The Gospel…

…all begins with GOD.

According to the Bible God is holy and good.

“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” — 1 John 1:5

“You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong.” — Habakkuk 1:13

“The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.” — Psalm 145:17

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory!” — Isaiah 6:3

The fact that God is SO good and SO holy is really bad news for mankind.

Why?

Primarily for two reasons:

Reason one: Man is bad…

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…” — Romans 5:12

According to the Bible we are all…

“…by nature children of wrath…” — Ephesians 2:3

We are not sinners because we have sinned. We sin because we are sinners. It is who we are by our very nature.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” — Romans 3:23

At this point it might be helpful to know the definition of sin…

  • SIN — Any transgression of the law of God.

We all end up transgressing God’s law because we are corrupt from the inside out…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” — Jeremiah 17:9

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” — Proverbs 14:12

Reason two: God is just…

You may have heard the phrase, “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” That sounds good. And I’m sure the person who told you that was well meaning. There’s just one problem…

It ain’t biblical.

“The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.” — Nahum 1:3

“The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” — Psalm 5:5

“…whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” — John 3:36

“For the wages of sin is death…” — Romans 6:23

All of this presents us with a really big problem. Think about the implications of all of this…

  • If God is holy and just (and he is)…
  • If all men have sinned (and they have)…
  • If the penalty for sin is death (and it is)…
  • If God cannot overlook sin (and he can’t)…

Then how can anyone ever get to heaven? See the problem? Oh, but it gets worse because the Bible says…

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” — Proverbs 17:15

God can’t just let us off the hook. To do so would make Him an abomination. To do so would be completely contrary to His nature. This is all very BAD NEWS indeed. There is only one way that anyone can be saved from this…

THE GOOD NEWS…

God offers sinful man GRACE.

  • GRACE — unmerited favor, a gift.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 6:23

How does Jesus Christ accomplish that?

Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, came to earth to fully identify with man, yet he remained fully God. Jesus never sinned — he lived a perfect life, faithful to every law God ever gave and yet God punished Jesus AS IF he had sinned. Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross. While he was there God the Father poured out on Christ the wrath that we rightfully deserve and treated him AS IF he were a sinner. How do we know this? The story is recorded in its entirety in the Bible and the reason is plainly stated…

“For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45

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

Jesus Christ drank down the wrath of God that you and I rightfully deserved. THIS is how God could remain JUST and still be the JUSTIFIER of the wicked.

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a PROPITIATION by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be JUST and the JUSTIFIER of the one who has faith in Jesus.” — Romans 3:23-26

The word “propitiation” in that verse means Christ’s sacrifice SATISFIED God’s wrath. God the Father treated Jesus AS IF he had sinned, and because of that He can now treat us AS IF we had never sinned…

“It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our transgressions and raised for our justification.” — Romans 4:24-25

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” — 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

So, the big question becomes…

WHAT MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED?

The Answer?

REPENT AND BELIEVE!

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'” — Mark 1:14-15

How does someone do that? What does that even look like?

Well, according to the Bible repentance begins with a recognition and a confession that what God says about us is true. We HAVE sinned. We ARE sinners…

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified when you speak and blameless when you judge.” — Psalm 51:3-4

Then believe that Jesus accomplished what he said he accomplished and trust only in Him for your salvation…

“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

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” — Acts 16:31

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