What Is the Gospel? Part 2
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."5
Yesterday we had noted that the Gospel is a message about God and, second, it is a message about sin.
Third, the gospel is a message about Jesus Christ. God is not only a God of absolute holiness, but also a God of perfect justice. Because of this, all sin has to be judged, the just sentence of which is spiritual and eternal death, which is not the cessation of one's existence but eternal separation from a holy God5—the creator and author of all love and life—in the place the Bible calls hell.
However, the gospel is also about how God is not only a God of absolute holiness and perfect justice but also a God of infinite love. Because of God's infinite love for us, he gave his own Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth in the form of a man and willingly died in our place on the cross of Calvary to pay the just penalty for all our sins. Because Jesus was without sin, he was the only one qualified to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. Had there been any other way to save mankind, Jesus wouldn't have had to die for us.
Fourth, and finally, the gospel is a summons to faith and repentance. The really good news is that God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life is available to all who will accept it. Here's how to do this:
1. We need to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved"6 states the Word of God.
2. We need to confess our sins to God and ask for his forgiveness. God's Word also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."7
3. We need to repent. That is, we need to turn from sinful and selfish ways to follow God and his ways. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news."8 That is, we need to turn from sinful and selfish ways and make a commitment of our will, with God's help, to follow God and his ways.
4. We need to receive Jesus as our Savior. God's Word says, "To all who received him [Christ], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."9 God's Word also said, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."10
Admitting and confessing our sins, believing that Jesus died to pay the just penalty for all our sins, inviting him into our lives as Lord and Savior, accepting God's forgiveness and turning from our sinful ways to live God's way is what makes us a real Christian. This is what godspell—God's good news is all about!
To be continued ...
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Savior and would like to do this today, the following prayer will help you to do this:
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and have fallen far short of your standard of holiness. Thank you for loving me so much that you gave your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place to pay the penalty and punishment for all my sin. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me for all my sins, and grant to me your gift of eternal life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, be sure to let us know and we will send you, without any charge, additional online articles to help you in your Christian life. You can do this online at: http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php
Note: If you need further help, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
5. Romans 6:23 (NKJV). 6. Acts 16:31 (NIV). 7. 1 John 1:9 (NIV). 8. Mark 1:15 (NIV). 9. John 1:12 (NIV). 10. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV).