What is the gospel?
The word “gospel” comes from a Greek word that means “good news.” What is the good news of Christianity? According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, the good news of Christianity is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that Christ was buried, and that Christ rose from the dead the third day and was seen by a multitude of people.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:12 (NKJV)
Why is this good news?
Because of who God is and because of what we are. God is holy (distinct from us and without sin) and just (He requires holiness and righteousness from anyone who desires to be in a right relationship with Him), and we are unholy (sinners by nature and by choice) and deserving of God’s righteous anger (1 Peter 1; Romans 1-3). This means that, apart from Christ, every person is separated from God due to their sin (Isaiah 59:2) and will pay the price for their sin: death (Romans 6:23). Further, none of us are able to earn or achieve a right relationship with God (Galatians 2; Ephesians 2).
Thankfully, Jesus Christ intervened on our behalf. Jesus, who is God, left heaven and came to earth to pay the death penalty for sin. He lived a sinless life and offered Himself as a perfect substitute, dying for our sins and in our place so that we might be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life. His death satisfied the righteous demands of God and made it possible for sinners to be declared righteous and enter into a right relationship with God. Three days after His death, Jesus rose from the grave in victory over sin, death, and Satan. His resurrection assures His followers that they too will triumph over sin, death, and Satan!
How should a person respond to the good news of Jesus Christ?
Repentance and faith. First, we must repent. To repent means to change the way you think about God, sin, and yourself. It means to change the way you think about God, moving from open rebellion to humble submission. It means to change the way you think about sin, moving from viewing sin as something to be desired to viewing sin as something that destroys your relationship with God and with others. It means to change the way you think about yourself, moving from seeking to control your life to willingly surrendering your life to Jesus Christ.
Second, we must exercise faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Genuine faith includes knowledge (an understanding of the facts), assent (believing the facts are true), and trust (resolving to rely on the truth for life). Exercising saving faith means knowing the facts of Jesus Christ (He is God, He died for our sins, He rose from the dead, and He offers forgiveness, a transformed life, and eternal life to those who trust Him), believing those facts are true, and trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for forgiveness, change, and eternal life.
What is the impact of the good news of Jesus Christ?
Those who turn from their sin (repent) and trust Jesus Christ alone for salvation (faith) become new creatures (2 Corinthians). Their life in the present is impacted, not just their future destination. Saving grace does not simply forgive our sins, it transforms our life! Those who trust Christ seek to forsake sin, serve God, love others, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus changes everything!