What is the Gospel?


Jesus carrying Cross

The Gospel is the message of God saving man from sin (wrong doing). God sent His Son, Jesus, to save mankind from the acts of sin and the result of sin. The Gospel shows the purpose of man, the fall of man from that purpose, and the redemption of man back to that purpose. Every single one of us was created with an intent, but when man sinned that intent was distorted and twisted. The Gospel is Jesus Christ bringing man back to his or her original value. It is God Almighty ransoming man with His blood.

God’s Creation

Our purpose is found in creation, when God created mankind. Man’s purpose is primarily two-fold. First, man is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), in His divine nature, which could be summed up in two words: holiness (Isaiah 6:3) and love (1 John 4:8). Mankind was called to bear His image over the whole earth (Genesis 1:28). Man’s second purpose is to have a relationship with God, to know Him and be close with Him.

During God’s creation of the earth, He created a Garden that man was to rule over. In that Garden He made two specific trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s important to note that God’s creation of the earth, the creatures, and mankind, was good. There was nothing imperfect with God’s creation. God gave everything on the earth to Adam and Eve except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He commanded them not to eat (Genesis 2:16).

Many have asked the question “why did God create a tree that Adam and Eve could not eat?”. The answer is simple: without an option to disobey God and not follow Him, there will be no free will. For example, I know my wife loves me because she freely chooses to stay married to me. But if she is somehow forced to be married to me there is no way of knowing that she truly loves me. So it is with God. He desires a love relationship with us. There is no love without freewill because love must be freely chosen.

The Problem

The Bible says “all men have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23). There are two things to note in this verse. One, which we already covered in the section above, is we were originally created for God’s Glory (His image). And two, which we have not covered, is mans fall from that image.

Most of us have probably already heard the story before. God’s most prized creation, Adam and Eve, were enticed by the devil and disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6). When they disobeyed God that was an act of sin. When they listened to the devil rather than God everything they were created for flipped. As soon as they partook of that tree, a new nature entered them: the sin nature (sometimes called “adamic” nature). Now instead of bearing the image of God, they began bearing the image of the devil. Now we are all born into the adamic nature because we have all sinned. This is why Christ says you must be born again (John 3:3-7).

If you are reading this you are a sinner. You were born into sin, just like I was. The Bible says of those that haven’t accepted Christ that they are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), that they are slaves of sin (John 8:34) and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

We will all stand before God some day and answer for our lives (2 Corinthians 5:10). God has fixed a day when Christ will return to earth and judge every man and woman (Acts 17:31). Those who have accepted Christ and follow Him will enter into life eternity with Him, and those who haven’t accepted Christ and continued to live in their sin will enter eternal punishment, which the Bible calls Hell (Matthew 25:46).

I’ve heard many ask the question “how could a loving God send someone to Hell?” This question shows they don’t understand the greatness of God or the terribleness of sin. Hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It was not created for mankind, but if man does the same acts of sin as demons, then they’ll receive the same punishment. God desires that “none perish but that all come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God has set before us life and death and he urges us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). 

The Solution

Jesus said “I have come to seek and to save THAT which was lost”(Luke 19:10). Notice He said “that which was lost”, not “who”. So what was lost? The nature of God within man and the relationship between God and man. The Son of God came to the earth as a man, born of God’s Spirt, by a virgin (Luke 1:26-35). Since He was born of God’s Spirit, He had God’s nature on the inside of Him, not a sin nature. He never started out born into sin, this is why He is called the second Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. Except this “Adam” never sinned. He modeled what it looks like when a man is in perfect relationship with the Father.

Jesus Christ is fully God, but He stripped Himself down to just a man when He came to earth so that He could redeem us (Phill. 2:5-11). After He lived a sinless life and fulfilled what Adam failed, He died on the cross for us, He was buried for three days and rose from the grave because death could not hold Him (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

The Bible says “He who knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:21). On the cross Christ became sin and took all the punishment of sin upon Himself so that all who call upon His name will be saved (Romans 10:13). You see the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and Jesus took that death for us. The Bible says that “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His desire is relationship with us, so He became what we are (sin), so that we can become what He is (a son). He took the sin problem out of the way because it was the gap that separated us from the Father. All this was accomplished through the cross, but Jesus is not dead anymore. He is alive and offers this gift to everyone who believes (John 3:16).

Conclusion

Salvation is a free gift, so like any gift it must be received. Jesus said “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). Repentance just means a change in directions. Realize that sin is evil and turn to Christ believing that His death on the cross is enough to cleanse you. Then He will take the old nature out of you and put the new nature inside of you, His nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:22-24). 

If you want to receive this gift of salvation pray this prayer with me. I must say this prayer will not save you, but if you say these words to God with a sincere heart you will have eternal life. 

God, I come before you now because I have heard what this man is saying through this article. I realize that I am a sinner and that I have turned my back on you and on my original purpose. I realize now what your Son has done on the cross. I realize that He died for me to remove my sin to forgive me of everything I have done . I believe in You and put my trust in You. I turn away from my sin to follow you. Thank you for this free gift.

If you have prayed this prayer then I strongly encourage you to read my post about water baptism (see Water Baptism (Complete Study).

I hope this article assisted you in your walk with the Lord. If you enjoyed this article, please consider giving a donation of any amount by going to the support page. The support I receive from you enables The Biblical Foundation to reach more people with the teachings of the Word of God.

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