The message at the heart of Christianity is really quite simple. It is a message from the Bible about God and his Son Jesus. It is about life and death, and the choice that we all face. And it all starts with a loving creator God…
What is the Gospel?
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The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. It’s all about who he is and what he has done.
The gospel is the good news that Christ died as our Saviour and was raised as our King
The gospel is summarised well in 1 Corinthians 15:1-6
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, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-6
Firstly, we see that the gospel saves. But only saved we hold fast to it. We are to receive message, believe it, and pass on. If we change it, or move on from it, it does not matter whether we were baptised, or attended church, or were involved in ministry, or gave money to the church. It will all be vain. Only faith in the gospel can save.
Secondly, then we see that the gospel is of first importance. It is the central message of the Bible. It ought to be the central message of the church, shaping all of life and ministry. It should permeate every sermon and bible study. It should motivate every good work. It should be the foundation of our hope.
Thirdly, we see that the gospel is about Christ. “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah”. In English, it means “The Anointed One”. The Old Testament teaches that the Anointed one was God’s promised King who would rescue his people and rule eternally over all nations (cf. Psalm 2, 2 Samuel 7, Romans 1:4). The Christ who saves is not just our Saviour, brother or friend, but the King of our lives, who demands our obedience and submission.
Fourthly, the gospel is about the historical events of Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ died and was buried. But was then raised back to life and appeared to his disciples proving that he was alive.
Fifthly, the gospel is about the meaning of those historical events. Christ died for our sins. Sin is when we rebel against God’s rightful rule seeking to live our own way without him. It is not simply bad behaviour. These are symptoms of a deeper disease. We want to rule life our own way without God. The punishment for sin is death, and judgement after death (Hebrews 9:27). But Christ died for our sins. Although he was sinless, he took the punishment that we deserve for our rebellion against God in our place. He died, so that we may be forgiven and saved from God’s wrath.
Sixthly, the gospel is the message of all the Scriptures. Christ died and rose “according to the Scriptures”. All of the Scriptures look forward to the events of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. They help us to understand what it means that he is our Saviour and King. As Jesus himself taught:
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
~ Luke 24:25-27
Seventhly, this gospel message demands a response of repentance and faith (Mark 1:14-15). Faith means trust, reliance or dependence. If Jesus alone can save us, we must stop relying on our good works or other gods to save us and trust only in him as our Saviour. Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change in behaviour”. It’s a U-Turn. A decisive decision to stop going our own way, and to live for him as Lord of our life.
Finally, if we will turn to Christ, we will enjoy all the blessings of the gospel: salvation, eternal life, forgiveness of sins, adoption as God’s children, God’s indwelling presence by his Spirit, the knowledge of God’s love and more.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news that you will ever hear. It is the good news that Christ died as our Saviour and was raised as our King. Will you turn to Christ as your Saviour and King?