On Sunday, we talked about the importance of understanding the Gospel, the Christian message, in such a way that you can readily and easily summarize it for someone. The word Gospel literally means “good news.” It is the message of salvation—how sinful people can have peace with God and spend eternity with him in heaven. The Gospel answers four questions:
- Who is God and what does he require?
- Who is man and has what is his need?
- What has Jesus does to answer that need?
- How does man receive salvation?
Here are the answers that the Gospel gives:
- God—God is the good, wise and just Creator of all things who requires perfect obedience to his law (his commands)—promising heaven to those who obey and threatening hell for those who disobey.
- Sin—Man was made good, in the image of God, but rebelled by by breaking God’s commands, thus earning an eternity in hell.
- The Redeemer—Jesus is God come as man, who lived the perfect life we could not live so as to earn heaven for us and died on the cross, suffering the full punishment we deserved for our sins, so as to pay the debt we owed to God for our disobedience.
- Faith—Those who place no trust in their own goodness, but trust what Jesus has done for us, are forgiven and counted as if they had perfectly kept God’s commands and are rewarded with an eternity in heaven.
Obviously each of these things could be explained in much greater detail. But this is the Christian message in a nutshell. Each of us should know these things backwards and forwards and be ready to explain them to someone who is interested to know what Christians believe.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”
(1 Peter 3:18)