Introduction to the Gospel
At Calvary, our aim is to be a Gospel-centered church. In other words, we want the truth of the Gospel to inform, motivate, and direct us in everything we do. So, what exactly is the Gospel? Allow us to introduce it to you.
The word gospel literally means good news. So whenever we talk about the Gospel, we are talking about the good news of Jesus Christ. But, in order to really understand the good news, and why it’s so good, we must first understand the bad news.
In short, the bad news is that we are all sinners, and our sin separates us from God, makes us deserving of His wrath, and destined to eternal torment in hell.
You see, God is our creator, and He made us for His purposes. Contrary to what many seem to believe, we are not autonomous or self-sufficient, rather we are fully dependent on God for every breath we take. However, instead of worshipping Him and living according to His plan, we have all rebelled against Him. This rebellion against God is called sin. And God, being completely and perfectly holy, cannot tolerate sin. He demands that every single sin that has ever been committed be paid for. And the payment for sin is spiritual death - abandonment from God and eternity spent in hell.
Many people have heard that God is loving and kind, so perhaps they’re hoping that when they die God will just overlook their sins. But to be clear, He won’t. He can’t. Because in addition to being loving and kind and holy, He is also completely and perfectly just. And since He is just, He cannot simply overlook or ignore our sin. He must punish it. A truly just judge could not let a convicted serial killer go free, and God cannot let convicted sinners go free. That would not be just, and therefore He cannot do it. Our sin must be paid for. God has been, and continues to be, extremely patient with sinners, but one day He will not put up with it any longer, and justice will be served.
So as you can see, the bad news is in fact, very, very bad news. But that’s why the good news, the Gospel, is truly the greatest news ever. The Gospel tells us we are not stuck in this hopeless state.
We have already discussed how our sin must be paid for and cannot be overlooked, so how can a holy and just God free us from the wrath we deserve? He did it by allowing someone else to take our place. But not just anybody. A sinful human being cannot take God’s wrath in our place, because he himself is also deserving of it. It had to be someone completely sinless. So God sent Jesus, His only son, to be born as a human, to live the sinless life none of us could ever live, and to die the excruciating death that we deserve. And in doing this, Jesus made a way for sinners to be reconciled to God, forgiven of their sins, and freed from the punishment they deserve.
How do we know Jesus accomplished all this? Because He didn’t stay dead. He came back to life on the third day (just as He had said He would), proving that He was who He said He was, and that God had accepted His life and death as payment for our sin.The good news is that what we couldn’t do for ourselves, our Lord Jesus did for us.
So does this mean we are all saved now, that none of us will be condemned by God, that all of us will one day enjoy heaven with Him? No. While the Bible says that salvation is a free gift from God through Jesus Christ our Lord, the sad reality is that most people do not accept that gift. Most people continue to reject God, and in doing so, they remain in their sin and will have to face the consequences of it.
So how do we accept God’s free gift? How are we saved? We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that He is who He said He is, and that His life and death accomplished what He said it accomplished. In believing this, we recognize that we are mere sinners, and we repent and follow and obey the only true God, who graciously gave us our salvation.
When God saves us, He saves us for all eternity. But His amazing grace doesn’t just cleanse us from our past sins, and secure our eternal future, it also helps us in our lives today. Once we are saved, we are truly different people. We no longer live the way unbelievers live. We no longer walk in the ignorance of our former way of life. We die to our old selves and walk in newness of life. And we do all this through the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who enters each of us at the time of our salvation. The Holy Spirit also helps us understand the Bible, which God has given us to help us to learn more about Him and to learn more about how we ought to live.
We believe the Gospel changes everything. But the question is, do you believe it? Do you believe that apart from Jesus Christ we are all hell-bound enemies of God? Do you believe He is your only hope in life and in death. We hope and pray you do.