What Is the Gospel?
"...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 6:23
The Gospel (or Good News) is the gift of salvation for the world through Jesus Christ: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The good news is that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures (God’s Holy Word), that he was buried, [and] that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). God did this through Christ Jesus “in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
To realize and appreciate the good news, one must first recognize and understand the bad news—the sinful and condemned state of mankind, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We are all under sin as Paul says that “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), and as Jesus said that “no one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). The wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23) and no one can escape the judgment of God by their own merit (Romans 2:3), but “[we] are storing up wrath for [ourselves] on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5). Jesus taught and warned about the reality of hell, referring to it as the unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43) and a place of eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). We can’t do anything to earn God’s grace, because even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Paul teaches us in Rom. 4:4 “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due”.
God desired to save us because of his deep and intimate love for each one of us so He sent Jesus to die for our sins, thus making peace by the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20). Paul teaches that “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). We find peace with God through faith in the name of Jesus (Romans 5:1) and if we are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1). That one act of righteousness on the cross that Jesus did for us leads to justification and life for all who believe (Rom. 5:18). God offers us the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, “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” (Eph. 2:8-9). When we believe in Jesus, we have the assurance and promise of eternal life: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). Jesus prayed to God on our behalf saying: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3).” To be able to be with Jesus forever—eternally abiding in the love of God—is indeed Good News!
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