The most important thing for anyone to hear is the gospel, the good news of salvation, freely offered to sinful human beings like you and me. Here are four things about the gospel that we need to understand:
1. God Is Holy; We Are Not
There is a God, wholly perfect and holy¹, who created all things, including our parents, Adam and Eve. However, they both disobeyed God, and because of this, all humanity fell into sin and became separated from God. Still, God was merciful and promised that one day, a savior would come and save sinners like you and me.
2. We Deserve Only Judgment & Cannot Save Ourselves
God is a holy God, and hates sin, because sin is the radical opposite of all that he is. Sin is to go against His desire and purpose: this includes lying, cheating, murder, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and many others.
The bad news is that we are all sinners by nature and by choice². We sin because we are sinners, and no one is able to reach the sinless perfection God's standard demands. As such, no one is able to earn salvation³ - even our best efforts are still like filthy rags before God⁴. Because of this, all of us, without exception, deserve to die and go to hell, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…and the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23, 6:23) We not only lack the ability to save ourselves, but we also do not truly desire to submit to God: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.” (Romans 8:7)
We can never be good enough, and no amount of good deeds can make us acceptable before God.
3. The Good News: Jesus Came To Save Sinners
The good news presents is that God gives the solution: Jesus Himself, the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, who died on the cross for sinners like you and me. The apostle Paul says that: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)…“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Christ did not die for the deserving – for no one deserves mercy and forgiveness. Rather, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Jesus died in our place on that cross on Calvary, taking upon Himself the sins of His people and suffering the penalty they deserve. But He did not remain dead! According to His promise, He rose again on the third day⁵. He alone is the only way to God⁶.
4. We Must Repent of our Sins & Trust in Jesus for Salvation
The gospel declares that all who would repent of their sins and turn to Christ in faith, and trust Him as their Savior and Lord would find forgiveness for their sins⁷. There is no other savior and no other way for us to be saved.
Repentance is more than just remorse for sin; it means undergoing a “change of mind” with respect to something, leading to a change in actions. With respect to sin, it involves acknowledging sin for being a vile distortion of God’s will, and turning away from it. The sin we once loved, we are to hate (cf. Colossians 1:21, 3:5-10, 1 Peter 4:1-5, 1 John 3:4-10). With respect to God, it is turning from unbelief to belief: from not trusting God for salvation to relying completely on Him to save us⁸.
True repentance begins with seeing God as He is: holy and perfect and without blemish, and seeing ourselves as we truly are: sinful, unholy, rebellious and disobedient. Then it is agreeing with this assessment as true, and humbly acknowledging to God that we are sinners who cannot save ourselves. It is accepting that only through Christ can we find forgiveness. Then it is expressed in a resolution to obey God, not by our own strength or ability, but by the power that God grants.
Saving faith is more than just believing that the facts about the gospel is true, but is a wholehearted trust in Christ, believing that He died for our sins and rose from the dead, and accepting Him for all that He is: our only Savior and Lord⁹. ‘’ Imagine a man and a chair. The man hears the claim that the chair is strong enough to carry him. He hears the facts about the chair. Then, the man may examine at the claims (and the chair) and agree with them, but until he actually sits on the chair, he does not truly express his trust that the chair is indeed able to hold him. Saving faith is sitting on the chair, that is, resting and depending on the promise that Jesus Christ can indeed save you from your sin.
Hebrews calls faith “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), indicating that faith involves trust, not because you have received the promises already, but rather, because the one who promises is trustworthy. To have faith in God is to believe that what He promises are true, and that He is both able and willing to give what He has promised. This is the ground on which one can find complete assurance.
Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. In repentance, we realize that we are sinners, and that God hates our sin, and therefore we turn from away from sin. In believing, we realize our need for a Savior, and turn to Christ in faith, believing that He died on the cross for our sins and rose on the third day. We therefore trust Him as our savior and acknowledge Him as the lord of our lives.
God has promised that those who believe in Jesus will be saved (John 3:16, Acts 16:31 etc.), that through faith in Him we receive the promise (Romans 3:25).
And what is promised? God promises our justification, or the declaration of righteousness (Romans 3:26, Galatians 2:16), the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 10:46), eternal life (1 John 5:11-13), adoption into God’s family (John 1:12-13), and all the other benefits that come with salvation.
Those who repent and believe are forgiven, declared righteous before God, made children of God and receive eternal life¹⁰. They are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who seals them as God’s own¹¹. But for those who reject Christ remain under God’s wrath towards sin and sinners:
“And this is the testimony; that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)
We pray that you would take this message very seriously and consider what it says. We hope and pray and urge you: that you would turn to Christ in repentance and faith, and trust Him as your Lord and savior. If you desire more information, please message our page. It would be our pleasure to talk to you.
¹ Habakkuk 1:13, Romans 1:18-32
² Romans 3:10-18, 23
³ Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:16
⁴ Isaiah 64:6
⁵ 1 Corinthians 15:4, Matthew 28:1-9
⁶ John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:5
⁷ Acts 3:19, 16:31, 20:21
⁸ Mark 1:15, Acts 3:19, 20:21, 26:20, Romans 2:4, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:25
⁹ Acts 16:31, 20:21, Romans 10:9-10
¹⁰ 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12-13, 1 John 5:11-13
¹¹ Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30