What is the Gospel?

The gospel is one of those religious terms we all throw around. But do we really know what it means? It has something to do with Jesus and the cross right? In order to explain the gospel I’m going to first go over why we need it. Next I will talk about what it is exactly. Finally I will talk about what difference it makes in our lives.

Why do we need the gospel?

As you know people are dysfunctional. I’m dysfunctional, you’re dysfunctional, we’re all dysfunctional. The Bible calls our dysfunction sin. Whenever we have a thought or perform an action contrary to God’s will it’s a sin. And we all have committed sins because it’s in our nature. We were born with it, we inherited it from Adam.

Because God is holy and just He must punish us because of our sins. But on the other hand He is also loving. He does not want to see any of us suffer (2 Peter 3:9). So he had to make a way for us to get out of the punishment we all deserve. That’s were the gospel comes in.

The gospel explained

The gospel in its simplest form can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. In the context of chapter fifteen of 1 Corinthians Paul is reminding the Corinthians about the gospel, that Jesus died for their sins and rose from the dead. Some of the Corinthians were being told that they would not be resurrected and that there is no resurrection. Paul reminded them that there has to be a resurrection because Christ came back from the dead.

So, the gospel is this: Jesus Christ came and died for the sins of the world and was then raised three days later. His resurrection was in recognition that God found him worthy to be the judge of both the living and the dead (Acts 17:31).

The story of the gospel is the overarching story of the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. While they all contain many other events their purpose and focus was to communicate the gospel to the Church of the first century so that they could believe in Christ (John 20:31-32).

How the gospel changes our lives

We all admit that we’re dysfunctional, we have sin in our lives. Well God cannot tolerate our sin. By His holy and just nature He must punish those who sin. The gospel is the story of how God sent his Son to take our punishment for us. Jesus was our substitute, it should have been us on the cross because he had no sin and he never committed any sins.

If we have faith in Christ, that is if we believe him to be Lord and that God raised him from the dead, then we will be saved from our punishment (Romans 10:9). This is how the gospel transforms our lives. It takes us from being estranged from God to being adopted as sons and daughters into His family.

A call to transformation

Have you believed what the Bible has to say about Jesus? Do you believe that he is the Son of God, died for our sins, and that he was raised from the grave? If you’ve come to believe recently and need someone to talk to about it feel free to contact me.

For those of us who have been believers for a long time it can be tough to maintain the enthusiasm we had at first. We all know the Ephesians had a hard time. But God calls us to persevere (Romans 12:1-2). Our lives are a living sacrifice to His glory. Putting our faith in Christ isn’t a one and done deal. Sure we’re saved but that is just the beginning.

Have you been progressing in your Christian walk? It’s important to be in fellowship with others who want to grow in discipleship. Are you participating in a small group or some other activity that facilitates discipleship? I have to confess for a twenty something in grad-school, who can’t stay at the same church for more than a couple of years because of job changes, it’s hard to find a place of solid community and discipleship. But we still need to make the effort.

As always let me know what you think of today’s post in the comment section below.

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