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What is the Gospel? Think about it for a second. Here are some answers I’m sure you came up with: “It’s the good news—it’s about Jesus saving us—the Gospel is Jesus dying on the cross—it’s that God loves us and has a plan for us.”
Know this, those are true statements, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is more than those statements. The Gospel proclaimed in the Bible is about four ideas.
The first idea is that God is the creator, and, thus, the judge of the world. If God created the world, then He is also the judge of the world to decide what is done in creation (Gen. 1 and Exodus 34:6-7).
Secondly, humanity was created by God, is subject to His judgment. If humankind has disobeyed Him then we deserve punishment, if obedience, then reward. If we are honest, we know that humanity has been disobedient to God in the sins we personally commit and through the first sin committed by Adam and Eve (Gen. 3).
Humanity, therefore, as a whole, deserves to be punished for disobedience (Romans 6:23). Thirdly, God loves humankind in such a way that He sent Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die on the cross to take away our punishment for sinning against God (John 3:16). Fourth, God’s love and forgiveness for sin are only found in faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from sin to trust in Jesus alone for salvation (Romans 3:22).
Having faith in Jesus means turning to Him and relying on Him alone for salvation. Repentance means turning away from sin, hating it, and doing our best to stop doing it (Acts 3:19). We cannot work enough, be a good enough person, or say enough prayers be in a right relationship with our creator. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our offense of the Holy Creator is sin, and His love, mercy and kindness to provide the sacrifice in Jesus Christ, if we will repent of sin and have faith in Him alone.
(Josh Landrum is the pastor of Knoxville Baptist Church. He can be reached at 823-4441.)