment of God to answer for their actions. They will have to bear the consequence of their decision to not worship their Creator. Since they rejected the one who was a Substitute for their sin, they will have to pay for sin themselves which is inevitable spiritual and physical death without requital.
The good news is about coming to a sober realization that as human beings, we are wicked and estranged from God, before we are even born (Ps. 51:5). Our condition is so hopeless that we are in a desperate need for a deity to rescue us from the coming wrath and eternal suffering. This is where Jesus comes in. He led a life we could not lead and died a death we could not die. He was our substitute for our sin and died on the cross for us, in spite of us.
- We are reconciled into a right relationship with God
- We are granted forgiveness for our sin
- We are privileged to spend eternity in heaven with Him
- We live a life here on earth for His glory and by His grace
This is the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.