Perhaps you have overheard some Christians talking about "the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and are wondering what that means. Below is a brief explanation of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is and how you can respond to this life changing message. Even if you are a professed believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, may the below explanation cause you to rejoice in the Sovereign God who has saved your soul!
The message of the Gospel is of "first importance" (1 Corinthians 15:3) according to the apostle Paul, so it is a message that is extremely important. The following explanation is adapted from Greg Gilbert's book entitled What is the Gospel?
God is the Holy and Righteous Creator
The Word of God is clear that God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1; Psalm 33:6). Furthermore, the Scriptures teach us that man was created in the image of God and therefore accountable to Him in all things (Genesis 1:26-28). The Scriptures are clear that our God is a Creator who is marked by both holiness and righteousness and therefore cannot stand before sin and evil (Exodus 34:7; Psalm 11:7; Habakkuk 1:13).
Man is sinful and in need of redemption
The Scriptures also teach us that although man is created in the image of God, that he rebelled against his Holy Creator and thus was left spiritually dead and in need of salvation. It was not just Adam and Eve who sinned in the Garden, nut we too have inherited a sinful nature from our first earthly parents (Romans 5:12-21). This is what the apostle Paul means when he says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It is our sin that separates un from the Righteous and Holy God of the universe (Isaiah 59:2). Therefore, mans chief need in life is salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Jesus Christ died in the place of sinners
The Bible is clear that man cannot save himself! Because of this, man is in desperate need of a Savior. Praise be to God that He sent His Son to die on the cross in the place of sinners (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 4:10). The reason He was qualified to go to the cross was because Scripture teaches that He lived a sinless life (John 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15). Furthermore, the Bible teaches that Jesus was God in human flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 1:15; 2:9). Jesus Himself knew that this was the very purpose He was sent to this earth because we find Him saying in Mark's gospel, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (cf. John 15:13).The New Testament very clearly teaches that Jesus died a historical death on the cross in the place of sinners and bore their penalty and the wrath of God in their place, so that they might have enternal life (Matthew 27:32-56; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10)! Because of His atoning death, those who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross, have been forgiven, justified, and redeemed. Praise be to God for His Sovereign Grace!
Jesus rose victoriously from the grave
The Word of God also teaches us that Jesus did not stay dead but on the third day He rose bodily from the grave (Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is what makes "The Good News" so glorious. This resurrection was a historical and bodily resurrection and when He rose from the grave, Jesus conquered sin and death. The resurrection is the chief defense (apologetic) of the Christian faith! Jesus now sits on the right hand of God and reigns with Him and lives to intercede for His people (Romans 8:33-34).
Our response-repentance and faith
After hearing about the wonderful news of the Gospel, one must repent and place faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. This response is taught in many places in the Scriptures (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:39; 3:19). Repentance means that someone turns away from his or her sin, hating and despising it because Christ is so much more glorious! Repentance involves a resolving, with the help of God's grace, to continue to hate sin and run to Christ. Faith speaks of a reliance that we have on Christ and His finished work on the cross for sinners. This reliance means that we look to nothing in ourselves for salvation but only to the merits of Christ. I love this quote from Greg Gilbert, when he says faith is "...a rock-solid, truth-grounded, promise founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from sin." This is the kind of faith that truly changes lives!
The Gospel is truly glorious and life changing news!
If you have read this and have further questions please contact Pastor Mike.