What is the Gospel?
The word for Gospel in the original language of the New Testament means “good news.” But before we can truly understand how good it really is, we must first recognize some bad news.
Bad news (Ephesians 2:1-2)
1. You are Dead (“Dead” means a “total separation from God.”)
2. You worship the wrong god.
3. We are addicted to evil desires.
4. God is mad at us.
The Bible also makes it very clear that we are completely unable to eliminate God’s anger toward us – because we are 100% spiritually dead (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9). It is only because of what He did, that we can be made spiritually alive. So the “Good News” is all about 1) What God did 2) What we do in response, and 3) What we get. So here it is, laid out in its three parts:
Good news (Acts 2:22-47)
I. Revelation: What God Did
1. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. He is the Second Person of the Trinity, Who lived on earth as a perfectly Spirit filled human V.22
2. He was killed, fulfilling God’s plan. V.23
3. He was raised V. 24-33 – nine verses on the resurrection (cross only got one)
4. He was exalted as Lord and Christ V. 34-36
5. Holy Spirit came V.38
II. Response: What we do
Repent! (That means: change your mind about who is God around here. The result is a change of behavior.) V.38
Accept the message by faith. (Trust that what God
says is true.) V.38
Proclaim through baptism that you have been saved.
Baptism does not save you, but it is God’s ordained way of saying “I’m a Jesus follower.”
III. Results: What we get
Forgiveness of all sins. God declares us to be in
“right standing” with Him (not because of our efforts, but because of God’s incredible grace.) Forgiveness and being made right with God is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. V. 38
Indwelling Holy Spirit and implanted new heart. Our
basic values and deepest likes change from within us. V. 38
New supernatural covenant community with other
believers V. 39-41
New mission (to serve Christ on earth.) V. 42-47
5. A new destination: an eternal home in Heaven with Christ forever.
The Gospel Explained
In a nutshell:
God is perfect. You are not. Mankind declared war on God – sin. God is not corrupt, and convicts us of our crimes against him. Our crime against a holy God is so severe, it deserves infinite punishment. God is patient, so if you are reading this, the sentence has not yet been carried out.
God is gracious, and so he offers forgiveness. God is just, so the punishment must be carried out. God is Jesus, who lived perfectly, never offended God by doing anything wrong, laid down his life, and endured the justice due against our war on God – endured the wrath of God.
Nothing deserves worship, but God; God demands your worship. He commands you to stop your war against Him (repent) and follow His commands. By your power, you cannot do this. By faith, God reveals Himself to you; by grace He causes you to end your war and freely follow His command to love Him. You have earned nothing good; God has done everything good; He deserves the praise.
As a Twitter message:
God is holy. You are not. God gives you faith about what Christ has done. You don’t deserve this. This is grace. You respond. The result is eternal life for you and glory to God.