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What Is the Gospel?

11 min

Read the good news about Jesus Christ.

No matter our beliefs, we can all agree that evil seems to be at work in our world. We see it on television, read about it in the news, hear it from others, or witness it before our eyes. You and I know that this world is fundamentally broken. But there is good news to be shared. In fact, the word "Gospel" means "good news," which I will share with you now.

Before you click away, hear me out. I don't know where you come from or what your story is. I don't know your thoughts on God or if you believe in such a power, and I certainly won't pretend to know your struggles in the game of life.

But please read this news because delivering it to you is perhaps one of the most important things I will ever do in my entire life, and reading it might be the most important thing you can do with yours.

It's just too good not to talk about.

THE FOUR GOSPEL ACCOUNTS

The four Gospel accounts serve as the first four books of the New Testament in the Bible. They tell one story from four different perspectives and include the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each Gospel provides an account of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, authored by the same men whose names they bear. Although each Gospel account fulfills the purpose of sharing the "good news," some books focus on specific accounts not found in others.

The Gospel writers serve as historians and theologians, delivering texts foundational to the Christian faith. Each account contributes to a complete and accurate portrayal of Jesus's life and teachings.

However, to understand the New Testament Scriptures or the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we must first understand something about God.

THE CHARACTER OF GOD

Despite what you might have heard, God is not pure energy, an alien, or even an impersonal force. He is the Creator of All and, therefore, the King of the Universe. You see, God has no beginning and no end. He is beyond time and space. He is the author of our world and created everything - quite literally.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." - Genesis 1:1-2

THE TRIUNE GOD (THREE IN ONE)

The Bible teaches that God exists as a Trinity, which consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct from one another, but together, they make up the entity of God. In other words, they are three but also one because there is only one God. They share the same divine essence and possess identical divine qualities.

GOD IS LOVE

Love lies at the heart of God's essence since He is the author of love. Therefore, all true love flows from Him. It is crucial to grasp that God loves us immensely; as a result, humans can also express love for one another.

"We love because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:19

The Bible teaches us that God's love moves Him to freely and selflessly give Himself to others for their benefit or good. God's love is more than just an attitude or emotion; it is the very nature of God. God is loving because He is benevolent, graceful, merciful, and patient. God embodies love in the purest sense possible.

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." - Psalm 103:8

GOD IS HOLY

God is considered holy, which means pure and without sin. The term "holy" also signifies being "separated" or "set apart" from humanity. This term has two important meanings when describing God's character.

Firstly, it means that God resides above all creation and is uniquely distinct from anything on this earth or in the universe He created. In other words, God alone is God—separate, incomparable, and transcendent.

Secondly, God's holiness means that He is above and separated from the moral corruption of His creation, humanity (more on this in a bit). Therefore, God cannot sin and cannot be accepting of sin.

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS

God is always committed to the highest moral standards. The Bible tells us that God always acts in ways that are perfectly consistent with His loving and holy character. In simple terms, He is perfect, as are His works, decrees, and judgments.

"For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face." - Psalm 11:7

God's perfect righteousness describes both His character and His relationship to humanity. It can be challenging to understand how God reveals His Will, but the truth is that He does so through His Word (the Bible), His Creation, and humanity's consciences. Thus, He will judge everyone according to the standard that is revealed to them.

There will come a day when God will judge every person according to His strict standards of justice and fairness, rewarding good and punishing evil. Despite what we might sometimes believe, it is critical to understand that God's judgment of mankind is not unwarranted or needlessly cruel. Instead, it is a consequence of His righteous character and is necessary within His regime.

If God does not judge evil, He cannot be loving, righteous, or just; thus, a creation where evil is not restrained or judged adequately would be doomed to collapse altogether.

You see, God almighty is so good, loving, and holy that He must be separated from all things evil, unloving, and unholy. This leads us to the issues set forth by mankind.

THE CHARACTER OF HUMANITY

Humanity was created in God's image, and the world was truly good for a time. However, we have since fallen into spiritual decay because the first man and woman sinned harshly against God, creating a divide between humans and Him.

HUMANITY'S CORRUPTION

Humanity's initial disposition was noble before the first man and woman sinned. Our world, which was initially good, became corrupt because we trusted ourselves rather than God's wisdom. God loves and desires to be with us, but He understands that true love requires a choice. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil served as a way for God to give humans the choice to love or reject Him in the Garden of Eden.

God did not create us as "moist automatons" to control and command us to love Him. Instead, He allows us the freedom to choose love for Him, even if we misuse our free will by sinning against Him. Adam and Eve's decision to trust in themselves and disobey God by eating from the forbidden tree betrayed this love. The world then submitted to sin.

In essence, we, as humans, have separated ourselves from God by choosing to decide for ourselves what is "good or evil" rather than trusting in God as the authority for moral correctness in our lives.

A GUILTY PEOPLE

The corruption of mankind led to the introduction of sin into the world, affecting all of us. As a result of the choices made by the first humans, we are destined to be born into a state of brokenness, and this shared corruption is passed down from generation to generation.

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." - Romans 5:12

The Bible teaches us that this inherent corruption causes us to act in ways that go against the high moral standards established by a loving, holy, and righteous God. We are all sinners by nature and must stand guilty before Him.

THE GREAT DILEMMA

We are all held accountable before the King of the Universe and will face judgment for our sins. If you believe that you are "basically" good, think again. In God's Kingdom, anyone who sins is fundamentally evil and, therefore, deserving of death and separation from God. This is not due to God being cruel but because He is so good and righteous that He must justly punish those who commit sinful acts.

We did not create this world; God did, and His laws supersede everything. He reserves the right to judge. Our only hope is to acknowledge that we are sinful and broken people, deserving of death and judgment from a perfect, holy, and righteous authority. We must repent by thoroughly reviewing our actions with contrition, recognizing our sinful nature, and committing to improving.

If God were evil, He would offer no solution to this harsh truth. This brings us to the unavoidable question: "How can God be just and still forgive those deserving condemnation?"

Herein lies the dilemma: due to God's character, He acts in line with His justice, meaning that sinners must be condemned for their wrongdoings.

However, God offers a solution for us because of His grace, love, and mercy.

GOD'S ANSWER: JESUS CHRIST

Although God despises evil, He was so full of love for us that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus was born from a virgin woman because he had to be a different kind of human, free from sin (with God as His true Father). He lived among people as a perfect man, teaching with love and truth. He gathered disciples who would later spread the message of His role as the Messiah.

THE CRUCIFIXION

You could not write a more tragic story if you tried. Many historians consider crucifixion upon the cross to be the cruelest method of torture ever devised. Not only did Jesus endure crucifixion, but he was beaten, scourged, torn, broken, mocked, and betrayed by His friends. He was entirely innocent, and everyone knew it.

Those who crucified Christ represent all of us in some form or fashion. We are all the betrayer, the slanderer, the prideful, the wrongful judge, the subjugator, the member of the mob; the list goes on.

Jesus willingly gave his life because of His love for mankind, a love that His Heavenly Father shares. The physical suffering and death that Jesus endured on the cross were necessary because Christ suffered a wrath reserved for sinners like you, me, and the rest of humanity. God's justice demanded satisfaction for our sins, and Jesus paid the price in full.

The only person born without sin had to be punished in the way only sinners deserve. Jesus suffered our curse, was forsaken by God, and endured the harsh wrath of the King of the Universe despite being the most uniquely perfect person in all of human history.

God hates sin and thus hates evil. However, God's anger is not some irrational, selfish, or uncontrollable emotion. Instead, it is a consequence of His distinct holiness, righteousness, and love for all things good. Jesus lovingly and willingly stepped in, took the cup of God's wrath, and drank from it every drop, satisfying God's justice.

THE RESURRECTION

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a foundational belief in Christianity. According to the Bible, Jesus died for our sins and then rose from the dead on the third day. His Resurrection is a sign that He is the true Son of God and that God accepted His sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

This event distinguishes Christianity from other religions, as it is centered on the person of Jesus Christ and his victory over death rather than just a set of rules or philosophical beliefs.

ETERNAL LIFE

Right before His death, Jesus declared, "It is finished!"

"When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, 'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:30

Jesus emerged victorious, accomplishing all that was necessary for humanity's salvation. By satisfying God's demands for justice, He made pardon and justification available through faith in Him. All those who believe in what Christ did for humanity will not perish but have eternal life.

By acknowledging that God sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross, we can believe in God's goodness and mercy and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out, enabling us to repent and be redeemed.

This is the good news: Jesus paid the price for everyone. While sin left a crimson stain upon humanity, Christ washed it white as snow, redeeming us all.

SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST JESUS

The Apostle Paul writes that we have been saved from certain death by faith in the Son of God and are now presented with a new life. He also describes that salvation results from a supernatural, recreating work of God in the heart by the Holy Spirit.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christianity has several unique aspects that distinguish it from other religions. According to the Christian faith, the way to Heaven is not simply by being a "good person" because, by God's perfect standard, no one is truly good. Those who claim that being a "good person" will grant us access to the Kingdom of Heaven do not hold true to Christian beliefs. The Bible tells us that salvation cannot be achieved through works alone.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:8-10

The presence of works does not imply irrelevance; on the contrary, it is quite the opposite. If we have genuine faith in Christ, we will experience a transformation and develop new desires that lead us to seek a deeper understanding of God and to live in a way that pleases Him.

Salvation is not obtained solely through our actions, but through our spiritual rebirth and the ongoing work of God in our lives, we will naturally demonstrate the evidence of being children of God.

As Christians, we will face great struggles with sin and be tested to our limits while attempting to follow Christ's teachings. However, if we are truly born again, we must understand that we should not remain in grievous sin. We can look to Christ as our example and accept His sacrifice. Doing so allows us to draw on His power through the Holy Spirit to become better men and women for God's Kingdom.

"So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." - James 2:17-18

WHAT CHRIST DIED FOR

We are all flawed sinners who need a savior, and Jesus fulfills that need. We were born incomplete, and whenever we turn away from God, destruction follows. Jesus, through God's mercy, wisdom, and grace, paid the price of sin in full.

Belief in Jesus Christ and subsequent transformation by the Holy Spirit bring us salvation by granting access to the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the story of the Gospel accounts in the New Testament of the Bible and the message of the disciples of Jesus.

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" - John 14:6

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