what is the gospel? do you understand it? are you really sure?

Posted: March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The video above is highly recommended before you read further. Context & understanding matters.

The gospel is the singularly most important communication of God to man.  In Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God’s love and sacrifice that saves us from God’s righteous judgement upon sinners.

If you are not a Christian and want to know how to be forgiven of your sins and follow Jesus as your saviour, or are just curious to know what the Christian gospel is, then this is for you.

The Bible tells us what the gospel is in 1 Cor. 15:1-4,

Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which 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 according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

The Bible says that we are all sinners (Rom. 3:23).  This means that we have all offended God.  We have all broken His law & fall short of His standard of righteousness (more on this below).  Therefore, we are guilty of having sinned.  Because of this, we are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2), are dead in our sins (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3), cannot please God (Rom. 3:10-11), and will suffer damnation (2 Thess. 1:9).  The only way to escape this judgement is by receiving Christ, by trusting in what Jesus did on the cross (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet. 2:24).

Jesus, who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 8:58; Col. 2:9), bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24).  He died in our place.  He paid the penalty of breaking the Law of God that should have fallen upon us.  He satisfied the law of God the Father by dying on the cross.

It is only through Jesus that we can escape the penalty that God will execute upon all who have broken his holy and perfect law. Consider that God’s Law is really perfect.  His judgements are really righteous.  Do you want to be saved from the righteous judgement of God?  If so, you must realize that you have sinned against God, and are under his judgement.  You must look to Jesus who died on the cross and trust what he did in order for you to be forgiven of your sentence and be saved from the judgement of God.  Consider also that the cross is where God’s perfect love and perfect judgement meets.  God cannot just forgive since there is a price to be paid – God has declared that is so & that cannot be changed.  God, Himself, however paid the price, though Jesus, His eternal Son, for you.  You cannot add any human works to what Jesus has done, but you cannot continue to live in wilful sin from this point on. You need to consider the truth claims made here & evaluate that for yourself – not if the message sounds ‘nice’ or not.  Truth is all that matters in the end. For help in that regard, ministries like Reasonable Faith might help. Don’t think that Christianity is only for people that don’t deeply consider the choices they make in life – especially where it comes to such a drastic decision as trusting & giving your life to Jesus – if anyone takes a decision like that lightly he/she surely doesn’t understand the personal impact or cannot be too serious about the personal cost involved.

Count the Cost

Jesus said, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?”  (Luke 14:28). Jesus tells us to count the cost.  The cost of becoming a Christian can be quite high sometimes.  In some parts of the world it can cost you your life.  In the western world, it is not really dangerous, but that very likely produced a ‘flaky Christianity-lookalike’ in recent years – which is dangerous & does damage to the gospel if those that carry the name (i.e. they seemingly associate themselves with Jesus) don’t live according to His way.  Nevertheless, if you commit your life to Jesus, God will start to work in your heart and in your life to change you and make you more like Him.  Often this can be difficult, but this is what it means to become a Christian – a follower of Christ (‘Christ’ meaning ‘Messiah’) – to have God work in your life, through His Holy Spirit and to continue to work in your life after you have been saved to, every day more fully reflect the glory of God that we, as His representatives on earth are supposed to do.

Receive Jesus (aka Yeshua, the Messiah, the Deliverer of Israel & the World)

If you desire to give your life to Jesus as your Lord & source of life & deliverance we offer the following prayer as an example.  It is not a formula, but it is a representation of what it means to trust in Him. Read it, change it slightly to make it your own words and only pray it if you mean it.

“Lord Jesus. I come to you and confess that I am a sinner, that I have lied, thought evil in my heart, and broken your word.  Please forgive me of my sins.  I trust in what you have done on the cross and I receive you.  Please cleanse me of my sin and be the Lord of my life – take over the control of my live according to your will, not mine, from this point on.  Give me the strength to persist & hold me close to You from this day onwards.  I trust You completely for the forgiveness of my sins.  Lord Jesus, please save me.”

If you’ve prayed a prayer like this with sincerity, you have just started your walk of the rest of your life as part of the family of God!  Now tell others about your commitment to Jesus.  If you find it too hard to do, be somewhat suspicious of your commitment & keep at it until you shared it with several people – even if it takes you weeks or longer to do.  The Bible says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10).

Examine Yourself!

If you think you are saved, and this post is not for you, that you have been a Christian for a long time, …what does it mean to be a Christian? …and if you think you know, it would be best that you examine yourself, and be sure.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?2 Corinthians 13:5

________________________

List of some scriptures referenced above:

  • Isaiah 59:2, “Your sins have caused a separation between you and your God….”
  • John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  • John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
  • John 14:6, “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
  • Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
  • Romans 3:10-11, “as it is written,’ There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God…’”
  • Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
  • Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Romans 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  • Ephesians 2:3, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
  • Colossians 2:9, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”
  • 2 Thess. 1:9, “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,”
  • 1 Pet. 2:24, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
Comments

Want to add your perspective?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s