The Gospel of Jesus Christ

The power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes

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the gospel of Jesus Christ - Abide in the Vine

The gospel is the good news about God's message of salvation to the sinful humanity. It includes the predetermined plan of God to save His chosen people from sin through the person and work of His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches many things but its central message is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. While there are many essential doctrines of the Christian faith, the gospel lands at the pinnacle. We will not be able to fully grasp the depths of this glorious gospel but we will do well if we will resolve to at least consider what has been revealed in the Scriptures concerning this message. The following is a short summary of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Character of God

the gospel of Jesus Christ - Abide in the Vine

The gospel begins with who God is. You see, man's sin won't be a problem if God is not holy and just - but God is indeed holy and just. A closer look at the character of God will give us an idea about how perfect He is and how sinful we are.

God is Holy

The angels around the throne of God cry out to one another,

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory! -Isaiah 6:3

God is holy. It means that He is set apart from His creation in terms of nature. His nature is transcendent which means that He belongs to an entirely different category. There is none like Him (Isa. 46:9, Jer. 10:7, Psa. 86:8). He is completely other. He is separated from sin and He does not sin or participates with sin.

God is Just

The Psalmist wrote,

God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. --Psalms 7:11

God is just and His justice demands that the guilty be punished. He will by no means clear the guilty (Exo. 34:7). Being a just Judge, God will bestow the due punishment to the sinners. He does not just let go of any sinner for that will make Him a terrible and unjust Judge.

Furthermore, since God is holy that He really hates wickedness and since He is just, He is angry with the wicked everyday. Paul himself said that we were like "children of wrath just like the others (Eph. 2:3)" and Jesus our Lord Himsel said that "he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)”. Notice that God is not only angry at sin but also at the sinner that His wrath will abide on any sinner who does not believe in His Son.

The Depravity of Man

the gospel of Jesus Christ - Abide in the Vine

Man's sinfulness is so radical. His inherent sinfulness makes him spiritually bankrupt. The Bible teaches the following:

There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. --Romans 3:10-12

In another place Paul wrote,

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, --Romans 3:23

It is for this reason that man cannot save himself. Man's sin problem is not just something like the drowning of a man in an ocean which can be helped with a lifeboat. Man's sin problem is about being spiritually dead that he needs is life and resurrection. In addition to that, we need to realize that man's sinfulness goes beyond his actions - it is his nature. He is a sinner not because he sins but he sins because he is a sinner.

Moreover, man's sin problem is so radical that he cannot respond to God's glory. He does not see God's infinite worth and utter beauty. He is so inclined to sin that even though it ensalves him, it is still his pursuit. Truly, the Lord is right when He said, "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19)".

Man is so inclined to sin that even though it ensalves him, it is still his pursuit.

You may think that you are good person. But the standard is God and not your neighbor. Before God, all men are guilty. We cannot buy our way to heaven. We are not enough and we will never be enough. None of our so-called "good works" can ever make us right with God. It is written,

But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. --Isaiah 64:6

Now, we have established that God is holy and just and that man is indeed sinful. The question now is,

How can a sinful man who deserves eternal damnation in hell be reconciled to the the just and holy God whose justice demands that the guilty be punished?

Jesus Christ, The Savior

the gospel of Jesus Christ - Abide in the Vine

Remember the question that needs an answer:

How can a sinful man who deserves eternal damnation in hell be reconciled to the the just and holy God whose justice demands that the guilty be punished?

The answer is found in the person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly teaches why Jesus came into the world. Before He was born, an angel told Joseph,

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. --Matthew 1:21

So, not only does Jesus' name mean "savior", He really came to save His people from their sins. He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). He came to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God who took upon Himself a form of a bondservant. He is the Word from the beginning that was made flesh (John 1:1,14). He is the Messiah or the Christ who was testified by the Law and the Prophets. Jesus is the one who,

being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. --Philippians 2:6-8

Why did Jesus die?

Jesus died on the cross not for His own sin for He has no sin of His own (2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 4:15). He lived a perfect life. He has the sinless perfection. And yet He suffered at the cross. Why? let us see the answer as prophesied by Isaiah,

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. --Isaiah 53:6

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, --Isaiah 53:10

Furthermore, Paul wrote:

whom [Jesus] God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, --Romans 3:25

Here it is:

Jesus died because He bore our sins and He took upon Himself the punishment that we deserve. Because of that, God's wrath fell upon Him. He became a curse at the cross (Gal. 3:13). He paid fully the price that we can never pay. His life is indeed the ransom, the price of our redemption. Christ is the propitiation - the sacrifice that removed God's wrath and satisified His justice while at the same time upholding His holiness.

At the cross, the justice and the love of God met. The Bible teaches that,

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. --Romans 5:8

You see, Christ did not wait for us to be good enough before He would die for us. While we were still sinners, He died for us and it is in this magnificent act of redemption that God's love was magnified while His justice is satisfied. Now, God is truly just and that He is the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom. 3:26).

Christ Himself is the Gospel. He is the way to the Father (John 14:6). No other name was given to us by whom we can be saved (Acts 4:12). He alone is the Way. He alone is sufficient and powerful to save. Yes, Christ alone.

Now, how should we respind to this glorious truth?

Man's Response

the gospel of Jesus Christ - Abide in the Vine

When a person hears the gospel, the Spirit of God will surely work in his or her heart. While the preacher shouts the external call, the Spirit of God does the effectual call in the heart of the hearer.

So then, a person can respond to the gospel call because it is the Spirit of God who does His irresistible work in him. Given this reality, what should be man's response to the gospel message?

Repentance and Faith

Repent, and believe in the gospel. --Mark 1:15

Repentance is a change of mind which results in turning from sins towards God. To repent also means to acknowledge that our works cannot save us, that only Christ can save us. On the other hand, faith in Christ means trusting Him for what He has done. It is also by faith that we receive the gift of salvation. The Bible teaches,

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. --Ephesians 2:8-9

Salvation is a gift to be received by faith. It can never be achieved by good works or by joining a certain religious sect. It is only by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

New Creation in Christ

To conclude this Gospel section, the Scriptures remind us that being in Christ means having life in Him and living for Him. We are now a new creation in Christ and now we ought to love solely for Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. --2 Corinthians 5:17