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Gospel


Gospel means “good news”. What is the news and why is it good? First, we need hear some bad news…

1. What is mankind’s problem? Sin

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

What is sin? The Japanese tsumi (罪) makes us think of hanzai (犯罪) crime. So you might think, I’ve never committed a crime, never stolen or committed murder. Sin is not merely breaking a human law; sin is breaking God’s law.

What is God’s law? The Bible teaches us many of them:
Exodus 20
1. You shall have no other gods
2. You shall not worship idols
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
5. Honor your father and mother
6. You shall not murder
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not bear false witness
10. You shall not covet 
 
If you think, “I’ve never murdered or committed adultery…” read Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:22 & 28. God’s Law applies not only to our actions but to our hearts as well. 

Jesus summarized God’s Law like this (Matthew 22:37-40):
  1. Love God
  2. Love people

What if you only broken one law?

 James 2:10-11 [10] For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. [11] For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

What if you never heard God’s law?

Romans 2:14-16 [14] For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. [15] They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them [16] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Conclusion: We are all guilty of sin.

2. What is the punishment for sin? Death

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death...

Sin separates us from God.
  • Isaiah 59:2  but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 


After death we face judgement.
  • Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment...
  • There is no reincarnation. There are no second chances after death. When we die we are immediately judged for our sins.
What is the punishment for sin?
  • This scripture is difficult to read, but an important scripture that give us a picture of what eternity without God is like—hell.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 ... [8] in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. [9] They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might...

3. What is the Good News? Jesus died for us

Romans 5:8 ... but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God made a way to save us from our sins. God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus paid the price of our sins so that we can be forgiven and all our sins can be washed away.

The way to God is through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

After Jesus died he resurrected, demonstrating his victory over sin and death. Through Jesus we are now right before God.
Romans 4:25 "... [Jesus] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification."

Forgiveness and eternal life (now and heaven) are the gift of God to us through Jesus.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

4. How can we receive the gift of God? Faith in Jesus

Romans 10:9 ... because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation cannot be earned; it is a gift. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 [8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Placing faith in Jesus as Lord means denying and repenting of all other allegiances (sins, false gods, other religions, the pursuit of self-righteousness, etc.) and whole-heartedly following Jesus. Faith in Jesus means loving Jesus more than anything else. 

Matthew 10:37-39 "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." 
 
Are you ready to accept and open this free gift of salvation? Consider the following questions to help you decided where you are at on your journey toward God:

  1. Do you believe you are a sinner and that you need Jesus?
  2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the One True God?
  3. Do you believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins to save you?
  4. Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?
  5. Are you ready to profess faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
  6. Are you read to repent, be baptized, and start a new life with Jesus?
In First Steps 4 we will learn more about God’s plan to rescue us. In the meanwhile…
Read all about the Christian Life in Acts.
Study all about the Christian Life in First Steps 5