If the gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16), then we need to know what the gospel is if we want to be saved. Where do we go to find out what the gospel is? As the inspired and inerrant revelation of God, the Bible is where we must go to find the message that can save us.
The gospel is not found in any one particular Bible verse. The gospel is rather the overarching story and point of the entire Bible. It is the message that all of the Old Testament points to and all of the New Testament proclaims. The gospel is the message on which Christians throughout the centuries have staked their lives. What, then, is the gospel?
The gospel is the overarching point of the entire Bible. It is the message that all of the Old Testament points to and all of the New Testament proclaims
The gospel starts with God. The Bible teaches that God is the holy Creator of all things. God is holy, meaning that He is not like anything else (Isaiah 6:3). He is set apart, unique, and fundamentally different from everything else in the universe. God’s holiness also means that He is morally pure and righteous and perfect in every way.
God is holy and He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1). He created all things to reflect His glory (Romans 11:36). He spoke the universe into existence and sustains it with His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3, 11:3). Because God created all things, He is sovereign over all things. As Creator, God has the right to rule over what He has made. God is the holy King who made all things to reflect the worth of His glory.
The Bible teaches that the apex of God’s creation was man and woman (Genesis 1:26-27). God made us to represent His rule and to reflect His glory on the earth. As image bearers of God, each person has inherent value, dignity, and worth. All life is precious to God because all life is created by God.
Though we are created in God’s image, we are also fallen in sin (Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1). We decided to live for our glory instead of God’s (Romans 3:23, 1:23). We decided to rule our lives instead of letting God rule our lives. We have loved things other than God more than God. Because God is holy, and because He created us, He deserves our full attention and love and worship. Because we have not given God what He deserves, He is just to judge us for our sin (Romans 6:23). A holy and good King cannot tolerate rebels like us. He must do something about our rebellion.
We have loved things other than God more than God. Because we have not given God what He deserves, He is just to judge us for our sin
The Bible tells us that, in the person and work of Jesus, God has given us mercy instead of judgment for our rebellion (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:4-9). Jesus was sent by the Father, fully God and fully man, to live the life that we should have lived, to die on the cross for our sins, and to rise from the dead on the third day.
On the cross, Jesus took our place, becoming our perfect substitute and sacrifice (1 Peter 2:24). On the cross, God poured out His holy wrath against sin and sinners on Jesus (1 John 2:2). Jesus took the holy judgment of God that we deserve. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He took our sin on the cross and gave us His righteousness so that we can have fellowship with the holy God who made us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Bible says that the privilege of fellowship with God is not granted to everyone indiscriminately. Only those who turn away from their sin and put their trust in Jesus are adopted into God’s family and given God’s Spirit (Mark 1:15; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:13). Anyone who sees the ugliness of their sin and the beauty and value of Jesus and His work will be saved. Anyone who loves their sin or the world or themselves more than Jesus will receive the just reward for their rebellion against the holy God who made them (John 3:36). But those whose confidence and hope is in Jesus alone will have their sins forgiven, their guilt removed, their shame covered, their fellowship with God restored, and their future in God’s eternal kingdom of joy secured (John 14:1-3; Romans 5:11).
More could be said, but to summarise, the gospel is the good news that God has worked in Jesus to save sinners from His wrath and bring them into His everlasting kingdom of joy. The promise of the gospel is that all who embrace it will be saved. Do you have a growing trust in the promises of the gospel?
May God help us trust and delight in the good news about His Son.
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