What is the Gospel?
The Gospel, or good news, is summarized in the following seven points:
1. There is a God who is infinitely glorious.
“Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.” “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” (Nehemiah 9:5-6)
The God of the Bible is infinitely more beautiful and wonderful and holy and majestic and powerful and awesome than the greatest human mind can comprehend. His power knows no end, His justice is perfect, His mercy is like a never ending tide, His holiness is whiter than the whitest snow, His knowledge is exhaustive, and His love cannot be contained by all creation. He has existed and will continue existing in all His beauty forever. He has no beginning and no end. He placed every star in the sky. He knows every atom in the universe by name. He stands alone in honor and value and worth. His name is above all names. He has no equal (Exodus 15:11).
2. We were created by God for His glory.
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7)
The God of the universe designed the universe to display His glory (Psalm 19:1). We exist to reflect the greatness of God. Our whole purpose in life is to see and be satisfied by the glory of God. Everything that we do – whether we eat or drink or drive a car – must be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). How remarkable. God, in His infinite wisdom and love, created us such that we are to spend our entire lives pursuing the most magnificent, satisfying, beautiful, and worthy being in all of existence – Himself!
3. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
None of us have done that which we were created to do. That is, every one of us has sinned by failing to glorify God as we should. We have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). In other words, we choose constantly to glorify God’s creation (toys and money and sex and relationships) rather than God Himself. When God sees us, He does not measure our goodness in comparison with other people. Instead, God measures our goodness against Himself—a standard which we all fail to meet.
4. The cost of our sin—of failing to live for the glory of God—is death.
“For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)
Our sin, inherited and chosen, prevents us from doing the very thing that we were created to do: glorify God. Our sin has separated us from fellowship with God and the ability to live for his glory. Our rebellion brings with it extremely serious consequences. By failing to glorify God as we should, we have brought the wrath of God upon ourselves. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18). Those who remain in their sin will ultimately be judged guilty by God and sentenced to spiritual death – hell.
5. In order to show His love, uphold His justice, forgive sinners, and display His glory, God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay for sins with His death.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
Because of God’s great love for us and His glory, He did not leave us without hope in our state of enmity. He provided a way for sinners to again delight in His glory and be reconciled to Himself. God cannot ignore injustice. Because He is just, God must punish all sin. Therefore, God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). That is, in order to show His love, uphold His justice, forgive sinners, and display His glory, God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay for sins with His death. Jesus death absorbed the full wrath of God for all of our sins.
6. The forgiveness of sins and the everlasting life bought by Jesus death belongs to all who repent, believe, and love Jesus.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.” (Acts 3:19)
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; …‘Do this and you will live.’” (Luke 10:25-27)
God decides whether or not we go to heaven based solely on our response to Jesus. In order to gain access to the forgiveness, love, and glory of God in Jesus — in order to get to heaven — we must repent, believe, and love Jesus (the mingling of which the Bible calls “faith”). Repenting means turning from sin and towards God. Believing means trusting and placing our faith in the promises of God rather than the promises of sin. Loving means realigning our affections to delight in the Delightful One.
7. God has promised that all things will work together for the good of those who truly love Him.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:28-32)
It is the grace of God that draws us to Jesus in faith (John 6:44). It is also the grace of God that keeps our faith in Jesus (Romans 8:28-32). And it is the grace of God that transforms us into that which we were made to be (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). Indeed, for those of us who love God, everything (even when it seems otherwise) is being worked out for our greatest good.