What is the Gospel?

Today there is a great deal of confusion over the Gospel.  It is the foundation of Christianity, but many do not understand what it is.  Many believe it is doing good things or being religious.  Others say it is something entirely different.  Can you know for sure?  The Bible is clear on what the Gospel is and man’s responsibility to receive it.  It is important for you to know, because its message and your reception of it impacts where you will spend eternity.  The word gospel literally means “good news.”  And, that it is, because it enables one to be saved.  The Apostle Paul states confidently in Romans: 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. [Romans 1:16]

Why does one need salvation?  The Bible is clear that the all Holy God, the one that created the heavens, the earth and all that is in them, holds each individual accountable for his or her sin.  In order to understand the good news, one needs to understand the bad news.   The bad news is that all men are sinners.

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. [Psalms 14:2-3]
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. [Romans 3:10]

If you are honest with yourself, you know that you are a sinner.  It is not about comparing yourself to others – but against the standard of God (His laws, statutes, commandments).  God is the one that will judge you.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. [Jeremiah 17:9-10]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:23]

Do not think that the “good” that you have done will win any favor with God.  All of your goodness has been tainted with your sin.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous-nesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. [Isaiah 64:6]

Sin is not just something personal which only affects you.  God promises to deal with every sinner because sin has consequences.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. [Hebrews 9:27]
For the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23]
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. [John 5:28-29]
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:12, 15]

This is what you deserve as payment for your sins.  So the question is: how can you avoid this?  Are you destined for hell and the lake of fire?   No! God has provided a way to escape.  It is the Gospel!  Paul defines the Gospel in his letter to the Corinthians as follows:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; how 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. [1Corithians 15: 1,3,4]

So the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the good news because Christ paid the penalty for your sin – so you do not have to pay it.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [2 Corinthians 5:21]
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us [Romans 5:8]

Christ’s death paid the penalty for your sins.  Christ’s resurrection provides you the ability to live for him.  

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection [Romans 6:4-5]

So how do you receive the gift of the Gospel?  How can Christ’s death pay for your sins so that you can be reconciled to God and live your life unto him?  All you need to do is believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ – who He is and what He has done for you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16]
The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Romans 6:23]
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. [John 6:47]
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. [John 3:36]

The Bible describes belief as repentant faith. 

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord [Acts 3:19]
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. [Luke 13:3]
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9]
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. [Romans 3:27-28]

Repenting means that you are sorry for your sins and are turning from them.  Having faith means that you are placing your trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ - recognizing that He is Lord and God and that He alone has paid the penalty for your sins.  Repentant faith is turning from your sins while turning to Christ in faith.  It is NOT trusting in any good thing that you have done, including baptism, attending church, being raised in godly home, giving money to charity, praying a prayer or even confessing your sins on a regular basis.    

Once you believe, your salvation is permanent.  A believer is a child of God and will spend eternity with Him!

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name [John 1:12]
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. [Romans 6:22]
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. [John 10:27-29]
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [2 Corinthians 5:17]

Have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ?  If not, please do not hesitate as today is the day.  You do not know what tomorrow may bring.  

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. [Proverbs 27:1]

If you have believed on Christ, meaning you have repented of your sins and turned to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith; then the Lord desires you to be baptized.  Baptism is the first step of obedience in a believer’s life.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized [Acts 2:41]
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [Acts 8:12]
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. [Acts 8:36-38]

Baptism is a public expression of what Christ has done for you.  It publicly identifies a believer with Christ.

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [Romans 6:3-4]

Baptism is done by one of the Lord’s churches.  Baptism places a believer into the membership of a church where God provides instruction in His word, protection, and fellowship with other believers.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. [Matthew 28:19-20]
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. [1 Corinthians 12:13, 18]

Victory Baptist Church is concerned about your spiritual condition.  If you would like additional information on salvation, baptism, or would like someone to talk to about spiritual matters, please contact us.