Sunday, March 6, 2016

What Is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?

“In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Notice we are redeemed (bought) by the sacrificial blood of Jesus, and we are forgiven by His grace, not by our works, nor by any other religious system. Also, notice that the concept of redemption is that of ownership, we become God’s possession, like the bride is to the husband, we can be His.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

This is the gospel in a nutshell, the whole of Scripture in two verses. This is the point! God loves mankind so much that he sent Jesus to pay for our sins, and by His grace, through faith, we can be saved from the penalty of our sin. Jesus took our place, by paying for our sins on the cross. His payment was sufficient for the sins of the world. He must be the object of our faith. No saint can add to what Jesus has done, and no church can administer His merit. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone, he gives us His grace, all of it!

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

All means All! You, me, and the rest of mankind, from the beginning of creation until Jesus returns. We cannot meet God’s requirement for righteousness on our own. We need Christ’s righteousness to apply to us. That is what takes place when we put our faith and trust in Him alone.

“But unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

We must be willing to turn from sin, toward Christ and His righteousness. We can’t live in the darkness and in the light at the same time. We must choose.

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1Corinthians 3-4).

This is the fundamental doctrine of the Christian Faith. Notice, “according to the Scriptures.” This is referring to prophesy from the Old Testament prophets. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ was not an afterthought or accident. It was the plan of God since before creation. God was well aware of the Fall, Original Sin, my sin and your sin, and He loved us anyway, and put the plan of salvation in place.

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says,“Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Romans 10:9-11).

Believe in your heart, i.e., have faith & trust, this is “Heart-Belief.” I believe that the Saints are playing the Bears tonight (12/10/08), but that’s just on the surface of my mind. That information has not penetrated my heart. Unfortunately, many “Christians” have this kind of belief of Jesus. There is a difference between “I believe in Jesus,” and, “My faith is in Jesus.” It’s the element of trust that escapes many people. I believe that politicians exist, and will serve in our government, but my faith/trust/heart-belief is not in them. Make it known what you believe in your heart, this is not a private matter. Notice the last part, all of our sin is wiped out, there will be no shame as we stand before God, because our faith leads to righteousness.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

The thief can be seen as any one, or any system, that will say there is another way to eternal life with the Father. Jesus came to offer us an abundant life. He is sufficient.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Jesus is going to return, maybe sooner, maybe later, but He will come back for His people. Notice the Father’s house has many rooms. Those dwelling places are for His children, those who have received the righteousness of Jesus Christ by God’s grace through faith. Just imagine Jesus preparing a place in heaven for you and your family. Religion, without a personal relationship with Christ, only leads to emptiness and eternal death. Christ, and Christ alone, leads to the Father and eternal life.

You can receive God’s complete forgiveness of your sins right now. You can Know that you have been saved, and have confidence that you are part of the family of God; you don’t have to wait until you die to find out. The person and work of Jesus Christ is sufficient for our salvation, and it is by the authority of Scripture that we can know this. Trust Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Form this desire into a prayer to God, express you repentance of sin, your need of forgiveness, and your want of a personal relationship with God through Christ. There is no magic in a prayer, but if these words express what is in your heart, you are saved, and part of the family of God.