There is no greater message to be heard than the Gospel (the Good News about Jesus Christ)! The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it tells us about our loving God who created us and it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is this: God is holy (He cannot do anything wrong) and He is just (He must see to it that the penalty of all wrongdoing is paid). Our problem is that we have all done wrong. We have all sinned against our maker (Romans 6:23) and, because our sins separate us from God who is the source of our life, the consequences for any sin is death (Romans 3:23).
This means at the end of our lives, we’ll stand before a just and holy God, and will be judged according to what we did in life. Contrary to what many believe today, we’re not judged on whether or not we were “good people” in our own eyes or whether or not our “good deeds outweigh the bad.” Just one sin (a lie, a lustful look, an angry word) will disqualify us from a life of eternal joy in heaven with our God and will doom us to eternal death and darkness. There couldn’t be more at stake—this is why Jesus said it wouldn’t be worth it to gain the whole world if it meant losing your soul.
So the question is this: have you ever told a lie, been unkind to someone, used God’s name in a careless way, used unclean speech, felt hatred towards another person, lusted, fornicated, gotten drunk, stolen, or committed any other sin? If you answered truthfully, the answer is yes. So, will God declare you guilty or innocent of those sins after you die? He will declare you guilty and undeserving of the riches of eternal life and will lose your soul. This might not sound like good news so far—we are all guilty and doomed!
What can be done about our sin problem so that we do not have to face the horrible consequences of our sins?
Well, the answer is what Jesus did for us. Although He was absolutely innocent and perfect, He gave His life on the cross as a payment for our sins because of His great love for us. The Bible says that Jesus was “pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). We were guilty but He was punished. He died so that we could have life! But God did not leave Jesus in the grave. We rejoice because He was raised again, which means that God has defeated the power of death.
So salvation is totally by the grace (kindness) of God which he bestows on us through the blood of Jesus. We do not earn, merit, acquire, or add anything to the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins.
God now calls everyone, everywhere to believe in (faith) Jesus Christ, the Son of God as their Savior. Having a trusting faith in God is absolutely essential to becoming a child of God (Hebrews 11:6).
Truly believing in Jesus means not just believing He is your Savior because He died for you, but also your Lord. When we realize that Jesus is our Lord, we are willing to hand our lives over to Him. We seek to live how He would want us to live instead of how we sometimes want to. This is called repentance. It means ‘turning around,’ or doing a 180 in the areas of our lives that we realize are sinful. Repentance doesn’t mean we become perfect. But it does mean that we turn our hearts away from sin and towards God and we seek to correct sin in our lives when we see it.
But it isn’t until we are baptized that our faith and decision to repent converge with the power of Christ’s blood. Romans 6:1-6 make it clear that we are baptized into Christ’s death and we are raised with Him. This has several implications. First, just as Jesus died for our sins, we die to our old way of life by repenting. Secondly, just as Jesus was buried in the tomb, we are immersed in the water of baptism. Third, just as Jesus was raised from the tomb, we come out of the water with new life because we are in a righteous standing before God.
Friend, Jesus died for you. Will you live for Him?
- Do you believe in Him?
- Have you turned away from sin?
- Have you been immersed (baptized) into Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins?
- Are you currently living faithfully to Him?