What is the gospel? Quite literally translated, the word means “good news.” To understand why it is good, we need to grasp a few theological truths about God and about man.
THE GOSPEL BEGINS WITH GOD …
God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. God will not nor can He contradict His own nature. God is good.
“But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.” -Isaiah 5:16
Because He is good and He is just, he must deal with sin as it deserves. Sin, simply put, is any failure to measure up to what God requires, or any disobedience to his commands.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” -James 4:17
SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD …
All people have sinned against the holy, righteous, and just God. And God’s response is death. For sin is treason against our creator.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death…” -Romans 6:23a
God could not simply forgive the sins of man and still be just. Nor could God remain holy and fellowship with unholy people.
“The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty.” -Numbers 14:18a
WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?
God serves his own justice in Jesus Christ…
Justice had to be served and it was. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and God himself took on humanity. He came and lived in full obedience to the law of God. More than that, He then gave up His life as a sacrifice for those to whom God had given him. Justice was poured out in the fullest measure upon Jesus and in its place His people would receive His righteousness.
“It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” -Romans 3:26
OUR ONLY HOPE IS FOUND IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST ...
The Bible is clear. Our only path to forgiveness and salvation is to cast our lives at the foot of the cross and to cling to Jesus. We are called to repent of our sins and place our trust fully upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. That and that alone is the only way we can be right before our holy God and Father.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ” -John 4:6
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” -Acts 4:12
“Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” -Acts 2:37-38a
THE GOSPEL IS GOOD NEWS THAT LEADS TO NEW LIFE …
This is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You and I deserve death and rightly so. However, God sent His Son to die on the cross so that those who trust in Him by faith would be saved.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” -Acts 2:21
We can have confidence that this is a reality in our lives. The scriptures teach that those who trust in God will begin to grow and reflect the characteristics of God. We will not do this perfectly but are called to strive for it through the power of the Holy Spirit until the Lord comes again to make us new and to bring us home with him.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23
“Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” -Matthew 7:20
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:34-35
Rev. Aaron Suber