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THE GOSPEL

Christianity is a religion founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being a Christian means that you believe the Christian gospel. The word “gospel” means “good news” – which makes Christianity different from other religions that offer “good advice”. To believe the Christian gospel is the only way to be in a personal relationship with God (John 17:3).

The gospel of Jesus Christ makes an exclusive claim to be the only message through which sinners are reconciled to God. The Apostle Paul is very clear that the gospel alone “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16), and the Apostle Peter agrees by declaring about Jesus, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

In summary, believing the gospel means that you believe what the Bible says about God, mankind, sin, and the person and work of Jesus Christ. In order for you to become a Christian, you must work through the following questions:

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Who is God?

God is the Holy & Sovereign – Creator, King, and Judge

God is the one and only God who created all things (Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4:11). He is perfectly holy, worthy of all worship, and will punish all sin (1 John 1:5, Romans 2:5-8).

Because it was God who created all things, it is God alone who has the right to own and rule all things (Psalm 103:19, Romans 9:21). This means that God has absolute authority over our lives, and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

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Who is Man and what has he done?

Man was created in the image of God

Whereas contemporary thinking degrades mankind by saying man is the product of evolution, the Bible gives mankind its proper dignity as specially created by God.

The Bible says that mankind was made in God’s image in order to know, love, and serve God
(Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:25).

Man has rebelled against God.

Though created good, mankind has fallen from a state of innocence into a state of depravity. We are no longer marked by the purity we once enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. Our entire nature has been affected by sin. Because of Adam’s rebellion in the garden, we are born alienated from God and hostile to Him (Psalm 51:5, Romans 8:7, Ephesians 2:1-3).

We have all participated in Adam’s rebellion by our personal sins against God. Every human being has sinned (Romans 3:23). Because sin has stained us with guilt, now none of our deeds are good enough in God’s eyes (Romans 3:10-12). Even the good deeds that we attempt to do are still polluted with sin (Isaiah 64:6).

Man is under God’s judgement.

Because God is perfectly holy, He requires holiness of us. God can neither commit sin nor approve of it. God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23).

Because of our sins, we are all subject to God’s holy, just, and eternal wrath
(Romans 2:2,9, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Revelation 20:11-15).

Human beings are guilty and have no hope of saving themselves (Jeremiah 13:23, Romans 3:20, 8:8). Even if we were able to modify our behavior, behavior modification cannot cover the sin debt that we owe to our holy God.

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Who is Jesus and what has he done?

God loves sinners

God in His great love has responded to the plight of man (John 3:16). In his great love, God sent his Son Jesus to come as a saving King to rescue His people from their enemies—most significantly their own sin (Ps. 2; Luke 1:67-79).

Jesus is fully God, and fully man who never sinned.

Jesus Christ, who was and is fully God, took on a human nature to save His people from their sins (John 1:1,14, 1 Timothy 2:5). And as the perfect God-man, Jesus lived a sinless life of perfect righteousness. This perfectly righteous One was offered up to God as the only acceptable sacrifice for sin (John 1:29, Hebrews 9:26).

Jesus died as a substitute sacrifice.

He lived a perfect life and then died a bloody death on the cross – thus fulfilling the law himself and then taking on himself the punishment for the sins of many (Mark 10:45). Jesus died on the cross to bear God’s wrath in the place of all sinners who would believe in him (2 Cor. 5:21, Isaiah 53:5-6). Jesus willingly took the punishment that was due to sinners.

Jesus conquered death.

After 3 days, Jesus rose from the dead in order to give His people eternal life. His resurrection proving that His perfect sacrifice was accepted by God – thus assuring His people that all God’s wrath against them had been fully exhausted (Rom 4:25). Jesus demonstrated that death had no hold on him, nor on any who entrust their lives and souls to him (John 11:25, Acts 2:24, 1 Cor 15:55-57).

In lovingly providing a way of salvation, God has not compromised his holy justice. Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners. Christ’s perfect life and atoning death satisfied the demands of God’s holiness, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:25-26).

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What must you do?

You must repent of your sins and believe the Gospel

Salvation is not automatically applied to every human being – a proper response is demanded. God calls everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and trust in Christ in order to be saved (Mark 1:15, Acts 17:30, 20:21).

Repent

Repentance begins with recognizing and confessing our sin for the rebellion that it is. A genuine recognition of our sinfulness will lead to genuine sorrow, shame, and hatred for what we have done. Sincere repentance always bears the fruit of turning away from sin (Matthew 3:8, Luke 13:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:9).

Believe

Faith is trusting in the person of Jesus. Faith is resting in the performance of Jesus rather than your own performance. The requirement of faith shows us that being reconciled to God is all about what Jesus has done and does not depend on our performance (Romans 3:28, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5).

The best news in the universe is summarized in Romans 10:9

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.”

 

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