What Is the Gospel?
Through His Word, God has given the gospel of salvation so that everyone has the opportunity to know, understand, believe, and be justified before the Lord. Everyone that believes in Jesus Christ is immediately brought into and fitted into the household of God as a new member of His church, the body and bride of Christ.
The gospel as it is presented in Scripture is beautifully complex in its depth and fullness, yet is so simple that even a child is able to understand:
Peter uses but a few words to describe the gospel and salvation: Hear the word of the gospel (Acts 15:7) that Jesus Christ died in our place, taking our sin and the penalty of that sin upon Himself and then rose again; believe in Him(v 7); and God knowing their heart gave them the Holy Spirit (v 8), cleansing their hearts by faith (v 9). The outcome: those who believe are “saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus” (v 11). Simple isn’t it? The Gospel is the power of God to everyone that believes (Romans 1:16).
When expanding these few verses, it soon becomes apparent that the whole of the gospel encompasses all of Scripture.
- God created the heavens and the earth and created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, in His image and declared everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31.)
- God gave man conscience and spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11) which separates him from the common beast; man is able to know of God and make judgments to moral issues.
- Through Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the world (Genesis 3:6, 7; Romans 5:12a).
- “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and hence, physical and spiritual death came to all men (Romans 5:12.)
- All men are separated from God because of their sin for “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23.)
- God in His great love and mercy for all men, women, and children sent a Savior, His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 4:14, John 3:16.)
- Christ’s message of salvation: “Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16; 10:9)
- Jesus died on the cross, shedding His blood and taking the punishment for the sin of the world upon Himself, dying in our place. “. . . while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8; John 3:14.)
- Jesus Christ rose from the dead, conquering sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:3-4.), and He is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1).
- Being the perfect sacrifice without blemish, Christ alone can be man’s substitute in annulling sin’s power to separate from God one who believes in Christ (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19)
- God the Father draws all men to Himself (Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:4; John 6:44; 12:32) through creation (Romans 1:19-20), conscience (Romans 2:14-15; 7:18, 22; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:2), invitation (Luke 14:16-24). Those who seek God, will find (Jeremiah 29:14; Matthew 7:7-8)
- Christ freely offers salvation, forgiveness of our sin, and eternal life to every man who repents and believes in Him.
- Repenting is recognizing and acknowledging ones’ sin and need for Christ, and turning from sin and to Christ (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3, 5; Luke 15:7, 10; John 6:45; Acts 20:21; Corinthians 7:10; James 4:10).
- When the heart is prepared for Christ and recognizes the need for forgiveness, then as Paul told the jailer “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31.) And as Christ Himself said: “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15-16; Mark 1:15; John 6:40)
- “. . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
- Salvation cannot be earned by any of our works, church attendance, baptism, etc. It is Christ’s work not ours. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9.)
Belief in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is what is necessary to bring you from a position of lostness to one of salvation . . . from being unrighteous to being righteous before God.
At the point of repenting from your sin and truly believing in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven your sin and saved—saved from the penalty of sin and the wrath and judgment of God (Romans 5:9)—being born again by the Holy Spirit, receiving eternal life, becoming a child of God, and a member of Christ’s church.
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together . . . but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.“ Hebrews 10:23-25
“. . . speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16