Gospel of Jesus Christ — What Makes It Good News?
The gospel is the good news that God sent Jesus to take sin's penalty as our substitute on the cross, and we can be saved through faith alone.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ answers four crucial questions.
- Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
- What is our problem?
- What is God’s solution to that problem?
- What makes this good news for me and not just for someone else?
The gospel of Jesus Christ can be summarized in 4 words: God, Man, Christ, Response.
God is eternal, and he is creator. Because he created everything including us, he has the rightful authority to tell us how to live. Sin is our rejection of God’s authority over us.
God is loving and compassionate, but he is also holy and righteous; he cannot overlook, ignore or tolerate sin. He will not leave the guilty unpunished.
Adam disobeyed God when he ate the fruit that God had told him not to eat. He traded his favor with God for the pursuit of his own pleasure and glory. His spiritual life ended immediately, and his fellowship with God was broken.
Like Adam, we have rejected God. We are guilty of sin. We are not just guilty of committing sins. Sin has corrupted every part of our human existence. Our understanding, personality, and feelings are under sin’s power.
Sin is more than a violation of an impersonal arbitrary regulation. Sin is our rebellion against our Creator. The final destiny for unrepentant, unbelieving sinners is eternal torment called “hell.”
Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is both truly human and truly God. Jesus’s mission was to die as a substitutionary sacrifice for His people. As He hung on the cross, Jesus bore all the weight of the sin of God’s people.
Jesus rose from the grave three days later. His resurrection assures us that everything He claimed is true. God’s wrath has been satisfied. Jesus finished the work of salvation. His people are freed from sin’s power, and they are reconciled with God.
A Christian is one who turns away from his sin and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing else to save him from sin and the coming judgment.
Faith is reliance and trust in the risen Jesus to secure us a righteous verdict from God, rather than a guilty one.
All our sin, rebellion, and wickedness is imputed to Jesus, and he dies because of it. The perfect life Jesus lived is credited to us, and we are declared righteous. God looks at us, and instead of seeing our sin, he sees Jesus’ righteousness.
Every other religion rejects the idea that we are declared righteous by faith alone. Instead, salvation is won through moral effort and good deeds, balancing one’s account by accruing enough merit to outweigh one’s evil. Faith is renouncing hope in your own good works and trusting Christ alone.
Repentance is turning away from sin, hating it and resolving by God’s strength to forsake it. Repentance is crucial to the Christian life. To accept Jesus as Savior and not Lord is not a saving response.
Repentance does not mean an immediate end to our sinning, but it does mean we will no longer live at peace with our sin. We will declare mortal war against it, dedicating ourselves to resist it by God’s power on every front in our lives.
Christians are to be marked by the same kind of love, compassion, and goodness that characterized Jesus. This new character is evidence of our salvation, not the cause of our salvation.
A Sinner's Prayer
If you have not yet cried out to God to save you, you can do so today. Sincerely pray this prayer.
- God, I admit that there is no righteousness in my own life.
- Count me righteous not because of anything I’ve done or anything I am.
- Credit me righteousness as a free gift because of Jesus.
- Jesus lived the life I should have lived. He died the death that I deserve.
- Help me turn away from my sin. I don't want to rebel against you anymore.
- I renounce all other trusts, and I am trusting in Jesus Christ alone.
- Forgive me. Save me, and justify me because of Jesus, my Savior and Lord.
Other Resources on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- What Is the Gospel? [Free eBook by R.C. Sproul]
- What Is the Gospel? [Free Audio Teaching by R.C. Sproul]
- What Is the Gospel? [Book by Greg Gilbert]