Monday, September 20, 2010

What is the Gospel? Part 1: The Basic Facts

The gospel message is the good news of salvation, the word of truth offered to mankind by grace through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ; most especially the message of the cross. We naturally think that the gospel starts with people, but the Bible reveals that the Gospel starts with God. Those that don’t know God place people first and believe that individual insight into our own selves is more important than God. This leads to pluralism, in other words, choose your own path and it is okay, because the frame of reference is people centered instead of God centered. This is against the Biblical Christian faith, as revealed by Jesus Christ, who said that there was only one way to be justified before God, and that was through Him (John 14:6). Peter said that Jesus was the only way men might be saved (Acts 4:12). Paul told Timothy that there was only one mediator between God and man, that being Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

We either believe what Jesus said about Himself and the kingdom of God, and its exclusivity, or we have to invent some other way, which inevitably leads to pluralism (many paths), universalism (all people are saved), pantheism (all is God), or panentheism (everything has God in it). All these things are invalidated by the testimony of the Bible, which Jesus validated as the words of God (recall session 2, “A Biblical Foundation”). So, it is either Jesus or something else, you cannot have both, although many claim a Jesus that is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Jesus said He was God. This is why the Jewish leaders were trying to kill Him in the first place, because He was asserting that He was the Son of God. To the Jewish mind of the day it was clear that Jesus was saying He was equal with God (John 5:18, 10:24-33). Jesus said to them that if they did not believe He was who He said He was that they would die in their sins, i.e., they were not going to heaven, but would be damned (John 8:24).

Think of it this way: all roads do indeed lead to God, but only one road leads to God justifying you, and all the other roads lead to God judging you. If you are in Christ God has already judged your sins, He punished Jesus in your place, but if not, then you will be punished for your own sins with your own soul, and you cannot pay for sins against God.

What are the basic facts of the Gospel? – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 gives us the gospel in a nutshell – Christ died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again on the third day. We see that it was Jesus, the Messiah, who is the Christ, the Son of God, and the perfect One, who had to die for our sins. We’ll develop the significance of that as we go on from here. We also see that the resurrection is central to the gospel message (cf. Acts 17:31 / Romans 8:34-39 / 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 / 2 Timothy 2:8-11 / 1 Peter 1:3-9, etc.). Paul goes on to develop this in the rest of the chapter (cf. our sermon Where are your Easter Eggs?)

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Even So... said...

This is part of session #3 in a basic training and membership class at our church. You can see all ten weeks in .pdf form on the front page at

You can also see and download them from our "eDocs" section at SermonAudio...

MrsEvenSo... said...

Thank God it's not up to me for I would surely mess it up!

Jesus is the rock of my salvation, Hallelujah!