The Gospel


         Have you ever wondered exactly what the Gospel message is? Most people know that Christ died on the cross and paid for their sins, but why did that work? Why did Christ have to die? Maybe you have never heard the Gospel message before. Maybe you have never been told that Christ died for YOU. If you have never heard the Gospel, or aren't sure what it is, this is for you. Even if you have heard it before, maybe you have never responded to it. Whatever the case may be, we have laid out the Gospel in a clear, concise way in order to help anyone who wants to know more about its message. Maybe you are already following Christ and you know that He has commanded us to share the Gospel, but you're not sure where to start or what to say. If that is the case, this is for you too. We all need to know the Gospel message inside and out. The Gospel is the most important message you will ever hear or ever share in your entire life. The message of Gospel is the greatest gift we have ever received and the greatest gift we could ever give.


What Is the Gospel?

The gospel is the good news that God became a man in Jesus Christ. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died in our place. Three days later he rose from the dead, proving he was the son of God and offering salvation to all who would repent and believe His message and follow Him.  



The Problem of Sin

The Bible says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Well, what is sin? Sin is anything that is stands contrary to or falls short of God's perfect character and will. Whether it's lying, stealing, cheating, lust, or whatever it may be, we have all done one of those things at least once in our lives. Sin separates us from God. We were created to live in relationship with God, but we chose to disobey him. "But wait," you may say, "I'm a still a good person. I have never killed anyone or anything like that." That may be true, but no amount of good works, or lack of bad choices, can ever make you good enough to get to heaven. Picture this: you're standing in a burning building, the building has fifty foot high ceilings and every possible exit is blocked by roaring flames. There is no way out except up. Imagine, all of a sudden, a firefighter cuts a hole in the roof. There is no ladder or anything you can grab that can get you up there, the only option you have is to jump. Remember, these are fifty foot ceilings, there is no way you are ever going to be able to jump that high. The only way to get out is if someone offers you help from the outside... and that's exactly what God has done. You see, the only way to spend eternity with a perfect God is to be perfect. Even if you are a good person, try putting your record up against perfection; it's going to look pretty pitiful. We have all chosen to sin, the flames are closing in and nothing we can do will ever be able to save us. This is where Jesus comes in.


The Payment of Christ

Deep down we all want justice to be done against evil... as long as it isn't our evil. If we see someone run a red light thorough an intersection and almost hit another car, we're praying to God there's a cop... but if by chance we are the ones who ran the red light, we're praying to God there isn't a cop. We want people to get what is due them. God is not only loving, but in order for him to be the perfect God that he is he must also be Righteous and Just. There must be justice, which literally means giving someone their due; either what they're due for righteousness or sin. The Bible says that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). When someone does something wrong, either the person who committed the crime is punished, or the victim of the crime chooses not to press charges and chooses to take the pain and loss of the crime upon themselves. If someone steals something, they are either caught and punished, or the person who was the victim of the theft takes the loss. Either someone gets punished, or the victim takes the loss. We have all committed a crime against God, and not just one, but multiple crimes. Our greatest crime against God is rebellion against His full reign in our lives. As our Creator, He has full right to reign in the lives of His creations. The day, the moment we say "my way" is the day treason against our perfect Creator puts us at enmity with Him. God has every right to punish us for the crimes we chose to commit, we deserve it. That would be justice. We are standing in the burning building, and we put ourselves there, it was our fault. But imagine that as you are standing among the flames, a life line is thrown to you. The only way for you to get out is for someone else to come down to you. Imagine the fire fighter lowers himself down on a rope and ties you in. Not only does he come down to you, but there is only time for one of you to get out. Someone has to die, and it's either us, the ones who are trapped by the flames because of our own bad decisions, or the one who has done nothing wrong. This is what Christ did for us. Since the only one who is capable of being perfect is God, He came down to us and became a man. He lived the perfect life that we were meant to live, but not only that, He died the death we should have died in our place. The payment for our sins that we deserve was placed on Jesus Christ. He was placed on a cross and the agony, punishment, and righteous wrath the we deserve was placed on him. But that's not the end of the story. 


The Resurrection

Christ not only paid our sin, but he conquered death. Three days after he was crucified, he burst forth from the tomb, proving that he truly was who he said he was... the Son of God. He conquered death so that those who trust in his name no longer have to fear death, but can look forward to spending eternity with God. Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." John 3:16 also says, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, our imperfect, blemished record is replaced by Christ's perfect one. Our sins are washed away and we are made clean in the sight of God. When God looks at us he no longer sees our sin and our imperfection, but he sees the perfection and sinless record of Christ. 


Conclusion

We have all sinned. We have all chosen to disobey God and deserve the consequences of our actions. Instead of God punishing us, he sent his son Jesus to take the punishment and shame we deserve. The sins of the world were placed on him, but he didn't stay dead. Jesus Christ conquered the grave, proving he is the Son of God, and he offers salvation to anyone who will turn from their sin, place their trust in him, and commit their life to his purpose and plan. Jesus Christ is calling us to repentance. Repentance is not simply acknowledging our sin, but turning from it. Repentance involves a 180 degree turn. We choose to abandon our own desires and fully follow Christ. Christ calls us to offer up our lives, and not just part of it, but all. We are called to abandon ourselves and turn to Christ. That is repentance. We don't follow and obey Christ because we firstly loved him, but because he first loved us and laid down his life for us. Because Christ gave himself as the substitute for our sins, doing for us what we couldn't do for ourselves, he is worthy of every ounce of passion, talent and energy that we have.  




Here are additional resources that will help you to be able to clearly and concisely present the Gospel message:

1. http://knowwhatyoubelievenow.blogspot.com/p/go.html
2. The God Test