What is the gospel? The word gospel literally means “good news.” And it all starts with God…
God exists and is holy. This simply means that he is set apart as absolutely perfect and supreme in every category—in his wisdom, justice, mercy, wrath, love, and goodness. He is the creator of all things (including you). He created mankind “in his image” (Genesis 1:27) to reflect his good character. Your purpose in life is to know and enjoy the God who lovingly and intentionally made you. (Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:19-20, Colossians 1:16-17; John 3:16; Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 119:68)
However, starting with the very first man and woman, Adam and Eve, we have ALL sinned (disobeyed God's law). Most people think God gave us the ten commandments primarily as a moral rule book (“do this, don't do that”). However, God actually gave us his ten commandments to serve as a moral mirror. When we look at them, they reveal that none of us are actually good people. In fact, Jesus said, "no one is good but God."
Think about it, have you ever told a lie? Stolen anything? Taken God’s holy name in vain? Have you ever looked at someone with lust? Cursed someone made in the image of God? We have all sinned. Wanting to be God and to decide what is right and wrong for ourselves, we have all disregarded God's word and sought out life, pleasure, and power apart from him through rebellious sin. The penalty for our sin? That penalty is eternal death and punishment in hell. (Romans 6:23)
Though we earned eternal death for our sin, "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) God shows his unconditional love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8) Jesus came to earth on a mission—to live a morally perfect and obedient life as our representative, and then die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin as our substitute. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, proving his identity as God the Son, and demonstrating his victory over sin and death. (1 Corinthians 15)
What must you do to be saved? This is the good news—Jesus has done the work. And now God is calling all people everywhere to:
- REPENT - which simply means to turn away from your sin and turn to God! (Acts 17:30-31)
- TRUST in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, trusting in his good works, not yours). "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" (Romans 10:9). "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
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