THE GOSPEL

The Gospel is the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is this message that we are committed as a church to faithfully proclaiming to the world. 
 
The gospel begins by being honest about the bad news. All the evil, conflict, and suffering that exist in our world are direct consequences of the Fall. Adam, our first ancestor, chose to rebel against God; and the earth, though perfect when it was created, has felt God’s curse for sin ever since. Death itself was introduced to the world as a result of Adam’s sin. Though our world still reflects God’s glory and power, it is now broken and deformed. It is a place of emptiness, decay, and death. If that seems bad enough, remember too that everyone is now born with a natural inclination toward sin. We are not neutral toward right and wrong; we choose to sin because we are sinners by nature. And both our sinful nature and our sinful actions result in God’s righteous condemnation. It does not matter that our “good works outweigh our bad” or that we compare well with other people. We are judged by God’s standard alone. Since he is perfect, anything less than perfection earns his righteous judgment. If this seems harsh or unfair to us, it is only because our perspective is clouded by our own sinfulness. We do not see ourselves the same way a perfectly holy God does.
 
This is where the good news of the gospel comes in. God is not only just but also loving; therefore Scripture tells us that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He did not ignore God’s law or the fact that mankind has universally broken it; instead he volunteered to take our place as our substitute. Fully God and fully man, he lived on this earth in sinless perfection in a way that we never could. And then he willingly submitted to suffering and death in order to take our punishment. Unlike us, he did not deserve it; he endured it in our place. Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows that he has the right to offer us complete forgiveness for our sins. Given that he died in our place as our substitute, the fact that God raised him from the dead proves that our sin debt has been fully paid. Because Jesus is God, his sacrifice has limitless value; and he now makes salvation with all its benefits freely available to all.
 
But there is a condition. As sinners, we could never work our way to heaven or earn God’s favor. For that, we need Christ and Christ alone. But his sacrifice is not automatically applied to our account. God calls everyone to repent and believe in Christ. If we fulfill that condition, God applies the merits of Christ’s sacrifice to our account, and we are forever free from the eternal death and separation from God that our sin deserves. It does not matter how great your sin is; Jesus’ blood can cover it completely. But you must turn from your sin (repentance) and believe on him. Belief is not simply head knowledge or intellectual assent. It is the settled, active choice to rest upon something completely, depending on nothing else. Repentance is not simply a general commitment to try to be a better person; it requires a complete heart change, something Jesus refers to as being “born again.” This new birth is enabled by the Holy Spirit, and it results in a radically changed life. Have you experienced this change? Are you trusting in Christ alone as your Lord and Savior? The Bible says that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). If you do this in heartfelt faith and repentance, then Jesus will be your Savior. Will you call on him today?