Simple Gospel

The word, “gospel,” as used in scripture, means “Good News!”  The Gospel is simply the message of God’s love for us and what He has done for us so that we can enter into a life-giving eternal relationship with Him.

The Gospel is the central, prevailing message of the New Testament, and of every New Testament child of God. It’s the message we long to share with all our family, friends, and loved ones. The Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, NASB). Sharing the Gospel is central to every child of God’s purpose and mission in life because Jesus told His disciples that it is our responsibility to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15, NASB).

WAC Jesus Focus 1

His Identity

Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the only true and living God; which means that He “is” God in the flesh. The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” … “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-2 & 14, NASB).

God presents Himself to humanity as three distinct divine entities: God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit – Three in One! When “the Word became flesh,” God the Son (Jesus) stepped into the creation with a divine purpose—to become our eternal sacrifice for sin, saying, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me… behold, I have come to do Your will, O God!” (Hebrews 10:5&9, NASB). When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians living in the city of Philippi, he spoke to them of both the identity of Christ and the ultimate purpose of His mission, saying, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8, NASB). Jesus Himself revealed His divine purpose for stepping into our world “in the likeness of men” when He said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10, NASB) and “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, NASB).

Death, Burial, Resurrection

The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NASB) and “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, NASB). There is a price that must be paid for sin; and that price is “death!” Because God is altogether pure and holy, He cannot have intimate fellowship with sinful humanity unless and until that price is paid. So, after living a pure and holy life, and being “tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NASB) Jesus allowed Himself to suffer, bleed, and die for us on the cross in order to pay the price for our sins–so that we don’t have to pay that terrible price eternally ourselves. The Bible says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB).

After Jesus’ death on the cross, His body was placed in a tomb. A giant stone, weighing well over a ton, was rolled in front of the opening and the official Roman Seal, along with a Roman guard consisting of several soldiers, was set in place to ensure that the grave would not be tampered with. However, on the third day following His death on the cross, the giant stone was found to have been blown several feet away from the entrance, the Roman soldiers were found to be in a stupor–a state of disorientation–and the body of Jesus was not in the tomb. He had risen from the dead, proving beyond doubt that He was/is exactly who He claimed to be. The Bible says that He “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4, NASB). After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to many people over the course of fifty days. The Bible even says that, on one occasion, “He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time” (I Corinthians 15:6, NASB).

Belief, Repentance, Baptism

And now that He has paid the price for our sins by suffering the punishment that we deserve, Jesus invites each and everyone of us to giver our hearts and lives to Him, to put our faith in Him and in what He has done for us,and to claim His life-giving sacrifice as our very own by sharing in His death. On His last day on the earth, after His death, burial, and resurrection, and just before ascending back to glory with the Father, He said to His disciples, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47, NASB). Again, after His death on the cross and then being resurrected from the dead, Jesus said: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16, NASB).

A few days later, on the Jewish holiday called “Pentecost,” the Apostle Peter preached the very first Gospel sermon after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Peter told the crowds of people gathered at the temple that day about the life of Jesus, who He was, and how that He had died for them and had been resurrected from the dead all according to God’s plan. The Bible says, “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself” (Acts 2:37-39, NASB).

A few years later, in writing to the Christians who lived in the city of Ephesus, the Apostle Paul told them, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10, NASB). And to the Christians living in the region of Galatia, Paul said, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27, NASB). And then, later, to the Christians living in Rome, Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be  in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:3-7, NASB).

And, basically, that’s it! There are many others passages of scripture that we could go to, of course; and there are many different ways that we can share this beautiful story of God’s love to explain what He has done for us. But, essentially, it all boils down to this:

Jesus, the Son of God, came into this world to live and die for you! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”  (John 3:16, NASB). Do you believe in Him? Do you believe that the Gospel story is real? If you do not believe, and you persist in your unbelief, there is no hope for you! If you do believe, have you repented of selfishness, sin, and rebellion against the will of God and surrendered you heart and life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you obeyed Jesus’ command to be baptized? Remember, according to the Apostle Peter, baptism is “for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38) because, as the Apostle Paul said, “…all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death…  (Romans 6:3-4, NASB). Baptism is our expression of saving faith by which we are put “into Christ” and “into His death.” It is the very moment in time at which we become partakers of His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection and His death becomes our death–the price for sins having been paid at the cross, it is at that moment that we are washed in the blood of Christ (I John 1:7) and clothed with His righteousness (Galatians 3:27).

Do you wish to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? We have contacts all over the world; and there is a Christian nearby who would absolutely love to help you become a part of God’s forever family! So drop us a quick note and we’ll do all we can to assist you with your baptism!

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