The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The word “gospel” refers to good news. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that through Jesus Christ God saves sinners from the condemnation that they deserve. The gospel is not about Jesus enhancing one’s self esteem, nor merely about getting help from God to get through a hard situation. The good news of Jesus is a lot better than these because it answers a problem that is far worse that low self esteem or feelings of discouragement.
The gospel addresses the problem of God’s wrath against us because of our sin. Right now the wrath of God is revealed from heaven (Romans 1:18). Further God has appointed a day when He will judge all men and women with perfect justice. And He has appointed a man to carry out His justice against sinner, and He has proven this by raising that man from the dead (Acts 17:36).
God created us to serve Him, to do His will and express His dominion over the world (Genesis 1:26-28), but we do not do this at all. We in fact are dead in our sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). We were created righteous and good, but we lost this when Adam and Eve sinned. Instead of exercising dominion we exercise autonomy from God. We live as we please. God describes us in the following way, “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one" (Romans 3:12). In God’s eyes each of us is in a state rebellion against Him.
What all of this means is that God is not happy with us. People usually object that denies God’s love. However, God is righteous and justice and we deserve his just wrath against our sins. We may know that he loves only be turning from our sins.
To be sure, this is not how most of we regard God or ourselves. Maybe you, like most people, regard yourself as basically good. Yes, you’ve done some things you regret, but you’ve lived a good life since then, and that makes up for any bad you have done. Consequently, God is not going to hold anything against you.
But one can see the danger of this thinking in this way by comparing yourself to the commandments of God. Take the first commandment, “You shall have no gods before me.” Question: “Has God always been first in your life?” Has your job ever been first? Your kids? Your girlfriend or boyfriend? Or your car? Or anything else?
The bible teaches that not one of us has kept any of God’s commandments. We are far more sinful that we like to think. We are at enmity with God. We hate God. We don’t want Him telling us what to do or how we are to live.
But we must humble ourselves and agree with God’s assessment of us. We all need to come to that place where we cry out, “God have mercy on me, a poor sinful being!” Otherwise we will have no need for God to save us. We will not see ourselves as under his wrath.
The good news is that God has undertaken to save His people from His coming wrath. He sent Jesus Christ, the God-man, into the world, before the day of wrath, so that we can be saved. When Jesus died on the cross, God was crediting our sins to him, and they were punish upon him. Further, God credits to us Jesus’s spotless record of holiness and obedience. In this way God is just, rightly punishing sins, and He justifies, showing grace and forgiveness toward us.
After he three days, God raise Jesus from the dead. Jesus is now the exalted Lord of heaven and earth calling upon men and women from all nations to come to him for mercy and redemption.
The question is how can we have this exchange applied to ourselves? How can we access God’s forgiveness?
The answer is that we must repent of our sins. Being sorry for what he have done, we should turn away from our sins, and turn to Christ. Trust in him, and what he did on the cross. And when we truly believe, God will forgive us all our sins, grant us peace and reconciliation with Him. You will no longer be guilty or stand condemned, because Jesus was condemned for you. You broke the law, but Jesus paid your fine.
So instead of minimizing your sins, take them seriously as God does. And instead of thinking your goodness makes up for your sins, flee to Christ for salvation and become one of his followers.
The Bible says that now is the day of salvation. The offer will close on the day when Jesus Christ comes. Repent and believe on Him while the offer is still being made.
If you would like to understand the gospel more in depth please contact us. Also you will helped greatly by carefully reading the Heidelberg Catechism which you can find here.