Heritage Bible Church, Port Lavaca, TX
Heritage Bible Church
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

What is The Gospel?

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

The word gospel is from the Greek word euaggelion which means "good news"!  We see this word 93 times in the BIble and only in the New Testament. Broadly speaking, the gospel is, all of Scripture; more narowly, it is the good news conderning the way of salvation, which is only through Christ Jesus.

Christianity, true Christianity, is the only way of salvation that is different from all of the rest.  Every other religion has some system of works, or in the case of false “Christian religions,” works added to Christ’s work on the cross, whereby you are saved.  But the Bible tells us that, if you think you have to do any work to be saved, then you are completely lost and headed for an eternal Hell. Romans 3:20 tells us, by the works of the Law none of mankind will be justified in His sight”. Christianity is the only one that says, There is no righteous person, not even one; There is no one who understands, There is no one who seeks out God; They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, There is not even one.” (Romans 3:11-12).  The Old Testament Law was a measuring stick, and sin is anything that falls short of “perfect” according to the standard of that Law. The righteous requirement of the Law is so stringent that no human being could possibly follow it perfectly, in letter or in spirit. we are all in the same spiritual boat—we have sinned, and the punishment for sin is death, i.e. separation from God, the source of life (Romans 3:23).  And on top of all that, Romans 3:23, says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

That's some pretty disturbing news... not good at all because Romans 6:23 tells us even more disturbing news, "For the wages of sin is death."  Yes, what you have earned (wages), by way of a penalty, is death, eternal death. Also, the Law established the fact that cleansing from sin can only happen through the bloody sacrifice of an innocent life (Hebrews 9:22). So, you may be wondering, why is this good news?

Well, the key to understanding how the gospel is good news lies in the second half of Romans 6:23, which says, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   The penalty for our sin must be paid for, and in order for us to go to heaven, and be with God, someone innocent must pay that penalty.  The gospel is good news because Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled the Law’s righteous requirement as He was innocent and able to pay our penalty (Romans 8:3-4; Hebrews 10:5-10). 

The gospel also involves Jesus’ resurrection on the third day. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).  Jesus conquered sin and death paying sin’s penalty and the fact that He offers to share that victory with us is the greatest news of all (John 14:19).

The different parts of the gospel are stated in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, a key passage concerning the good news of God: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living.”  The Gospel is a divine message of utmost importance.  Death could not hold Him down which proved He could defeat death for us, rising again on the third day (proved by the eyewitnesses), which fulfilled the Scriptures.


The bold message of the gospel is something we are not ashamed of proclaiming. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).  Its message is powerful, because it is God’s good news. It is the only message that can truly change the human heart. This universal message, for both Jews and Gentiles is received by faith; salvation is the gift of God, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The gospel is the good news that God loves the world enough to give His only Son to die for our sin. The gospel is good news because our salvation, and eternal home in heaven are guaranteed in Christ (John 14:1-4). “He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

The gospel is good news because of the fact that we cannot earn our salvation which means the work of redemption and justification is complete, it was finished on the cross (John 19:30). Jesus is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2). The gospel is the good news that we, who were once enemies of God, have been made right with God and adopted into His family (Romans 5:10; John 1:12). “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). The gospel is the good news that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

To reject the gospel is to face the bad news head on with no hope in sight. Condemnation before God is the result of a lack of faith in the Son of God. Jesus is God’s only provision for salvation. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:17-18). God has given a hopeless world some very good news: the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

And for us to be saved, we must simply believe.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.  We simply believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and nothing else!
 

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN

Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a particular religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced and completely believe what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation. Consider the following truths found in Scripture.

God Is Sovereign Creator

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him. The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

God Is Holy

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Mankind Is Sinful

According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. (Romans 3:10-12).

Sin Demands a Penalty 

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.

Jesus Is Lord and Savior

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (Colossians 1:16). Therefore He owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship. Romans 10:9 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.” Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice and Christ’s perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).

The Character of Saving Faith

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3,5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and obedience to Him (1 John 2:3). It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).