The gospel is the good news about the person and work of Jesus Christ. But in order to rightly understand who Jesus is and what He did we need to understand who God is, who we are, and why Jesus had to come. A good way to summarize and explain the gospel is by breaking it down into four parts: God … Man … Christ … Response…
God: There is one true God who has eternally existed in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is perfectly holy, righteous, just, glorious, and good. He created and sustains the universe and everything in it. And as the Creator of the universe He has sovereign rights over His creation.
Man: Out of all of God’s creation He created man in His own image: meaning He created us with worth and value, and intended us to enjoy Him by living with Him and for Him. But, the first man and woman rebelled against the purpose they were created for, and sought to live for themselves instead of God; and every man and woman since then has done the same thing. He created us, and therefore He has the right to tell us what to do. But, the very reason He wants us to live for Him and with Him is because He is so good. He is perfectly good, therefore living for Him and with Him would bring us true joy, because He is better than anything in this world. Every good thing is only good because He created it; and its goodness points to His goodness.
Because God is perfectly good and just, He cannot allow our rebellion to go unpunished, otherwise He would not truly be just; therefore every man and woman is guilty before Him, because we all rebel against Him. Ever since the first man and woman rebelled against God, we all naturally rebel against God; we all naturally live for ourselves. And since we are guilty, and since justice must be served, on the Day of Judgment God will condemn us and pour out His just wrath on us for eternity in a place called hell. Unless something changes, when we die we will answer for our rebellion. Instead of living in the eternal joy we were created for, we will live in eternal agony because we are rebels against a truly good God.
Christ: But, because God is so good, because of the great love with which He loved us and for His great glory, He made a way to save a people for Himself. He sent His own Son, Jesus—who was and is likewise perfectly holy, righteous, just, glorious, and good because He is in fact God—to live the life we were created to live—perfectly living for God in every way, then take the punishment that we deserve for our rebellion upon Himself by dying on the cross and having God’s wrath due us poured out upon Himself in our place, and then rise from the grave in power on the third day to conquer sin, Satan, death, hell, and satisfy the just wrath of God for all those who will turn from their rebellion and surrender to Jesus as their Lord and rely on Him as their Savior.
Response: The Word of God tells us that Jesus did in fact come and complete this work, which now leaves us with the choice to respond by turning from our rebellion and surrendering to Jesus or to remain in our rebellion continuing down the road to eternal damnation. All those who rightly respond to the gospel will be saved from God’s wrath and be reconciled to God, so that they can live for Him and with Him in joy forever.
How will you respond?
To aid you in your consideration of the gospel, we offer you a link to a multimedia presentation of the gospel message from Matthias Media entitled Two Ways to Live.