I am sure you have heard the words gospel or saved. But do you really know what it is? Could you explain in 3 sentences or less the main points of the gospel message? This post will simply tell the gospel in a few sentences. But it doesn’t stop there. The gospel begs to be explained and begs for more than hearing and knowing, it requires a response. It makes us decide something that will impact us forever. I trust you’ll truly understand the gospel and the why behind it. The reason for the hope a Christ-follower has for eternity.
Why We Don’t Race After the Gospel
It’s hard to give up being the leader and relinquish the things we want to be in charge of; having the answers, making the decisions, and being in control of our time and money. The gospel teaches us the exact opposite. We are to surrender to Christ and give up the steering wheel. We are called to sit shotgun and allow Him to drive. However, we don’t just jump in the passenger seat. The honest answer is most people don’t know why they need God or why they need to be saved. Saved from what? They don’t really know the gospel or could even recount a few sentences about it – even though they go to church.
We must honestly know why we are handing over the keys and trusting Christ with our lives before we drive away.
Do You Know What You Really Believe?
I recently learned I have friends who sat through many church services and heard the words gospel, and how they needed it, but never really heard why. They heard stories here and there but weren’t taught the truth of the Gospel, so these stories were just that. If you can’t tell someone why you believe in Jesus and give a reason for the hope you have, then how do you really know you believe it? Be sure, make the honest decision, and know why you believe what you believe.
THE SIMPLE GOSPEL MESSAGE
Jesus was born of a virgin on this earth (miracle) and lived a perfect life without sin (divine). He was killed to pay the penalty for our sin (which we couldn’t pay ourselves) because only someone without sin could pay the penalty for sin. But death couldn’t hold Him in the grave; because He’s God (divine). He came back to life to tell us about it (miracle) and ascended to heaven – to now sit at the right hand of God (see the Book of John in the Bible).
This is the simple gospel. It’s to the point and makes sense, it’s interesting and intriguing, and begs for more. That’s because the gospel demands more than hearing, it demands a response.
An Unmet Peace
Do you ever experience a lacking somewhere in your inner depths, that never seems fulfilled, satisfied, gratified, or at peace? This lacking, or hole that needs to be filled, is felt when our Creator isn’t present within us 9Holy Spirit). When we aren’t filled with Christ, we will try to fill up with something else. The something else will only last so long and our heart will eventually yearn to be filled with something else. These earthly things will never be a remedy to satisfy the place Christ should be filling.
Christ is the only way to supernaturally fill this hole and give us unmerited peace. He can change our understanding and belief in this world and allow us to lay our heads down on our pillows at night in utter peace. Why would He do this?
The Why Behind The Gospel
To understand the why behind the gospel, we need to understand the gravity of sin. I know this world isn’t that popular to talk about. Most people, including myself, don’t’ want to discuss short-comings and those secret hidden things we do that no one is supposed to know about. But these are the very things that separate us from God.
When our relationship with God was broken it needed a remedy. It needed to be restored. Romans 3:23 tells us we all have fallen short of the glory of God (which means we sin and God doesn’t). Ephesians 2:5 tells us we are dead in sins. If we died apart from God we would be separated from Him forever. God is holy and spiritually clean, but man is sinful and spiritually unclean.
Just as a person can’t tolerate being by a dead animal carcass that is decaying and stinks, God can’t be by His creation when it’s filthy and tainted with sin. The result of sin is clear, it has made a barrier between man and God.
The barrier is such an unattainable reach – it can’t be crossed. Something supernatural has to help because humans are incapable. Man’s efforts are useless to make amends and find a way to get there on our own. We can go to church, obey, do good works, and unselfishly love our neighbor, but the Bible teaches that no work of a sinful person can ever amend the barrier that separates God and man.
Isaiah 64:6 says we are an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags. To attempt to wash away our own sin is like trying to wash a dirty face with a greasy rag. There is nothing we can do on our own power to get clean. There is nothing we can do to erase sin and cross the barrier that separates us from God (Haggai 2:12-14, Luke 18:10-14, Romans 3:20, 3:27-38, 4:5, Galatians 3:10-11, 12).
We Can’t Pay For Forgiveness
The Bible also says we can’t pay our way out of sin. In fact, our money doesn’t buy us anything spiritual, including forgiveness. Tithing or giving more to the church has no bearing on our salvation. It’s like fighting a ghost with an iron sword. We can’t fight the spiritual with natural means any more than we can erase sin with our pocketbooks or our good deeds. There are over 160 verses in the New Testament, which declare that the only condition for receiving eternal life is faith in Jesus Christ, (John 1:7, 1:12, 3:18, 5:24, 6:29).
We Can’t Work Harder To Get There
The word repent comes from the Greek, meaning, “to change one’s mind”. Those who believe the eternal lie; (they can earn salvation through good works) are commanded to change their mind and repent. They are told to stop trusting in their works and come to God on the basis of Grace alone.
Christ’s death and Resurrection is the only way that God provided means for crossing the unattainable reach to Him. It provides cleansing and forgiveness and is the only stain remover to eradicate sin. It’s the only way to restore the harmony and fellowship that once existed between God and His creation before the fall in the Garden of Eden.
If I stand in my garage and act like a car, believe and think I am a car, and make noises like one, that does not make me a car. How do you know you won’t go to heaven on the sole merit you are a good and moral person? God calls us to be good, but that isn’t why we get to spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Christ Paid For Us
Christ’s death paid in full our debt. Anyone who accepts Christ doesn’t have to fear God’s wrath of judgment. John 19:30 states, “When Jesus, therefore, received the vinegar, He said “it is finished,” and he bowed His head and gave up His spirit. The phrase “it is finished” was actually an expression used in Rome in the time of Christ when a debt had been paid in full. Jesus was telling everyone He completed the final payment for sin (Col. 2:13-14).
Before we can experience the benefits God has provided through Christ’s death on the cross, God requires that we believe (trust) in Jesus, and what He accomplished through His death (Gal. 2:16, John 3:16). We must give up the “I” in order to surrender to Him. “For He, God the Father, made Him Who knew no sin, Jesus, to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” (2 Cor. 5:21). “And the Lord laid on Him, Jesus, the iniquity of us all,” (Is. 53:6).
How To Surrender & Be Saved
Surrendering has everything to do with believing Jesus as your personal Savior.
The only way to God is to surrender to Jesus with your heart through faith. Beware though. The “I,” the inner voice of doubt, will try to get in the way and make excuses for sin and excuses that you don’t really need God in your life. Or, that you only need Him on your terms. The “I” will play tricks on you and present doubt, fear, and unbelief and make you feel that Jesus is implausible, unreliable, and unattainable, which makes the gospel seem unattractive.
These are tactics from the enemy.
The Bible says when we seek Jesus, we will find Him, if we search for Him with our whole heart according to Deuteronomy 4:29. We can’t fake it and make it with God. He knows our heart and if we are true to our surrender to Him.
Being saved, or saving faith, is the most non-understood word in the English language – because religion has complicated it. Saving faith is NOT just being sorry for your sins, or reforming your life to be a better person (this would mean morality ‘gets you in’ and allows you access to heaven). It’s by grace we are saved.
Grace isn’t about what we do, it’s about what Jesus did. God is willing to save you just the way you a
re. The bible says while were sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8).
If you heard the words cancer from your doctor, who would you cling to and would you know why? Are you ready to meet your Creator? Eternity is a long time to be misled or misinformed about. This is something with the biggest impact on you personally.
Ignoring the issue won’t make it go away. Turning your back on Christ will not make things better. You may not have another chance to accept Christ. No one knows when their last day will be. We don’t get a second chance once we cross over into eternity.
When death comes to your natural body, the last thing you want to be is at odds with God. Surrender your life to Christ. Ask Him to help you. Tell Him your feelings and give Him your allegiance. Communicate with Him. He has an open door 24/7.
If we truly want to be clean, spiritually healthy and forgiven, we have to meaningfully surrender to Christ with our whole being.
Pray. Just ask Christ to forgive you. Talk to Him about anything.
Ask. Ask His Holy Spirit to fill you. His Spirit will guide you in everything in life-if you listen.
Read. Read the Bible and apply, meditate, and ask for wisdom and revelation.
If you want to grow in your salvation, the Bible tells us to be accountable to others and go to church. It also tells us to read the Bible and be around other Christ-followers.
Q: Is it scary?
Q: It is a learning process?
Q: Will you have questions?
Being scared is a part of life. We won’t know all the answers. Heaven knows I don’t. But I do know the gospel. I do know I am saved. I have faith in Christ and believe in His work on the cross. I also know why.
Everyone can tell their salvation story different. It’s unique to them personally. If you can tell someone the reason for the hope that YOU have in Christ, the why, then that’s all that matters. It’s not complicated. But it does make us accountable. God tells us to tell others about His love and salvation through Christ.
Truly, if we all understand the gravity of sin and the hope in Christ, we would want to always be ready to tell others. It’s the most amazing thing in the universe.
Always look to the Bible for everything. If you read something that is confusing, or doesn’t sound right, or just want to check something out, look to the actual scriptures. Sometimes we humans get things mixed up and turned around. The Bible is the ultimate authority and truth. This is where everything should be fact-checked.