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What Is the Gospel?

September 7, 2014

goodnewsThe gospel can be explained in this statement: Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, came to earth, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, willingly gave up His life to be the full and complete restitution of mankind’s sin-corrupted lives, SO THAT those who repent of their sins and commit their entire life and trust by His grace under His Lordship shall have life everlasting with God the Father Whom, through the propitiation of Christ, has adopted us as sons and daughters to share in the inheritance of the Begotten unto Himself.

And even more succinctly in this statement: We are wholly, fully, and utterly dependent on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ alone and apart from Him, we are damned.

The gospel brings FREEDOM!  When we submit our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ we receive freedom from the shackles of sin that once held us captive.  We’re no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to His righteousness.

Romans 6:17-18 — But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

You might be thinking, “I don’t want to be a slave to anybody.”  But the truth is everyone, including yourself,  is already a slave and there’s only two camps: sin or righteousness.  Everyone ever born is a slave under one of those two camps.

Under sin’s domain, you have no choice.  Sin is everything you are about.  We were born in sin, live in sin, and die in sin.  We are saturated with a sinful heart and sinful mind.  We don’t even have the ability to choose righteousness.  Sure we might give up some things by a change of mind, but our heart, at it’s core, will still completely black in sin.

But God, in His infinite mercy, love, and grace extended to us Himself through His Son, Jesus.  And that is the good news.  That is the gospel.  We would never be good enough, smart enough, rich enough to earn salvation on our own.  And without salvation in Christ alone, hell is the end result.  But Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.  That is the good news, but wait, there’s more!

Like any gift extended, it must be received.  Jesus extends to us everlasting life, but unless we receive it, it remains unopened.

Romans 10: 9-10 —  if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

That gift is forgiveness.  He forgives our sins when we confess and repent (turn away) from our sins and ask Him to be Lord of our lives — a change of ownership.  The result is forgiveness.

Forgiven!  Completely!  In that forgiveness He puts into us a soft and tender heart; one that can hear the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit.  We no longer find true joy in doing unrighteousness, but we find a love and joy of pleasing our Lord.

In the gift He gave is so much more than just forgiveness.  It includes His righteousness.  It includes grace, peace, hope, and love.  It includes adoption to the God of all the universe so that He becomes our Father and we become His children — His sons and His daughters.  In Him we now have a large family of brothers and sisters who are all learning and growing in Him.  It includes everlasting life with our Father who desired to spend all of eternity with us.  Our sin had separated us from Him, but the gospel is the good news that He made a way for us to be set free and united to Him forever and ever.

In Christ we are free from sin and shame.  Free from hopelessness.  Free from eternal separation from God who infinitely loves us.

The word gospel means ‘good news’ and now you know how good indeed!

— Pastor Rick

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