The word "gospel" means "good news". Don't we need some good news in the world in which we live? In the Bible, the gospel refers to the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Bible Says:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:1-6
Why would the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus be considered good news? Is it still good news for us today? There are five things we need to think about in order to understand what makes this news so good.
First, this question: Are you righteous before God?
When this life ends, we will all stand before the one true God who created all things. If we look at ourselves honestly, we know that we are not righteous according to God's standard. That means we will face the punishment for our unrighteousness (also called sin). God describes an awful place called Hell where this punishment is received forever. However, because of His love, God does not want you to face that punishment. But are you willing to become righteous in order to please God?
- And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27
- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
- But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Second: Is there any way to become righteous?
Most people have the idea that they can achieve enough righteousness so that God will accept them. Some do kind deeds and just try to do the best they can. Others make great efforts in religious activity to increase their chances. While these things may improve life for us and others around us, they do not meet the requirement that God desires. He requires perfect righteousness!
The first step to becoming righteous is to admit that you cannot be righteous like God requires.
- For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10
- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5
- Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 9:41
Third: Is there anyone who can help?
Here is where the truth of Jesus Christ becomes the good news that we need. Jesus, God in the flesh, came to the earth and showed that He is very God. He did this by miracles and by living a sinless life. He finished the job that God, his Father, gave to him by going to the cross. There he suffered and died, not because he was guilty, but because our sins were placed upon him. He shed his blood on the cross to obtain our salvation. Jesus' death is good news because he took our place and paid the price of our sin. His burial shows that the death was a reality and his resurrection shows that his power over sin and death is a reality. Only through Jesus Christ can we be made righteous.
- Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23
- Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24
- For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
- Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 Peter 1:18-19
Fourth: How can you be righteous through Jesus?
Becoming righteous through Jesus is not accomplished by trying to do religious things. The only way to have the righteousness that Jesus offers is by faith (by believing). God, in His grace, has made it possible for you to escape the punishment of Hell and have a right relationship with Him forever. By repentance (a desire to turn away from sin) and faith (a willingness to depend on Christ) on your part, God will make you righteous and accept you into His family forever.
- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47
- Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1
- For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
Fifth: What will you do with Jesus?
The resurrection was witnessed by over 500 people! Though it is easy today to scoff and ignore the reality of what Jesus did, it was not easy to ignore the resurrection in the 1st century. Many who desired for righteousness and the peace, joy, and contentment that comes with being right with God put their trust in the risen Saviour. You can continue living in sin or self-righteousness or you can find forgiveness and true salvation by trusting Jesus to make you righteous. You will still face the challenges, failures, and disappointments of this life, but the Saviour will carry you through them and receive you into eternal life when this life is over.
Jesus invites you to come to him. Will you come?
- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12
- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Please contact us if you have questions or to share your decision for Christ.