The Gospel is that message of the Bible, also known as the "good news," which powerfully announces the realities which a person must embrace in order to be saved from their sin. Apart from this message of Jesus Christ there is no salvation, as Peter declared in Acts 4:12 - "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given amoung men by which we must be saved." But what are the essential truths concerning this message which we must hold as true? Whether you are a non-Christian wondering what you must know in order to become a true follower of Christ, or if you are a believer seeking to proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, you must know this message.
We've boiled it down to 4 points - God, Man, Christ, Response:
He is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1) and therefore owns everything (Psalm 24:1). He is separate from his creation, being a diety of unapproachable holiness and perfection (1 John 1:5), and he therefore requires that those who come to him be of equal holiness and perfection (Matt. 5:48). His requirement for men, therefore, is perfect compliance in every point to his revealed law (James 2:10).
All men have intentionally and willfully broken God's law, without exception (Rom. 3:10; Rom. 3:23). And such disobedience, even if at one point, requires eternal punishment since it was commited against the highest, eternal authority -- God himself. This punishment is eternal, spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). No matter what amount of supposed goodness, morality or compliance a person might muster in their own effort, no one is capable of escaping this predicament on their own (Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9).
Jesus of Nazareth was born of the virgin Mary, completely human while at the same time fully divine (Col. 2:9). Not only did he never sin (Heb. 4:15) but he also completely obeyed and honored God as no person ever could (Matt. 3:17). Although he did not deserve judgment, he bore the penalty of sin that was rightly earned by sinful men while he hung on a Roman cross (2 Cor. 5:21) in order that our just consequence for our sin might be satistfied and our need for righteousness before God might be provided. He died on that cross as one final act of obedience (Rom. 5:8) and then rose from the grave three days later to demonstrate God's acceptance of his substitution for sinners (1 Cor. 15:4).
In order for this life and death of Christ to apply justly to the sinner, we all are under obligation to repent of our sinfulness and inclination to earn God's favor on our own (Is. 55:7; Luke 9:23). And we must turn from such sinfulness to embrace the glorious risen Christ with faith and trust (Rom. 10:9).
If you have any questions about this glorious message, or you would like to know more about what it is to be a true Christian, please contact us here. It would be our privilege to serve you in any way we can.