If you ask 100 people, “What is the gospel?” many of them will say “It’s a style of music that’s got soul…you know…like Aretha Franklin!” Others will say, “The Bible! The Bible is the gospel!” Others still will think that the gospel is some sort of “feeling” or some “spiritual or emotional state.” If you spent time in church as a child and you attended Sunday school, perhaps you’ll recall that the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are considered “the four gospels” so you list them and say that the gospel is those first four books of the NT.
Some people hit slightly nearer the mark and they say things like, “The gospel is that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Nearer though they may be, they’re still so far off. The gospel is simply a clear collection of truths to believe; truths revealed to us in scripture. The first of these truths is the truth concerning…

God

First and foremost, you must have some basic knowledge about God.  Many can learn of God simply by looking at the wonder of creation.  In fact, the Apostle Paul says in Romans 1 that…

  • Romans 1:20–his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Creation itself testifies to the majestic glory, the infinite power, and the divine nature of God.  Furthermore, his perfect justice and wrath are revealed to all mankind as well according to…

  • Romans 1:18-19–For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

When we consider the gospel, we must first remember the God of the gospel.  The God who is glorious in holiness, the almighty sovereign, and the righteous and wrathful judge of all mankind.

These attributes of God become so very significant to us when we consider the second gospel truth, the truth concerning…

Humanity

In the garden of Eden, God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the very breath of life.  God showed such love for mankind in that—out of all of his creatures—man was chosen to bear God’s own image and likeness.  All was well in the garden, until our first parents Adam and Eve rebelled against God and brought ruination upon us all.  Because of our first parents (Adam and Eve), every single one of one of us is ruined by sin and destined for wrath.  Some people say that, “humanity is basically good, we just mess up sometimes.”

But the scriptures reveal a very different truth.  They teach us that…

  • Romans 3:10-12–“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Furthermore, we see in Ephesians 2 that we are…

  • Ephesians 2:1-3—…dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

This is who we are and we know it.  We try to suppress that truth as much as we can but, deep down inside each and every one of us knows that we are a sinner at our very core. 

So you see, we have a problem here.  When you bring sinners like us before the all-knowing, all powerful, righteous and wrathful judge, there doesn’t seem to be any hope for us.  It looks a lot like our doom is fixed.  But then we come to the third gospel truth:

What God has done for sinners like us in the person of his son…

Jesus Christ

God’s Word tells us that

  • Romans 5:8—God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

You see, God didn’t ignore our sin and he didn’t choose to forsake his righteous wrath.  Istead, he showed his love for us by sending his one and only Son.  The infinite, eternal, Lord of glory, the divine Son of God, became a mere man so that in the flesh he might satisfy God’s wrath towards us.  He lived 33 years as a perfectly righteous man so that he might become our very righteousness.  We call this the great exchange and we see clearly taught in…

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21–For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Our sin and guilt was put on Christ so that we might be forgiven.  His perfect righteousness is counted as ours so that we might be declared righteous before our holy judge.  This is what God has done for us by the loving work of his Son.  God has extended amazing grace to save wretches like you and me.

Thus, the questions becomes “how do I become a recipient of this grace?  How can I benefit from the loving work of Christ?”

The answer is our fourth gospel truth.  We receive God’s saving grace through…

Response – in Faith Alone

There is only one way of receiving this grace.  We sinners must repent of our sin and put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Alone.  You cannot earn God’s saving grace.  Your works don’t contribute anything to your salvation.  American theologian Jonathan Edwards rightly said that…

The only thing WE contribute to our salvation is the sin that made it necessary.

The book of Titus teaches us that…

  • Titus 3:5-6—he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Know that all who repent of their sin and truly believe in the Lord Jesus will be forgiven and Christ’s righteousness will be counted as theirs.

If anyone you know who’s dead were granted permission to come down from heaven for just one more moment and speak to you, we promise you…

  • they wouldn’t tell you to take more vacations (though there’s nothing wrong with that)
  • they wouldn’t tell you to work harder (though hard work is a good thing and he was the hardest worker most of us ever knew)
  • they wouldn’t even tell you to spend more time with family (though that too is good and necessary)

If your deceased friend had permission from God to say one last thing to you, he would speak of ultimate and eternal things.  He would plead with you saying the very words that Jesus said in…

  • Mark 1:15—“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

So we plead with you today.  If you have not repented of your sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, please do so today.  Don’t wait another day or even another hour.  Flee to Christ.  Find love, mercy, and forgiveness from God in Christ.  Choose today to spend the rest of your life loving, serving, and believing on Jesus Christ.

If you’ve read this today and you’re ready to do that, please contact us at (757) 856-9700 and speak with us or email us at ReformationChristianFellowship@gmail.com. We’d consider it our joy to talk to you about turning away from your sin and trusting in Jesus Christ.