What Is the Gospel?
The gospel is the story that Jesus is king; the story of God sending Jesus and the Spirit to the world to reconcile sinners and creation to God, not because of their good works, but because of His great mercy and love seen in the cross, resurrection, ascension, and 2nd Coming.
Anyone who repents of their sin and believes these words this will live forever in the Kingdom of God, where Jesus is King and sin and death are no more.
This is a gospel that fits in our pocket.
First, God is holy and the creator.
God's creation, mankind, rebelled against God, refusing to love and obey Him. Because of one man's sin, now all men and women are sinful.
God could have destroyed sinful humanity because of their rebellion.
But He didn't!
Instead, God chose one family, the family of a guy named Abraham, to bring about the God-man, Jesus, to the world. Jesus acts a new humanity, loving and obeying God by living perfectly holy to the Lord.
Jesus then was crucified on a cross for man's sin and laid dead in a grave for man's death.
But Jesus didn't stay dead! No, the Spirit of God raised Jesus from the dead, conquering sin, death, and the grave!
God's gift of His Son Jesus is just that, a gift. We didn't bend God's arm for the Father to send the Son and Spirit. Because God is love, He loved.
However, this news about Jesus; about His life, death, and resurrection, this news about the Kingdom He will bring, requires a response of repentance from the sin that nailed Jesus to a cross and trust in the new life Jesus secured in rising from the grave.
If you repent of your sin and trust in Christ, His life, death, and resurrection become your life, death, and resurrection. For more about this, skip down to "What Is A Christian?"
Do you believe this good news? If so, let us know!
A Christian is someone who responds to the gospel through repentance of sin and trust and allegiance to Jesus.
As a result of their repentance and faith a Christian is justified and receives the Holy Spirit who conforms them to Christ through a process called sanctification, and who will ultimately experience glorification.
Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
What does it mean to repent?
Repentance means to forsake everything that is sinful, including trusting in your own performance and behavior for salvation.
Biblical repentance is a change of mind, heart, and behavior.
2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation…
I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
“The New Testament word for repentance means changing one’s mind so that one’s views, values, goals, and ways are changed, and one’s whole life is lived differently. The change is radical, both inwardly and outwardly...Repentance means starting to live a new life.”
Faith is the means by which the saving benefits of the gospel are applied to an individual.
Faith means to put all of one’s hope for salvation and allegiance for living solely in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
“Putting our faith in Christ is not about trying harder; it means transferring our trust away from ourselves and resting in him. It means asking, ‘Father, accept me not because of what I have done or ever will do but because of what Jesus has done in my place.”
Thought it does involve knowledge, biblical faith is not merely agreeing with certain biblical truths, but is personal trust in the promise of the gospel. As a result true faith always leads to action.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works…
After repentance and faith, we are justified.
Justification is an act by which God declares a guilty sinner to be righteous on the basis of their faith in Jesus Christ.
…yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…
Included in the free gift of justification, Christian’s are also adopted! God is their Father and they are His children.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son… so that we might receive adoption as sons.
The adopted status of believer’s means that in and through Christ God loves them as he loves his only-begotten Son and will share with them all the glory that is Christ’s now.
…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Sanctification is the process by which God enables a justified sinner, now saint, through the Spirit’s power to look more like Christ.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
“He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free.
Differences between Justification & Sanctification
It’s important to understand the difference between justification and sanctification.
- Justification is our position before God.
You don’t practice justification. It happens once for all, upon conversion. You will never be more justified than you are the first moment you trust in the Person and finished work of Christ.
- Sanctification is our practice before God.
Sanctification is a process worked out each day. You will be more sanctified as you continue in grace motivated obedience.
Along with the “right now” moment of justification and the continual moments of sanctification, there exists another important aspect of salvation; assurance. You can know you belong to God, or say it another way, if Jesus saved you, trust He did a good job.
1 John 5:12-13
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
“Christ’s righteousness is credited to my account… If all this is true, I am as secure as Christ is.”
– Jared Wilson
When Jesus returns to set up His kingdom on the earth, He will raise from the dead bodily all who put their hope in Him, to live and reign with Christ forever in the Kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:50-56
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.