For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures… 1 Cor 15:3-4
What is the Gospel? The gospel is simply God’s message of good news that is to be declared to all mankind.
Jesus, before he ascended to heaven, was very careful to charge His disciples to take this good news to all the world:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature – Mark 16:15
The disciples were to give up everything to proclaim this important message. Those who were called to do this gladly gave themselves up to ridicule, torture, and even death to get this message to the world. Such a love burned in their heart that only death could shut their mouths.
So what is this good news that is so passionately preached?
The good news is that Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, has come. He died for our sins, he was buried, but he came alive again; and now, those who trust in Him will have all their sins forgiven, and be granted eternal life.
The first part of this gospel is a Person. His name is Jesus – which means “the Lord saves.” We often refer to Him as ‘Jesus Christ.’ A better way to say His name would be ‘Jesus the Christ,’ because ‘Christ’ is not a last name, but a title. Christ means ‘anointed one’ or simply ‘chosen one.’
This is important, because from the beginning of time God has spoken of this Christ. All of God’s messengers, from Moses to Malachi, have spoken about Him, foretelling His coming. He was the one to come save His people.
Jesus was not just any man. He existed with God before He ever became a man. He was in the beginning with God (John 1:1) at the creation of the world, when God said, “Let US make man in OUR image” (Gen 1:26). When the right time came, He took on the form of a man. He was born as other men, but not conceived as they are. Instead, He was born of a virgin. And although He had a human as a mother, His Father was God Himself. Therefore He is called the Son of God.
This God-Man shook the world. His birth was heralded by angels and the beginning of His ministry was affirmed by a voice from heaven that said, “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). He worked many miracles, including some which no one had ever seen before, such as healing a man born blind, and raising up a man that was dead for four days.
But His ultimate purpose was to die for our sins, as the scriptures had foretold:
He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. – Isa 53:12
This will either mean the world to you, or mean nothing to you. It all depends on your willingness to acknowledge how sinful you are.
Our ‘sins’ are our criminal acts against God, just like a person may break the law of the land. And just like a criminal, we must one day face a Judge. A person that has committed a crime against the law of the land may have the hope of not getting caught, but with God such a hope does not exist, because God knows all and sees all. A man can block his mind from that idea that God will one day judge him, but he will be judged nonetheless; and the greatest fear known to man will be the day that a sinful person stands before the living God.
You, my friend, are a sinful person, as am I. We have all sinned greatly. The bible says that all have sinned, and if anyone says that they have not sinned, they deceive themselves (Rom 3:23, 1 Jn 1:8).
God’s law is not like man’s law. He doesn’t change it based off of what everyone is doing. You may be like an angel of God compared to those around you, but to Him you are just as dirty as the demons of hell. I know, because I was once that way. I was a deceiver, a thief, driving by lust, arrogant, a gossip, selfish, proud, and the list goes on. My thoughts were not on God and I certainly did not keep the greatest of all commandments, which is to love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. I was a vessel of wrath, fitted for destruction. I did not pray. I did not seek God. I was not thankful. I did not seek His will. I sought what I thought was best for me.
But although I was a criminal against an Almighty Judge, He still cared for me. He still loved me. And though justice would require that I be punished for my crimes, He did not want it to be so. He did not want me to perish, but for me to live, and to live forever with Him. So, in order to satisfy justice, He took on the form of flesh, and suffered judgment in my place! Now, to as many who will receive Him, He will not only totally forgive, but also give the right to become children of God! (Jn 1:12)
That’s good news!
Jesus died for our sins. He died so that we can live. There is a fiery pit were all of mankind is cast into who reject God, but to those who turn away from evil, and accept the free gift of the forgiveness of their sins, will be saved from that fiery hell, and will be received into an everlasting heaven!
The story doesn’t end with His death, nor can it. Any man could claim to die for the sins of the world, but only a man that can raise Himself up from the dead can assure us that this salvation is real. After being wrapped up and buried in a tomb for three days, He came back to life and physically walked out of the grave. He will never die again. After 40 days of appearing to his disciples, he ascended to heaven before their eyes to sit down at the right hand of God Almighty.
The resurrection means so much. Mankind has accomplished so many things. We can build great cities, we can rule over nations, we can make medicine that can save the sick, we can build robots to do our work, but no man can escape the power of death. It would be smart of us to put our trust in the one Man that has. His name is Jesus. All the other men of other religions are dead, but Jesus is not dead, He is alive! And He has come to give us life.
I have come they might have life, and have it more abundantly – John 10:10
This is the gospel. It is best summarized in the well known bible verse, John 3:16:
for God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life
If you haven’t received the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and of everlasting life, don’t delay. Call upon Jesus today. Turn away from your old life of sin, and put your complete trust in Him. When you do, He promises, not only to forgive you, but to also forever make you His child. Don’t wait, give your life to Him today.