What is the Gospel? The word gospel simply means “good news.” The central message of the Bible is the gospel, or good news, about the person and work of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–4, Paul provides the most succinct summary of the gospel: the man Jesus is also God, or Christ, and died on a cross in our place, paying the penalty for our sins; three days later He rose to conquer sin and death and give the gift of salvation to all who believe in Him alone for eternal life.
The great reformer Martin Luther rightly said that, as sinners, we are prone to pursue a relationship with God in one of two ways. The first is religion/spirituality and the second is the gospel. The two are antithetical in every way.
Religion says that if we obey God He will love us. The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.
Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people. The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.
Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good moral person. The gospel says that you should trust in the perfectly sinless life of Jesus because He alone is the only good and truly moral person who will ever live.
The goal of religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power, and control. The goal of the gospel is not the gifts God gives, but rather God as the gift given to us by grace.
Religion is about what I have to do. The gospel is about what I get to do. Religion sees hardship in life as punishment from God. The gospel sees hardship in life as sanctifying affliction that reminds us of Jesus’ sufferings and is used by God in love to make us more like Jesus. Religion is about me. The gospel is about Jesus.
Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God. The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.
Religion ends in either pride (because I think I am better than other people) or despair (because I continually fall short of God’s commands). The gospel ends in humble and confident joy because of the power of Jesus at work for me, in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me. (Mars Hill Church, Seattle- Mark Driscoll)
If you would like to find out more about what it means to be a Christian, I hope you will find the links below useful. It will take you through a short interactive process that will hopefully (God-enabling) make you aware of your need for Jesus Christ as Saviour. Right now, like many others, you may think you don’t need Jesus. Life is good. However, the most accurate statistic in the world is that 10/10 people die. When we die we WILL meet God. Whether we believe He exists or not. However narrow-minded you might deem it, I would like to reiterate that there is one true God and that is the God of the Bible. The God of all other religions( Islam, Hinduism, Seikhism, Mormonism, Scientology etc) are all false and a belief in these Gods will lead not unto salvation but eternal hell. All paths DO NOT lead to God as some would have us believe today. There is only one name under heaven by which man can be saved. That name is Jesus Christ. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. Postmodern thought deems this to be intolerant, narrow minded and arrogant. But that’s ok. This is the old, old message that has been handed down through the ages and as a messenger it is my job to tell it as it is, not to change it to make it more palatable. It wasn’t accepted then and we should not expect it to be accepted to day. Those words of Jesus mean that Christianity IS NOT compatible with other faiths, as some are insisting today.
However, there is more to it than just believing in the reality of Jesus. You see, there is still the issue of sin in our lives. God cannot be in the presence of sin and due to His just nature, He cannot go without punishing it. Do you know the Ten Commandments? Have you ever lied, stolen or looked at someone with lust in your heart? The likely answer is yes you have, to at least one. We all have broken one of the Ten commandments at some point in our lives. Even if we are not aware of it. We all have turned our backs on God and gone our own way. This is sin. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. Due to this fact we all stand guilty before God. We deserve His judgement because we have broken His laws. Romans 6:23 states that “the wages of sin are death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Thus, this explains our need for a Saviour. Jesus Christ is that Saviour. Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He was God in the form of man. He was born of the Holy Spirit by Mary and not natural conception. He lived a sinless, spotless life and so was an able sacrifice. In fact, He is the only person able to do so. He then willingly laid down His life for us…..for you+me…..on a Roman cross (which is widely accepted as the most barbaric form of execution ever invented). Three five inch nails were driven through his hands and feet. He was flogged mercilessly, beaten, spat on and mocked yet still he cried out “Forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing”.
Jesus died on the cross but that’s not where it ends! The good news is that Jesus was raised from the dead three days later by God. He appeared to His disciples and to Hundreds more. If this was not true then why would the earliest Christians have let themselves be crucified and tortured for their Lord? Why would a group of cowards who fled Jerusalem after the resurrection, in total fear and dismay, all of a sudden become as bold and fearless as they did in proclaiming Christ as risen??!! Don’t you see it yet, friend? There is power in the resurrection!! and Jesus has built His church through the power of the Holy Spirit which was given in a powerful manifestation on what Christians call “the Day of Pentecost”. This occurred after Christ ascended into heaven a few days after his resurrection from the grave. The good news about Jesus’ resurrection is that, according to the Bible, “….He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” Hebrews 7:25. When we repent and trust in Him, Jesus pleads our case to God and because of His sacrifice, His blood washes away our sin and covers all our stains that make us guilty before God. It does not matter whether you are black, white, Muslim, Atheist or even a seasoned church-goer who has played religious games all your life. Whoever repents and calls upon the name of Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation will be saved.
And so I plead dear friend………that God might open your eyes to the truth…….and that you might repent, turn from your sin and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
Remember though. The Christian life is not a promise of an easy life. It’s not about God making your life all comfortable and successful by worldly standards. Jesus makes us aware of this when He says “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” Matthew 10:22.
So I do warn you that coming to faith in Christ is not going to make way for an easy ride. But take heart. Jesus has said that if you stand firm to the end, then you will be saved. That is a promise. Jesus also said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Trusting in Jesus also means that God loves you. In John 16:27 Jesus states “..the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed I have come from God.” Likewise, we tell you these things because we love you. We do not seek to Lord it over you, but rather present you with the truth.
How amazing to know that through trusting in Jesus we now have Gods favour! We have been forgiven our sins, are saved from His judgement and can expect to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Again, we don’t deserve it. But its because of Gods grace, mercy and love, and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that it is offered to us as a free gift. The only question that remains is…….will you accept it? Many have accepted it, yet many more have not. Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of your need for Jesus as you read?
This is not a myth. This is not a fairytale. This is not a belief system of our “ignorant and uneducated” ancestors. This is the way. This is the truth. This if the life; He is the way, He is the tuth, He is the Life. May God help you and guide you in your search for truth.
To view the Way of the Master interactive link click here
To View JustStopandThink link click here