What is the Gospel?
Gospel means “good news”, but to have good news there also has to be bad news. All people have sinned against the Holy and Perfect God. He is the only God, being one God in three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). We all fall far short of meeting his standard — perfection.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
The result of our state as sinners and our sinful actions is Death, and ultimately, eternal torment in Hell
For the wages of sin is death… (Rom. 6:23a).
Our heart —who we are down to our core and our very thoughts— is evil and desperately sick
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure… (Jer. 17:9a).
Even on our best days, when we accomplish what we want, when we don’t commit a crime, and even show up to church on Sunday; all these things can do nothing to change who we are: sinners
Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil. (Jer. 13:23).
In fact, if our hearts haven’t changed and remain evil, then these outward deeds we do are hypocritical, which may look good to others, but are vile in the eyes of God
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isa. 64:6).
Read what God says in the Epistle to the church of Ephesus:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. (Eph. 2:1-3)
This is the Bad news: that we have sinned, that we are sinners, and we deserve eternal wrath in Hell. But the Gospel means good news, and such Good news it is!
God is righteous, but he also is merciful, and his love for us was so great that he made a way through his Son Jesus.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
God doesn’t demand us to “clean up our act”, or to try our hardest to earn a right standing with him, for it is impossible to do that. But God in love came for us, put on human flesh, and paid the penalty for our sins BEFORE we loved him.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)
Jesus, the son of God — God himself — lived on earth as 100% God and 100% man; he lived a life without sin and came for a specific purpose, to die as a ransom for many.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)
You see, we broke God’s law, leaving us guilty before the Judge of the universe, and because God is a good judge, justice must be served. But God, being rich in love paid our “bail”, taking our rightful punishment—God’s wrath in Hell— on himself at the Cross.
God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
Through Jesus, our sins are taken away and are placed on him, as if he committed the crime against God, and he then is punished for them.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God (Jesus), who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
And in return, we are given his righteousness, free for the first time to love and obey him, being born again with a new heart.
I (God) will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezek. 36:26-27)
This work of Christ, was confirmed when he rose from the dead after three days in the grave, proving he defeated sin and death and has the authority to give life eternal.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23b)
Therefore, all people are without excuse: all are commanded to come to Jesus and find in him the forgiveness of sins.
“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (Isa. 45:22)
To be saved is to no longer be spiritually dead with a wicked heart but to be given new life; to no longer have the wrath of God, but his Love; to no longer be an enemy but to be reconciled to God as a Son. All this comes to one as a gift of grace from God, through faith in Jesus Christ
He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16: 30-31a)
If you declare 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 profess your faith and are saved. (Rom. 10: 9-10)
Read what the Bible continues to say in the Epistles to the church of Ephesus:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2: 4-9)
All sin is forgivable in Jesus Christ, yet if you reject him, their remains no other way of salvation. You will be damned not for you many sins, but for refusing him as Savior, Lord and GOD. You are called to make a choice: Either you are to stay in rebellion against God, clinging to your sin, having Hell to pay; or you are to humble yourself before him and seek refuge in his mercy and love through Jesus Christ.
Here is a more in-depth presentation of the Gospel by pastor Ed Moore of North Shore Baptist Church.