What is the Gospel?
The gospel is the singularly most important communication of God to man. In Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God’s love and sacrifice that saves us from God’s righteous judgment upon sinners.
If you are not a Christian and want to know how to be forgiven of your sins and follow Christ or are just curious to know what the Christian gospel is, then this is for you.
The Bible tells us what the gospel is in 1 Cor. 15:1-4,
“Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which 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 according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . . “
The Bible says that we are all sinners (Rom. 3:23). This means that we have all offended God. We have all broken His law. Therefore, we are guilty of having sinned. Because of this, we are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2), are dead in our sins (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3), cannot please God (Rom. 3:10-11), and will suffer damnation (2 Thess. 1:9). The only way to escape this judgment is by receiving Christ–by trusting in what Jesus did on the cross (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet. 2:24).
Since we are sinners, we are incapable of removing the guilt of our sinfulness through our own efforts. Gal. 2:21says, ” . . . if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” The Law is the do’s and don’t’s of moral behavior. In other words, we can’t become righteous by what we do. Why? Because we are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:3).
This means that since we cannot remove our own sins, God must do it.
Jesus, who is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; 8:58; Col. 2:9), bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). He died in our place. He paid the penalty of breaking the Law of God that should have fallen upon us. He satisfied the law of God the Father by dying on the cross.
It is only through Jesus that we can escape the penalty that God will execute upon all who have broken his holyand perfect law. Do you want to be saved from the righteous judgment of God? If so, if you want to become a Christian and follow God, then you must realize that you have sinned against God and are under his judgment. You must look to Jesus who died on the cross and trust what he did in order for you to be forgiven of your sentence and be saved from the judgment of God. This is accomplished by faith alone in what Jesus has done. You cannot add any human works to what Jesus has done.
Count the cost
Jesus said, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). Jesus tells us to count the cost. The cost of becoming a Christian can be quite high sometimes. In some parts of the world it can cost you your life. Here in England, it is not nearly as dangerous. Nevertheless, if you become a Christian, God will take it very seriously. He will work in your heart and in your life to change you and make you more like him. Sometimes this is an easy journey, and other times it can be difficult. But, this is what it means to become a Christian–to have God work in your life and to continue to work in your life after you have been saved.
If you desire to receive Christ, we offer the following prayer as an example. It is not a formula, but it is a representation of what it means to trust in Christ.
“Lord Jesus. I come to you and confess that I am a sinner, that I have lied, thought evil in my heart, and broken your law. Please forgive me of my sins. I trust in what you have done on the cross, and I receive you. I believe that you have died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead for my sins. Please cleanse me of my sin and be the Lord of my life. I trust you completely for the forgiveness of my sins and put no trust in my own efforts of righteousness. Lord Jesus, please save me as I receive you and believe what you did on the cross is the only way to be saved from the righteous judgment of God the Father.”
If you have prayed the prayer truthfully and faithfully, then you have obeyed Christ and believed the gospel (Mark 1:15). You’ve done so because God has granted that you come to Christ (John 6:65), worked belief in you (John 6:29), and granted that you believe (Phil. 1:29).
Now tell others about your commitment to Jesus. The Bible says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10).