The gospel is unlike anything you have ever heard. It is essentially different from every other religion in the world. It is so simple that a child can understand it, but so complex that an adult can continue to be amazed by it. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives.
In short, the gospel is good news to us. It is a story about how we have ruined our lives through sin, and there was nothing we could do to help ourselves. But God reached out to us and saved us.
That is the difference between the gospel and every other religion. Every religion in the world says “do,” but the gospel says, “it is done.” Other religions tell you that you have failed, but in every other case, the solution is always try harder, give more money, go to worship services, meditate, fast, pray, be good, and don’t do bad things, and maybe God will accept you. The gospel asks us to stop trying to earn God’s acceptance, and start believing that God accepts us through Christ Jesus.
Of course, as with any problem, the first step to the solution is to admit you have a problem. So many, including people who claim to be Christians, deflect the guilt of their problem by blaming others for their actions, claiming others are worse than them, shoving their guilt down into the corner of their heart, or downright denying they have a problem of sin.
This is where God comes in. We had a problem, and no amount of effort, religious zealotry, dedication, or life changes could solve our problem. But God solved it.
God became a man and entered into our problem of sin. For more than 30 years, he lived on this earth in the middle of all of our temptations and problems, but never sinned. Jesus’ purpose on earth was to die on the cross and take the guilt and punishment for sins he never committed. He was crucified physically, and God punished him spiritually for the sins of the whole world. The Bible says that God was angry with our sin, but that his anger was satisfied when Jesus died in our place.
The gospel teaches that Jesus lived a perfect life, and while he got our guilt on the cross, we get Jesus’ innocence. In other words, God will look at our life and see Jesus’ perfect life.
Jesus died on the cross, but he came back to life three days later. This is important because if death and sin could conquer God and put him to death, we would have no hope of heaven. But Jesus came back to life to prove that he is all-powerful, and to give victory over sin and death to anyone who would believe in him.
Sometimes the Bible is thought to be a book of “dos and don’ts.” While there are hundreds of commands in the Bible, the commands are not the point. The commands play a part of a grand narrative where God shows us the best way to live, we disobey, and God makes a way for us to come back to him. The Bible is actually a story of God’s work on our behalf. He does not call us to work for his acceptance and love.
He calls us to believe the gospel and have our lives changed from the inside out.
If you do not understand the gospel, or you want someone to explain it to you more, please contact us.