The Gospel

When Christians refer to the gospel they are talking about the good news of how Jesus Christ makes it possible for sinful people to have fellowship with God. There are many facets to the truth of the gospel, but we have highlighted three essential components.

1. We all have a problem.

The Bible tells us that every one of us has a problem. We have all violated God’s standard of right and wrong – we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). God created Adam and Eve (the first people) morally perfect, but He also created them with the ability to choose to serve Him or to serve themselves. Adam and Eve rebelled against God and all of mankind was plunged into sin (Genesis 3). We have followed in the path of Adam and Eve, and every one of us has demonstrated our rebellion against God by violating His standard of right and wrong (Romans 5:12-14). We might not think that this is too serious, but as Creator of all there is, God has the right to judge us on the basis of our wrongdoing. God has established that the only just punishment for our sin is death (Romans 6:23). Physical death entered the world as the result of sin, but all of us face an eternity of death separated from God. Not only do we have this serious problem, but there is nothing that we can do to improve our situation or change God’s verdict. We stand condemned before God (Psalm 53:1-3).

2. God has provided a solution to our problem.

While we could not do anything to remove our sin-guilt, God, motivated by His great love for us, has intervened and provided a solution to our problem. God Himself, through Jesus Christ, became a man. Jesus came to the earth and did what we could not do. He lived His life perfectly following God’s standard of right and wrong (John 1). Jesus ministered to the needs of those around Him, and He taught them the importance of obtaining eternal life. Then the unexpected happened: Jesus was arrested on the basis of false accusations; he was mocked, beaten, and brutally hung to death on a cross (Matthew 26:47-27:50). By dying this horrific, undeserved death, Jesus took on Himself the sin of mankind and paid the penalty for that sin. He also offered to mankind the righteousness that He earned by His obedience so that we could be reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:21). This gift of salvation that Jesus Christ offers is provided solely on the basis of God’s grace, and not on what we have done (Ephesians 2:8). After being buried, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, forever proving His innocence (I Peter 1:21).

3. We have to apply the solution to our problem.

It may seem at this point that the sacrifice of Christ would result in the salvation of all men, but each person must claim God’s solution for their life personally. Jesus Christ accomplished all that was necessary for all people to be saved, but in order to become the recipient of that salvation, each individual must receive it (Romans 10:13). How then can we receive this salvation? Jesus said that we must repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). We must believe the truths of the gospel, and that belief must be so strong that it motivates us to turn away from our rebellion and turn to obedience to God. When we do this God’s Holy Spirit gives us a new life in Christ and we regain the fellowship with God that was lost in the Garden of Eden (Titus 3:5). We can now glorify God and we can enjoy all the benefits of being His children. This is how a sinful person is made right with God, and it truly is good news!

The Christian life is not easy and believers often fail, but God has promised that all those who have placed their faith in the gospel of Christ will continue in the faith until they are taken to meet Christ.