What is the Gospel?
So glad you asked! Simply put, the gospel is the incredible news that God's forgiveness and favor have been won by Jesus Christ through his death for sin on our behalf. While the full story of the gospel found in the Bible spans 66 books and is written by dozens of authors on multiple continents over a thousand years, the central story has four main elements:
A Holy God - The fundamental reality of the universe is God. He was before all things and created all things and now holds all things together. God, as perfectly righteous, all-powerful, and infintely good made everything in the universe to reflect and display his glory.
A Sinful Man - Mankind, the pinnacle of God's creation, was created free from any sin or imperfection. He enjoyed perfect communion with God as a sinless son of His heavenly Father. However, mankind chose to believe the lie that God was withholding something good from him and so he rejected God's rule and chose to go his own way. This rebellion destroyed his perfect relationship with his Heavenly Father and introduced sin and death into a world that has never recovered. All the pain, sickness, misery, evil, and death that are now a part of our world are a mere symptom of man's underlying issue - sin, and the wrath of God it incurred.
A Perfect Savior - Although no human had ever lived a life worthy of God's love and forgiveness, God continued to pursue his people. He taught them what he demanded of his people through His Law (perfection) as well as what their sins demanded through the OT sacrificial system (innocent blood). God's pursuit of his people, as well as his righteous standards, and mankind's need for a blood sacrifice all collided in the person of Jesus Christ, who was both fully God and fully man. Jesus Christ came to live the life we couldn't live (of perfection) and pay the price we couldn't pay (innocent blood) so that we could be with Him forever.
A Humble Response - Jesus came declaring the message, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." What he was (and is) saying is that absolute forgiveness and cleansing is available to any who will turn from their own sinful path and follow this crucified and risen savior. All we need to do is repent (turn) from our sinful rebellion against God and believe that He can and will save all who put their hope and trust in him. And God's promise to us is that, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead then you will be saved."
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