"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'"  Romans 1:16-17


Gospel. n. (god, good + spel, news) the good news of salvation for hell-deserving sinners through the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

(Definition from "A Gospel Primer for Christians" by Milton Vincent)

God

"In the beginning God..."  Those are the very first words of the Bible.  But those first few words leave us with a question.  Who is God?  How we answer that question has a profound effect upon the lives we live each day and the destiny of lives for eternity.  


The Bible teaches that God is the loving, supreme, king and ruler over our world.  Not only does He rule over it, He rules over it because He made it.  He created everything.  That also means that He created us, mankind.  God created us that we might live under his loving rule, but also created us in His image that we might reflect His rule upon the earth.  He gave us the responsibility to rule over the world, to care for it and to enjoy it.  The great task God gave mankind was to be accomplished under God's authority, always following His rules and ways.


"Worthy are you, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."  Revelation 4:11

Man

"And they lived happily ever after..."  That's how we like stories to end.  After we hear about God, who He is, how He created us and the role He gave us in the world, it sounds so ideal.  The problem is that we know that something has gone terribly wrong in the world around us.  So what happened?


We have rejected God and His rule over us.  We attempted to go our own way, do our own thing, rule over this world apart from Him, but we have failed miserably.  We are rebels who want to live our own way rather than God's way.  We thought we could do it without God.  This rejection, rebellion and pride is what the Bible calls, "sin."  


God takes our rebellion against Him seriously.  Our sin separates us from Him.  And being separated from God is not a good thing.  He is the source of life and of all good things.  God does not let us shake our fists in defiance at Him forever.  There will come a day when every person will have to give an account of their life before God.  Since we've told God, "Leave me alone!"  That is exactly what He does and we are left to face His judgement for our sin which results in death and hell, eternal separation from Him.  


"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside."  Romans 3:10-12


"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment."  Hebrews 9:27

Christ

God, however, provided the solution to our problem.  Out of His abundant love, God sent His Son into the world to become a man, Jesus Christ.  What we could never do, Christ did.  He lived the perfect and obedient life before God.  He didn't rebel against God but lived a completely righteous life.  Jesus did not deserve death or God's wrath.  There was no punishment for Him to pay for His sins because He didn't have any sin.  But Jesus did die.  He died on the cross, taking our sins upon Himself.  He died in our place, taking the punishment we deserved, paying the debt that we owed so that we might have forgiveness and pardon of our sin.  


Jesus death was not the end.  Three days after His death God raised Him from the dead.  God accepted the payment made by Christ to atone for sin.  Now Jesus Christ has been exalted to God's right hand and is the perfect and just ruler over the world.  Jesus is king and will one day return to earth to judge each one for what they have done.  Until that day, Jesus has opened a way for us to have new life, to find forgiveness through His death, and to be brought into a relationship with God.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we will be found acceptable in His sight when He returns.


"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit."  1 Peter 3:18


"According to His great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."  1 Peter 1:3

Response

What's the last missing piece?  If we know who God is, who we are as sinful man, and know who Christ is and what He has done, what are we going to do about it?  This good news calls for a response from you.  You could respond by continuing to go your own way and by telling God to leave you alone.  Or you could respond by submitting your life to Jesus Christ as king and by relying on His death and resurrection to save you from your sin.  The Bible calls us to accept Jesus through faith and repentance.  


Faith is relying on Jesus and trusting Him to do everything He has promised to do.  It also means that there is nothing and no one else that we can trust to bring salvation.  Our own efforts or good deeds do not contribute to our salvation but we see that Jesus is our only hope.


Repentance is turning away from sin and forsaking it.  We realize that we cannot and must not continue to live in sin but now we renounce it.  It is only by Christ's conquering of sin that we are no longer under the dominion of sin.  We are turning away from our sin and turning to Christ.  This does not mean that we are perfect, but it does mean that we hate sin and will not cherish it in our lives.


How will you respond to the gospel?  Will you accept it as the missing piece to your life?  Will there be faith and repentance on your part or rejection?  There is only one way to receive eternal life and that is in Jesus Christ.  


"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."  John 3:36

More Info

If you would like to talk to someone about the gospel please contact the church office or visit us during one of our service times.

The information found here is based on the booklet Two Ways to Live and on the book What is the Gospel by Greg Gilbert.