What is the Gospel? | from Southern Seminary
The word "gospel" literally means good news.
1. God lovingly created us in His image to display His glory through our enjoyment of Him...
Because God created us we are accountable to Him
Because God lovingly created us we can trust Him
Because God loving created us in His image each person has great value
Because God lovingly created us to display His glory we have a God-centered purpose
Because God lovingly created us to display His glory through our enjoyment of Him, He intends for us to find our greatest satisfaction in Him.
Result: Each person has great value, great responsibility, and great accountability to God.
2. We all rebel from God’s loving rule, and choose instead to pursue our own enjoyment and glory
We all rebel, therefore all are guilty before God We all rebel from God’s loving rule, so sin is fundamentally God-ward rebellion, therefore:
a) sin is defined by God not man
b) the debt for sin is payable to God not man
c) sin is primarily an offense toward God not man
Pursuing our own enjoyment and our own glory means that at its root, sin is enjoying the creation rather than Creator. Because God is the most glorious being this robs us of our greatest good: God Himself.
Sin carries with it consequences. Namely:
a) spiritual death
b) enslavement to self, sinful society, and Satan
c) loss of humanity
d) loss of relationship with God
e) loss of God-intended relationships with others
g) being under the wrath of God
Result: Rather than life, meaning, and freedom we are robbed of our humanity and the God-intended relationships with each other and our Creator. Because of sin we are now spiritually dead, enslaved, and under the wrath of God.
3. But God has lovingly acted to rescue and restore humanity through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why Jesus Christ?
God is holy and just
Therefore God cannot simply pardon sinners. Would a judge be righteous to allow a murderer or rapist to go free simply because he said he was sorry? A righteous judge must punish sin.
God is infinite
Therefore our sin against God is of an infinite nature. A finite person cannot remove an infinite offense against an infinite God.
Man is the guilty party
Therefore only a man can pay the penalty for mankind, or act as a substitute on man’s behalf. Our dilemma is that expressed by Job who longed for one to “lay his hand on us both”. Jesus Christ is that “someone” that Job longed for because He is fully God and fully man
Fully man to stand as a fitting substitute for man
Fully God to absorb the infinite wrath of God
Why His life?
Jesus is the second Adam
He represents mankind in our relationship with God. For those that are “in Christ” to be considered righteous their representative must be righteous.
Jesus the spotless lamb
In order for a sacrifice to be acceptable to God it had to be without blemish. Therefore, in order for Christ to fully pay for the sin of mankind he had to be without sin Himself.
Jesus is our righteousness
Part of what happened on the Cross is the righteous life of Jesus is credited to our account. He was one “born under the law”, and in order to give to us righteousness He had to perfectly keep the law.
Why His death?
Jesus died our death
The penalty for sin is death. Jesus died in our place as our substitute. It was the Father’s will that He take upon Himself the wrath that should have been stored up for us. He thus made a complete and everlasting sacrifice to pay our penalty.
Two things principally stand in our way of a relationship with God: our sin and God’s fitting response to
sin—wrath. Because Jesus’ death removes these we are now able to be reconciled to God.
Why His resurrection?
It confirms His deity
It is a display of the power of God
It means that He is no longer in the grave but at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf
It means He defeated death and ultimately our greatest enemy Satan
It is a first fruit of things to come. His resurrection is a foretaste of our resurrection.
Result: Redemption and Restoration is found in no one else. For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
4. Therefore, God calls every person to repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone
God calls every person
God’s call is a loving command
What happens if you do not respond?
Because there is “no other name by which men may be saved”(Acts 4:20) to not respond to God’s loving command is
to remain in your sinful condition with the consequences of sin still upon you. Eternal death (hell) is the only option left
for those that do not have their sin covered.
Repentance and faith different sides to the same coin
In response to the beauty of Christ repentance turns away from the ugliness of sin
It means asking for forgiveness
It means agreeing with God about the nature of your sin
It means changing your mind about God and sin
In response to the ugliness of sin faith turns toward the beauty of Christ
It means transferring trust in yourself to trust in Christ alone
It means you stop trying to please God by your own efforts
It means you see Christ as a treasure and you grab hold of him
Faith is essentially trusting and treasuring.
Trusting in Christ alone is the outcome of His position as the only Savior and our response of repentance and faith springing from this commitment.
Result: All that the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him, and whoever comes, He will never cast out. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Will you call upon the Lord Jesus today?
To talk with someone about what all of this means for your life, contact one of our leaders.