THE GOSPEL: ANSWERED IN 8 QUESTIONS
The word “Gospel” means “Good News.” But before we can understand why it is “Good News”, we must understand the “Bad News” of our sin. And in order to understand our sin, we need to know God. Since God has revealed to us who He is in His Word, the Bible, we will use the Bible to answer all of these questions. Let’s start with the first question…
1. Who is God?
The Bible says God is the Creator of everything and everything is His (Gen 1:1; Heb 11:3; Ps 24:1; Ezek 18:4). His kingdom is eternal and he will always lovingly rule his people as King (Dan 6:26). He always does what is right and good (Deut 32:4). Therefore, He is worthy of all glory, honor, and power (Rev 4:11).
2. How did people once relate to God?
People are the pinnacle of God's creation because we were created in God's image and likeness (Gen. 1:27). The first people, Adam and Eve, once enjoyed perfect fellowship with God. They walked with Him, talked with Him, and worshipped Him as their Creator and Lord (Gen 1-2). There was no sin, no sickness, no death—only the goodness of God’s creation and a right relationship with Him.
3. How did people break fellowship with God?
Adam and Eve broke fellowship with God by disobeying Him (Gen 3). They rebelled against Him and so do we. The Bible calls this sin and says that everyone is guilty of it, including you and me (Rom 3:23; 5:12-13). This is the "Bad News." God created us to live for Him (2 Cor 5:15), but the reality is we don’t seek God or live for Him (Rom 3:9-18, 23). We live for ourselves, our own desires, and what pleases us (Prov 14:12; Isa 53:6; Rom 2:8). We prefer to be in charge of our own happiness and destiny. As Jesus said, we are slaves to our sinful desires (John 8:34).
4. What is God's response to our sin and rebellion?
Because God is holy, perfect, and good, He won't fellowship with sinful creatures like us (Isa 59:2). Therefore, He promises to punish us for our sin (Gen 2:17). The punishment is death and an eternity in hell, apart from Him (Rom 6:23; Heb 9:27).
5. Who can save us from our sin and God's punishment?
The Good News of the Gospel is that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus the Christ (John 3:16), to save sinners from his punishment and wrath (1 Tim 1:15; Rom 5:9). Jesus did this by willingly offering himself as a substitute in our place (Eph 5:2). And as our substitute, the punishment of death meant for us, was instead cast upon Jesus (Isa 53:3-4). In other words, Jesus the righteous and sinless one died for us—unrighteous sinners (1 Peter 3:18). He was punished so that we wouldn't have to endure God's punishment (Rom 5:8-9). This selfless act of Jesus paid the penalty and debt of our sin (Col 2:14). Moreover, after dying on the cross, God raised Jesus from the dead and now He reigns as Lord over all (1 Cor 15:3-5; Rom 14:9). He is the living and reigning Savior (Phil 2:9-11). What Jesus did for us is the Good News of the Gospel!
6. How should we respond to what God has done for us through Jesus?
We should respond in faith to what Jesus did for us by his death and resurrection. Faith means that we trust God at His Word when he says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). We can’t work or do enough good things to earn God’s favor or salvation; it is purely by faith (Eph 2:8-9). Faith means that we trust in Christ alone for our salvation (Acts 4:12). Not in ourselves, our good works, or in other gods or religions: It is only by trusting in Jesus. And in trusting in Jesus, we turn away from our selfish sins. This is what the Bible calls repentance. We repent when we turn from our sinful desires—from such things as idols, personal fame, lust, and wealth—and turn to Christ (1 Thess 1:9). We repent from living for ourselves and instead live for Jesus by faith in Jesus (2 Cor 15:5). When we repent of our sins and are united to Christ by faith, God does the following for us:
- Forgives our sins (Eph 1:7)
- Reconciles us to Himself (2 Cor 5:18)
- Grants us an eternal life of fellowship with Him (Rom 6:23; 1 John 1:23)
- Adopts us into His family (Rom 8:15)
- Makes us a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
- Unites us to Christ (Rom. 6:5)
- His Holy Spirit dwells within us to make us more like Him (Rom 8)
- And many, many other wonderful things!
7. What happens if we reject the Gospel?
Scripture is clear: "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). God the Father promises that Jesus will one day return to punish sinners, once and for all (2 Thess. 1:7-10). Choosing to follow Jesus is a choice of life or death (John 5:24).
8. And finally the question we are eager to ask you?
Are you ready to repent of your sins and to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? Are you ready to follow Him in faith for the rest of your life? It is the biggest decision you'll ever make! Make sure you understand the Gospel. We'd be glad to discuss this more with you. Send us an email.
The Gospel is the Good News that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the forgiveness of our sins, raised Him from dead, and now he reigns as LORD over all, able to save those who repent and believe in Him, thus restoring eternal fellowship with God, while condemning those who sin to eternal punishment.
Click here for a PDF version.