The Gospel is the greatest news that could ever be presented to mankind.
It is the news that God has sent His eternally begotten Son to take man’s nature upon Himself, live a sinless life, and become the sacrificial substitute for all who would believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins by dying on a cross and rising from the dead three days later (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Cor 15:3-4).
What especially makes this news so great is the backdrop of our hopelessness without it.
God is the holy, benevolent, creator of the universe and He made man in His image, but man committed high treason against his God. Tempted by the serpent and a desire to be like God, Adam and Eve did that which they were commanded not to and sin entered the human race (Rom 5:12, Rom 3:23).
We’ve become, by nature, sinners.
How do we know that?
That’s what the law of God is for.
“By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom 3:20).
Have you ever told a lie?
Have you coveted, wanted something that’s not yours?
Have you honored your mother and father every moment, all the days of your life?
Ever stolen something?
Put anything before God?
As we see ourselves transgress law after law that God has revealed, we find ourselves guilty before a God whose holiness and hatred for sin transcends our understanding.
Should we stand before Him on the day of judgment and be judged according to all of our sins… we’d be guilty… sentenced to hell because we could never repay an infinite God for the multitude of our offenses. So that is our dreadful plight.
Because God is just… you and I deserve the fullness of His wrath…
That is the problem…
who could pay for our sins?
Our “good deeds” cannot alleviate the debt we’ve incurred.
The penalty must be paid, our sin cannot go unpunished.
ENTER THE GOSPEL
God demonstrated His love for us, by sending His Son to take on human nature, live a sinless life, and become the sacrificial substitute of all who would believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins.
Do you see what happened?
God is proven to be just because He poured out the fullness of His wrath upon Jesus. The penalty was paid in full for all who’d believe (Rom 3:26).
God also demonstrates His love in that there could be no greater demonstration of love! (Rom 5:8)
The Father offered His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, and the Son offered Himself, bearing a measure of wrath impossible to comprehend - all to the praise of His glorious grace and as a demonstration of a love that surpasses knowledge (Eph 1:6 Eph 3:19). But the story doesn’t end at the cross.
Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, left the tomb empty, and began appearing to numerous witnesses (and eventually hundreds), proving His sacrifice was acceptable, demonstrating His deity, and becoming a preview (i.e. a first fruits) of the resurrection that awaits all who believe in Him alone for the forgiveness of sins.
Hence, the Gospel centers upon Jesus Christ and what God has done through Him.
And what are you and I called to do?
Repent and Believe the Gospel (Mk 1:15)
Turn away from your sins, repent of your self-righteousness, see your desperate, guilty state before God… and place your trust for forgiveness NOT on the works that you’ve done… but in the work that Christ has done!
There is no other option - Scripture says that there is only one name under Heaven through which men must be saved (Acts 4:12). There is no other way - Jesus said, “I am the way... no one comes to the Father except by Me” (Jn. 14:6).
There is only one perfect sacrifice that is acceptable before God… the sacrifice of His Son
Should you feel a Godly conviction of your sin, and a desperate need for a Savior… One who would stand in the gap and take the punishment you deserve…
Should you turn away from trusting in any of your own deeds to justify you before God… and place your complete trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ…both now and for the rest of your life…
You will receive the forgiveness of sins… and eternal life.
Every sin… paid in full…and an eternal right standing before God.
And as for good works… they are evidence of genuine faith, a continual response of thanksgiving in view of God’s great love and Jesus’ great sacrifice. So that after trusting in Christ alone for salvation, you don’t seek to add to His sacrificial work by your own works… you simply seek to follow Him all the days of your life because you truly believed in Him as your Lord and Savior (Eph 2:9-10, Jas 2:18, 26).
May you be exhorted this day to believe the Gospel, repent of your sins, and trust in the person and work of Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins and everlasting life.