The Christian life revolves around something we call the gospel. The term literally means “good news” and it is the good news of what God has done for us.
We believe that life is not an accident. The evidence of the natural world and the record of scripture tell us there is a God and He made the universe, our world and everything in it. He also made human beings to be different than the rest of His creation. The Bible says God made us “in His image” which means He made us to be not just physical beings but also spiritual beings. Unlike the animal kingdom He gave us the capacity to know Him and to have a relationship with Him. If you have felt an emptiness or a dissatisfaction in your life that other things have not filled, it is a desire for spiritual life.
The message of the gospel starts with telling us the cause of this void. Mankind as a whole has been disconnected from God. When we are born we lack this essential spiritual relationship with Him, and the reason is something God calls sin. Sin is any action or attitude that is against God or against others. According to the Bible sin was introduced into the world by the very first man. God made Adam and his wife Eve, and He blessed them with all they needed. But He also gave them the capacity of choice. God did not force Adam and Eve to love Him or obey Him. He allowed them to do it freely, for without freedom there is not real love.
The sad part is, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. You can read all about it in the first few chapters of the Bible, but when they sinned the result was it brought death into the world. God warned them this would happen. Sin always brings death. The first expression of death was spiritual. Adam and Eve were disconnected from God and no longer had a relationship with Him. The second expression of death would be physical, though in God’s mercy it would not be immediate.
Since then, all of Adam’s offspring--every man and woman--have been born into this condition of sin. We are all disconnected from God. And more than that, we all go a step further and make our own choices to break His commands. You are a sinner. Just like me. At some point we all lie or cheat or steal or blaspheme or hate or lust. And most of us can see the result of our sin, not just spiritual hunger but the destruction or death it brings to our lives--broken relationships, broken bodies, broken families, broken communities.
So why did God give Adam a chance to live out His physical life? Why has God given you and me a chance to live out our lives? Because God doesn’t want sin to be the end for us. We have to understand that God is holy and perfect. His judgment against sin will come to every life. But God is also love, so He has provided a way for sin to be erased. This is where Jesus comes in. His coming was first promised to Adam and Eve and then through history to a long line of people that responded to God’s call. Jesus was not just a prophet, teacher or holy man. He claimed to be and showed through His life that He is the Son of God. Born to a Jewish virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is both fully God and fully man.
Jesus was born into the world to do two things. First, He revealed to us in human form who God is. Jesus told His followers, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father.” He worked miracles, healed people’s diseases and taught people how to live in a way that truly honors God. Second, Jesus came to be a sacrifice. Being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was never tainted by sin like the descendants of Adam. Yet He still took our place and suffered the judgment of death. Jesus was wrongfully crucified by the civil and religious rulers of His day. But it was God’s plan to pay for sin so His special creation--men and women made in His image--would not be lost to death and an eternity in hell.
In John 3:16 Jesus Himself says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The scriptures tell us that Jesus died, was buried in a tomb and three days later was resurrected. His death paid for our sin and His resurrection demonstrated His power to give us eternal life in its place. Ever since the resurrection of Jesus, His followers have been sharing this good news--the gospel--with the world.
The Bible says “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9) and that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins...” (1 John 1:9).
God has promised us that if we come to Him He will accept us, but we must come in the way that He has provided and that way is through Jesus. To confess our sins means to agree with God that we are indeed sinners. We have broken His commandments and followed our own ways in life. To confess the Lord Jesus means we no longer want to go our own way. We want to obey Him. It also means that we believe Jesus is the Son of God, that His death and resurrection happened and they were for our benefit.
God promises us in the scriptures that when we put our faith in Jesus we become “a new creation” and it’s what Jesus called in another place being “born again.” The spiritual connection, the relationship with God which was lost in sin is now ours again. God makes us spiritually alive and we have the privilege of knowing Him and serving Him. We also have the assurance we will spend eternity alive with God. Because of this we no longer fear death.
Christians also look forward to the return of Jesus. After his resurrection Jesus spent 40 days on earth, showing Himself to His disciples and teaching them before ascending into Heaven. He promised to return, both to receive His followers and to establish God’s kingdom on earth. Faithful Christians look forward to the return of Christ, and we watch as world events develop just as the the scriptures predict they will in preparation for His coming.
This is the gospel: Man is lost to sin but can be reconnected to God and given eternal life through Jesus. If you have never confessed your sin to God or confessed your faith in Jesus, you can do it now. No matter who you are or what you have done, God promises to accept those who come to Him in humility. You can pray a prayer like this:
"Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I am sorry for the things I have done against you and against others. I believe You died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe that you also rose from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I can live forever with You. Right now, I turn from my sin and invite you into my life. I confess that You are now the Lord and leader of my life. Please change me and make me your own. Thank You for saving me."
If you have sincerely confessed Jesus in this way, the Bible says that you are now spiritually alive and calls you a child of God. I encourage you to find a church that loves Jesus, that teaches the Bible and that will help you get to know other believers. I also encourage you to tell someone about your decision. Doing these things will encourage you in your new life of faith. Pray and read the Bible as regularly as you can. One of the Gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke or John--at the beginning of the New Testament is a great place to begin.
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