What Is The Gospel?
The gospel is the good news that God has not given up on the world that He is active in the world. The gospel is the good news that God loves you just as you are , but loves you way too much to leave you that way that God is changing you into the person He would have you be. You and I matter; God wants a personal relationship with each of us. It’s shocking to realize that the creator of the universe wants an intimate, personal relationship with us. That no matter what you have done or haven’t God looks at you and says, “I love you.” We live in a world filled with people who ignore or hate you for no reason to know that God wants us, that God would die naked and shivering on a cross to reconcile the entire universe to him is beyond amazing.
We have all fallen short of God’s ideal or as Romans 3 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Nothing anyone can do to make themselves right with God. It is only through the freely offered gift of grace in Jesus Christ that we are saved and made right with God. No church, religion, philosophy, or person will ever save you, will ever offer you eternal life. It is only through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross that we are forgiven.
Romans 5: God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Only through Jesus can we escape the penalty God will execute upon all who have sinned and fallen short. Let’s be honest that’s all of us, no one lives up to their own ideal, so can they live up to the ideal God has set for their life. If you want to be saved and inherit eternal life, if you want to follow Jesus, then you must realize you have sinned, but that is not the end of the story. Not even close to the end. Jesus enters the picture and saves you form condemnation. Look to Jesus who died on the cross and trust what he did there is for you to be saved from the judgment of God. This is accomplished by faith alone. The Bible says that we are all sinners. Guilty of having sinned, we are separated from God dead in our sins we will suffer damnation. The only way to escape this judgment is by receiving Christ, by trusting in what Jesus did on the cross and continues to do in his people today. You don’t have to pretty yourself up. All you need do is accept the love and grace God offers in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Titus 2 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
Nothing we ever do will earn us God’s grace and love—the good news is Jesus has already accomplished it and offers it freely. We need not be anxious for Jesus has rescued us and works in us to make us we should be. No human words or works can add or subtract from the unconditional grace and limitless love of God in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The common heresy of our age is that we have to work for our salvation that there are certain things we must do and be to earn God’s forgiveness that there are things that can keep us from the love and grace of God. That’s a lie! Romans 8: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. God accepts as is, but doesn’t let us stay that way. We change through the love and grace of God to live in the Kingdom here-and-now and later. With man, nothing is possible, on our own, we cannot do it, but with God all manner of things are possible.
What does that leave out?
With God for us who can harm us, with God all things are possible—what the world says is not possible becomes possible. We can love and serve everyone. We can come together as a community and be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are saved not for our own sake, but for the sake others and to do the good works that has been predestinated for us to do for the glory of God.
Brennan Manning says the gospel is, “This is the gospel of grace. God, who out of love for us, sent the only son he had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for his milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross and died whispering forgiveness on us all.”
Just consider it. Sit in silence and consider what it means that Jesus died for your sins. That if you were the only sinner in the world he would have still went to the cross. He loves you that much, to die naked and shivering on cross to reconcile you to God.
What that mean to how you respond to life?
Can you really think of yourself before others?
Can you pretend that you are all that matters?
You cannot accept the gospel and continue to live the same way. Saying yes to Jesus changes your life. This is not about going to church, religion, or living as some religion would have your live—it’s about living out the abundant eternal life with a deep sense of who you really are, who God is and the relationship between the two. It’s about living out your relationship to God and letting change you in such a way that people will be astonished by your love and grace.
This is the good news: there is a savior and the even better news is you or I am not it.
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