“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that 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 15:1–4
What is the Gospel?
The word gospel simply means “good news.” The central message of the Bible is the gospel, or good news about how God brings rebellious mankind into harmony with Himself through His Son Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–4, Paul provides the most succinct summary of the gospel: the man Jesus is also God, or Christ, and died on a cross in our place, paying the penalty for our sins; three days later He rose to conquer sin and death and gives the gift of salvation to all who turn from sin and self and trust in Him alone for eternal life.
At Calvary, we often share the good news of the Gospel by making these 5 points…
1. THE CHARACTER OF GOD (Rom 1:1-17, Isaiah 43:6-7)
- GOD is the just and gracious Creator of all things.
- Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
- HE IS THE RULER – We must realize God is the Ruler, the King and we belong to Him, are accountable to Him, and are created to glorify Him.
2. THE SINFULNESS OF MAN (Rom 3:10-12, 23)
- MANKIND is created by God, but corrupted by sin.
- Romans 3:10-11, 23 “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- WE ARE REBELS – We must admit our rebellion, be honest with God about our sinfullness, and be willing to turn from it.
3. THE SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST (Rom 3:24, 6:23)
- JESUS Christ is God in the flesh. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and reconcile us to God.
- 1Peter 3:18 ” For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God,”
- WE NEED RESCUE – We must recognize that we are helpless to be reconciled with God apart from Jesus. He alone can rescue from sin & death.
4. THE NECESSITY OF FAITH (Rom 5:1-2, Jn 14:6)
- FAITH in Jesus and repentance from sin is the required response. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, apart from works.
- John 3:36 “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.”
- WE MUST RESPOND – Faith that leads to salvation involves turning from sin and self-sufficiency (repentance) and turning to Jesus, to trust Him alone, and confess Him as Savior and Lord. Our so-called “good deeds” do not earn us “credit” with God.
5. THE URGENCY OF ETERNITY (Rom 10:9-13)
- Eternity depends on the response of each person to Jesus.
- Hebrews 9:27-28 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
- JESUS WILL RETURN – The gospel is important because eternity is forever and our response to Jesus and the gospel determines where we will spend forever. We will each face God soon and we must cry out to God to be made right with Him, through Christ, today.
Reminder… The gift of forgiveness and eternally restored relationship with God is not something that we can “earn” or deserve, but rather is available to us by grace alone and accepted by faith alone (Eph 2:8-9) in Christ alone. Also, in this life believers are promised trials, temptations, and persecution (2 Tim 3:12). Christians don’t come to Jesus for an easy life, we come to Him to be made right with God, for forgiveness and eternal life. We know God loves us NOT because life becomes easier, BUT because He demonstrated that love for us on the cross.
How will I respond?… I can continue to reject God as my Ruler, put myself on the “throne” of my life and do things MY WAY resulting in condemnation, death and judgment. OR I can submit to Jesus as my Ruler and trust Him as my Savior resulting in forgiveness and eternal life. The question is, which way do I want to live? – Me on the throne, or Jesus on the throne?
If you want to become a follower of Jesus Christ and live for Him…
- Admit that you have sinned against God, repent and ask Him for forgiveness.
- Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God Who died in your place on the cross, rose from the dead, and will return to establish His eternal Kingdom.
- Commit my life following Jesus.
- Get a Bible and read it everyday (contact us if you need a bible)
- Spend time daily talking to God in prayer
- Find a local church that loves Jesus and His Word.
- Commit to the mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the whole world. Part of following Jesus is helping other people follow Jesus!
- Click here for some helpful “Next Steps”…
The great reformer Martin Luther rightly said that, as sinners, we are prone to pursue a relationship with God in one of two ways. The first is religion and the second is the gospel. The two are antithetical in every way. At Calvary we don’t care much for religion, but we love the gospel. Religion says that if we obey God He will love us. The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.
Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people. The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.
Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good moral person. The gospel says that you should trust in the perfectly sinless life of Jesus because He alone is the only good and truly moral person who will ever live.
The goal of religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power, and control. The goal of the gospel is not the gifts God gives, but rather God as the gift given to us by grace.
Religion is about what I have to do. The gospel is about what I get to do. Religion sees hardship in life as punishment from God. The gospel sees hardship in life as sanctifying affliction that reminds us of Jesus’ sufferings and is used by God in love to make us more like Jesus. Religion is about me. The gospel is about Jesus.
Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God. The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.
Religion ends in either pride (because I think I am better than other people) or despair (because I continually fall short of God’s commands). The gospel ends in humble and confident joy because of the power of Jesus at work for me, in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me.
What is the Gospel? from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.
Below are a couple other presentations of the message of the Gospel that we believe are helpful…