What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
It is the good news of the salvation that God offers us in Christ Jesus. One of the reasons that the gospel is referred to as good news is because it can rescue us from something, which is absolutely terrifying – that is, eternal punishment in hell.
In order to better understand this need for salvation, we must first understand who God is, who man is and what sin has done to the relationship between God and man.
God created the heavens and the earth and He created man. As our Creator, God owns us. He has complete authority over us. He decides when we are born and when we die. God is holy and righteous which means that He is perfect. He is without any sin whatsoever.
God created man to have a relationship with Him – to love God and to enjoy Him forever. However, that relationship has been broken by sin. And the Word of God says that we all have sinned.
Sin is the reason for our physical death. But sin also results in our spiritual death, i.e., separation from God. And if you die without Jesus Christ you will be eternally separated from God.
Hell is real and hell is eternal. One of the most dreadful realities about hell is that in hell there is no hope. No hope ever! No hope of ever being released. No hope of ever having the tiniest speck of relief. No matter how many millennia of years a person suffers through the nightmare of hell, that person still faces an eternity in that horrible place of torment without the slightest bit of hope.
The reason for this horrifying eternal punishment is that all sin and every sin is a great offense against the holiness of God. He is our Creator. And any sin is rebellion against His authority over us.
God is our judge. His penalties are neither too severe nor too lenient. His sentences are always righteous, always correct. Since He is always just in His judgments, He cannot overlook our transgressions. He cannot just passover or ignore them. If He did, He would cease to be a just judge.
But God delays our punishment. Why? Because God wants to save us. God does not want anyone to be lost. He wants all to come to saving faith in Christ.
But our sin has created a barrier between man and God and if we ourselves pay the penalty for our sins, the sentence is an eternity in hell. That’s the bad news!
But the good news is that God in His great mercy and in His amazing love for mankind has made a provision in His judicial system to allow a substitute to suffer the punishment for us. Our substitute steps in and takes our place in receiving the wrath of God that is meant for us. This is the good news.
Christ Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us came to this earth as a man. He was fully God and fully human. He died at the hands of men that He Himself created. But that is what He came to do. He came to suffer and die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. And His sacrifice on the cross is the only sacrifice that can satisfy the justice of God.
Jesus is able to accomplish this because He is fully God and fully man. And because He is the God-man, He is the only mediator between man and God. He is the only one who can intercede for us. He is our Advocate - our defense attorney. He is the only one who can plead our case for us. And why can He do this? Because the penalty has been paid. He paid it on our behalf, in our place.
Furthermore, only God, the Son, could bear the sins and endure the punishment for all of mankind’s sins. And by His resurrection from the dead, He proved His victory over sin and death. That’s why He can offer us eternal life.
God poured out His entire wrath on Christ - the wrath that we deserved. And now that the penalty has been paid, God can now render the verdict “not guilty” for those who trust in Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
And Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation.
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB)
So, what must you do in order to be saved?
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
Believe (and trust in the fact) that Christ, the Son of God, fully God and fully man, died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. He died as your substitute (in your place) and on your behalf. You (and I and everyone) deserved to be on the cross and receive the full of wrath of God but Jesus took God’s wrath for you (and me). What Christ did for you is sufficient to pay the penalty for your sin (all of your sins) and to grant you eternal life.
This wonderful offer of salvation is a gift from God. And you receive this free gift by faith alone,
Do not reject this offer. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)