If we are to be known for one thing,
we want it to be the Gospel
What is the Gospel?
The Gospel is “good news.” Yet, like most good news, the Gospel exists because of bad news.
What’s the bad news?
The bad news is that humanity, collectively and individually, is broken and we can’t fix ourselves. No amount of good deeds, teaching, or accomplishments can make us better or rescue us from this brokenness. Worst yet, this brokenness expresses itself in wrongdoing, disobedience and rejection towards a holy, loving and just God who created us. The Bible calls this sin. Because God is perfectly holy, He cannot stand the imperfection of sin and must be separate from us. And because he is perfectly just, he must punish sin with death because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
So, what’s the good news?
The good news is that God is also perfectly loving and wants to be in intimate relationship with us, his beloved creation. Despite His grief and disgust over our sin, His love initiated a rescue plan to save us from his rightful punishment and unite us back to him. He did this by becoming a human being, Jesus Christ. Jesus never sinned, and by doing so, lived the righteous and pleasing life God intended for all of us.
Furthermore, Jesus took upon Himself the full punishment for all of humanity’s sin by dying on a cross. He, as a human being, experienced not only physical death, but spiritual death--total separation from God. In this great exchange, Jesus willingly took all the wrath intended for us and gave to us His righteousness. We are therefore free from any condemnation from God because Jesus paid the full debt of sin and gave us credit for the perfect life He lived. Those who believe in Jesus’ work on the cross are now righteous in God’s eyes and have a restored relationship with Him. We are no longer his enemies, but His children.
It doesn’t end there! Jesus rose from the dead, showing his victory over sin and death, and giving us the hope of resurrection after we die unto eternal life. On top of all this, God gives us the Holy Spirit, who changes and transforms us to live a life of righteousness, love and grace befitting our status as God’s children, while empowering us to serve a hurting world.
Where do you go from here?
All Jesus did is yours as a gift (see Romans 6:23 again). It is all grace—undeserved favor. And all you need to do is receive it by choosing to follow Jesus: Believe in Him, accept what He did for you, repent from your sin and recognize Him as Lord and Savior of your life. As the Bible says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
You’ve received the gift of Jesus, now what?
When a person follows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he or she is no longer the same. He or she is now God’s child, spiritually reborn, and a member of Christ’s Body, the Church. The Bible teaches that the blessings of God are experienced primarily in and through the community of the Church. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for a believer to join a local church. It is in the Spirit-filled activities of shared life, servanthood, prayer, the study of the Bible (which is God’s word), and worship in a church, as well as individually, that a believer participates, grows and becomes all Jesus has saved him or her to be.