The Biblical Message of Salvation
The word gospel means good news. It is more than news: it is good news. Good news is more than information: good news brings relief. And the gospel of Jesus Christ brings relief because it causes us to understand our separation from God and how Jesus has accomplished our reconciliation. The apostle Paul summarized the whole gospel in these simple words:
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… —1 Corinthians 15:3-4
To understand the gospel in its greater biblical context, we will briefly explain four major themes: 1. God is holy, 2. Mankind is sinful, 3. Jesus is the answer, 4. Mankind must repent and believe
God is Holy
God is holy. This means that God is wholly separate in his purity and the excellency of his perfect character. His character includes mercy, grace, love, and patience among other qualities. Every character trait of God is perfect, without flaw, in God alone. He cannot do wrong, he is perfect in justice, and he is unlimited in power. He sees all things, is present everywhere, and knows all things. He is holy.
The holy God of the bible created the entire universe and everything in it. He owns it and is Lord and King over it. When God created human beings, he provided everything on earth for their enjoyment of him. Mankind was lovingly created and placed in the garden for worship and obedience of their Creator. They were specially made in the Image of God to reflect his glory as they spread across the earth. They were to be a reflection of the holiness of God as created beings in his world. Among the trees of the first garden were the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God commanded the first man, Adam, not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for the consequence would ultimately be death. When God had finished his creation, he called it very good. The creation itself was a very good reflection of God’s perfect character.
Verses: Psalm 86:8, Matthew 28:19, Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 57:15, Revelation 4:8, Acts 17:31, Exodus 33:19, Romans 11:33-36, 1 John 4:10, Genesis 1:1&31, 2:17
Mankind is Sinful
Sin means rebelliousness or disobedience of God’s holy standard. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden and ate the fruit of the tree they were forbidden to eat, the consequences of sin were immediately upon them. Adam and Eve were tempted by the thought that they might be like God by eating the fruit. Mankind’s sin is pride, and the manifestation of that pride was evidenced by eating a simple piece of fruit. It does not matter how big or small rebellion is, to disobey God is to reject his perfect standard of holiness and to put ourselves in authority over the Creator of the universe. God’s standard is a perfect and eternal standard. That standard of God was forever marred in humanity; and, as a result, God has judged all humans because all humans live in the state of sin. All humans willingly sin; therefore, all humans suffer the consequences of death and separation from God. From Adam sin spread to every human conceived and born in the realm of a sin cursed creation. All humans are individually and collectively responsible for sin. The Bible further describes our hearts of sin as wicked and evil. The eternally shattering effects of sin mean that there is no amount of good works any human can complete to find right standing with God. None can meet God’s standard of perfection.
God has shown us our inability to reach his standard by the giving of a perfect law. Many know of the Ten Commandments that are a part of that law. God’s people, Israel, showed that this law is impossible for us to keep. Jesus Christ, however, perfectly fulfilled the law and has become in himself the perfect standard by which we are judged. Unless we can meet the perfect standard of Jesus, we remain under the eternal condemnation of sin. All humans will one day face God and, in our inability to meet his standard, face an eternity of his wrath in what the Bible calls Hell.
Verses: Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 3:23, Psalm 7:11, Hebrews 9:27, Ephesians 2:1-9, John 1:12-13, Isaiah 59:2, Galatians 3:10
Jesus is the Answer
Humans are without any capability of fixing their own problem of sin, and God is the one who has been offended by our rejection of his perfect standard. Even so, God has shown amazing grace to a fallen creation. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into this world taking on the form of a human being and did what no other human could do. Jesus was miraculously, immaculately conceived of a virgin and commenced life without the stigma of human sin. Jesus met the perfect standard of God and lived out a life of active obedience to the Father. In this way, Jesus became a perfect human sacrifice, meeting the penalty of death and suffering in our place. Jesus’ death on a Roman cross fully satisfied God’s wrath upon sin. Jesus’ payment is the only possible substitute for our own payment of an eternity in Hell. Jesus rose from the dead three days later and conquered both death and Hell on our behalf. There has not been any other acceptable payment outside this one historical event of the crucifixion of Christ, and there has not been any other conquering victory over death and Hell but in Christ’s resurrection alone.
Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, humans can be made right with God who has accepted Jesus’ payment on our behalf. Forgiveness of sin comes through Jesus Christ alone. There is no other name in Heaven or earth by which humans can be saved and reconciled with God. Jesus alone is the answer.
Verses: John 1, Philippians 2:5-10, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:1-11, Romans 5:19, 1 Corinthians 15:20-21, Romans 3:24-26, Colossians 2:13
Repent and Believe
The Bible says that Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our behalf is accepted by God and effected through faith (trusting Christ). The Scriptures say that we are to repent and believe. This means that faith itself is a turning away from sin as we turn to Christ in trust of his kingship in our lives and his work on the cross. It is not only a sorrow for our sin, but it is also a sorrow that leads to trusting Christ in obedience in all of our life. We cannot do anything in and of ourselves to be saved. It is not our act of faith that saves us, but it is trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone that reconciles us to God. We trust Christ for forgiveness. We trust Christ for mercy and grace. We trust Christ for eternal life. And we trust Christ for his gift of righteousness in place of our life of sin. The Bible tells us that Jesus died that all those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
How might you be saved? Look to the cross and trust Christ alone. Repent and believe!
Our eternal outcomes are entirely based on our trust in Jesus Christ in this life. Today you can respond to the good news of Jesus and be forgiven or remain under the condemnation of your sin. We urge you to know the forgiveness, mercy, and grace you can have in Jesus today.
Verses: Isaiah 55:6-7, Acts 3:19, Philippians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 5:15, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9
If you want to know more about Christ and salvation through him alone, we welcome you to ask for more information or come visit us. Our prayer is that you can know the forgiveness, mercy, love, and grace that is offered through Jesus.
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