Of all the teachings of scripture, this is by far the most important thing you should ever learn.
The Gospel, which means the Good News, is Jesus Christ which is His life, death, and resurrection. However, I will only share the essential parts of the Gospel which comes in seven basic points:
1. Who God is
2. God’s Word, His Standard of Righteousness
3. What Man is before God
4. The Great Dilemma
5. Jesus Christ
6. The Eternal Promise
7. Assurance of Salvation
Some of you who are Christians are familiar with Four Spiritual Laws and the Romans Road. The difference between those and mine is that what I’ve written is that it goes into most of those point more deeply; and the biggest difference is #1 and #3 on the above list. It is also differentiated from the other gospel presentations like “The Romans Road”, and “Five Things God Wants You To Know”.
My mentor who taught me this Gospel version called it the, “Four Truths of the Gospel”; and credit also to Paul Washer as, thanks to watching his videos, have learnt much on the character of God.
#1 – Who God Is
The Bible says that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4 & Isaiah 43:10); He is all powerful (Genesis 17:1 & Isaiah 45:7), all knowing (Psalm 94:9 & Proverbs 15:3), and that He alone is true (John 17:3). He is eternal and having no beginning and will have no end (Psalms 90:2). He is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). And by His very nature is good (Psalms 136:1), and so He is described by the following verse:
6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
– Exodus 34
However, in His goodness He is also by nature, holy and just. He is holy in that must be separate from evil, nor can He allow evil doers in His presence (Psalms 5:4-5). Not only that He is just; any sign of evil He must eliminate, and the guilty He must punish:
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
– Exodus 34:7
#2 – The Standards of God
He has, by inspired men, written the Bible; it is both inerrant (Proverbs 22:12, 19-21) and inspired (2 Peter 1:20-21). Through the scriptures He reveals what is true concerning Himself (Isaiah 48:16-17) and the world (Hebrews 11:2) but also His commandments; His standard of righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Whoever want to enter into His kingdom must be morally perfect and morally complete (Matthew 5:20); and to break or fail to keep any of His commandments is to sin, and to miss the mark of His righteousness (James 2:10 & 4:17).
#3 – What Man is Before God
Man was created in His image as a physical reflection of His creative attributes and wisdom; man was created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). But because Adam and Eve sinned, man has become a sinner by nature. He is not only tempted to sin, but an inclination to sin for his mind is bent on it (Genesis 8:21 & Romans 6:16, & 8:6-7). He ultimately neither cares for, or understands the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).
To sin is an act of rebellion against God (1 Samuel 15:22 & James 4:17) and the sin committed cannot be compensated, so good works (increased obedience, penance, sacrifices, etc) can never suffice (Isaiah 64:6). He is thus separated from God (Isaiah 59:-12)
And so because of his constant rebellion against Him, God in His just wrath will judge him according to his evil deeds (Romans 1:18-23). His good works will not count (Isaiah 64:6), but will answer to God for every sin committed (1 Peter 4:4-5). Then he will be sentenced to Hell (Revelations 20:12-15) for an eternity, and there will be no escape (Matthew 25:41-46 & Luke 16:26).
#4 – The Great Dilemma
Therein lies a profound theological and soteriological dilemma: how can man be saved when he is sinful and how can God save a wicked people without ignoring His nature and standard of righteousness?
15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.
– Proverbs 17:15
It is often asked “Why can’t God just forgive our sins?” The reason why goes back again to the character of God, if He is good then He must rid of evil and apart from Satan and His demons, we are the source of that.
For the guilty He must condemn into eternal damnation (John 5:25); He will cast into Hell, the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15), those who do not obey His word (Matthew 5:21-23 & 25:41); and there will be no escape or reprieve (Luke 16:24-26).
The price must be paid (Deuteronomy 21:22-23 & 27:26).
#5 – Jesus Christ
But because of His love for us, He sent His only Son down from heaven to save us. Jesus existed before time began; he is fully God (Isaiah 48:16-17 & John 1:1-3), and fully man. He is the promised messiah in the line of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16), and He will come as a man, born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 & Matthew 1:18-25).
Although He is the promised king , He must first come as a suffering servant (Isaiah 53:1-4) with two goals to complete: To fulfill the law (Deuteronomy 18:18 & Matthew 5:17-20) He was at all points tempted, but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15); He alone have kept all of the commandments.
Finally, He must suffer and die (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53:5-6, & Daniel 9:26), so that He can redeem us (Psalms 130:7-8 & Isaiah 59:20) For our sin and our salvation He bore our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, 10, & 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was mocked and beaten (Matthew 27:30); scourged (Mark 15:15), and was led to the cross to be crucified (Psalms 22:16 & Luke 23:26, 33). From His arrest to the cross He became the Propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25); He finished the cup of God’s wrath (Matthew 26:38-39 & 27:46) until His wrath was satisfied and the law complete, saying “It is finished” (Luke 23:44 & John 19:30).
In three days, He rose again from the dead (John 20) as prophesied (Psalms 16:10 & John 2:19-21). He has ascended to heaven, and He will soon return (Acts 1:10-11).
It is because of what He had done, He has bridged the gap between Holy God and us; and God can now justify (declare us righteous) us
#6 – Salvation Through Faith Alone
I have said before that God cannot forgive sins; the price must be paid. Jesus paid that price, and now He can justify you.
The way to be saved is simple, repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15). To repent means to change your mind against sin to no longer live in it, and to believe is to trust in the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-5); that He not only saves but His sacrifice* is enough. Good works can never save you, but only Jesus (Titus 3:5-6). Surrender to Jesus making Him your Lord, forever.
The Bible promised that when you believe, you have eternal life (John 5:24). This gift of eternal life one can never lose (John 6:37-39), because it is not you who keep it but God alone (John 10:28-30). He will mold you and bring you to heaven (Philippians 1:6).
#7 – Assurance of Salvation
The Bible also says that when you truly believe you will be changed fundamentally (2 Corinthians 5:17.
You know that you are a true believer if your love the Lord and your hatred of sin increases continually which naturally causes repentance (1 John 4:19 & 2 Corinthians 7:10). You will also grow in knowledge of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:15, & 3:16-17), holiness and righteousness (Romans 6:16-18). Finally, you will ultimately endure every adversity including infamy and persecution in His name (Matthew 13:19-23).
However, if the believer’s way of life is becoming a burden to you (which also includes living in repentance of sin), the Bible asks you to do this:
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
– 2 Corinthians 13:5
If you truly believe you will endure to the end (Matthew 24:13), but if you do not and continue living in sin then then it is possible that you never believed in the first place (1 Corinthians 15:3 & 1 John 2:18-19).
Come to Jesus Christ and you will be saved!
For New Believers
After you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior, you need to do
1. Buy a bible if you don’t have one. The best bibles to buy is the English Standard Version, or any “Word-for-Word” version of scripture Find a Bible-Believing church
2. Read the whole bible, starting with the Gospel of John (or any of the Gospels. i.e., Matthew, Mark, or Luke) until you reach the book of Revelation. Then, start on Genesis and read all the way to Revelation. Read it with care, read it often, and do not stop reading it as it will equip and strengthen you (2 Timothy 2:15, & 3:16-17).
3. Find a Bible believing church* (congregation); fellowship in and serve it (Romans 12:4-17). A bible believing church is a church that believes that the scriptures is inerrant and inspired. It is also Evangelical, meaning that it is a church that believes in
a) The Four Solas (which I will write about soon)
b) In studying theology & church history (John 17:3)
c) The importance of modesty, purity, holiness, and charity
d) The spreading and defending the Gospel
4. Pray, as often as you can
a) Pray to God for His guidance, strength, wisdom, and will to do what is right in His eyes through the scriptures
b) Pray for you to understand His words, and the will to obey it
c) Pray for discernment so that you can spot error and avoid it
d) Pray for others. Make a list for everyone you want to pray for
- The sacrifice is in reference to animal sacrifices which act as a stand-in for the guilty. When Jesus died, He fulfilled the laws and the Prophets. On the cross He died as if He was the law breaker (Deuteronomy 21:22-23) deserving every curses in the book (Deuteronomy 27:15-25, 26). He was our propitiation, our scapegoat and substitute for our sins. He was the the stand-in, the spotless Lamb to be slaughtered. When Adam and Eve sinned an animal was killed in their place (Genesis 3:21). This continued with animal sacrifices instituted by Moses (Leviticus 5:1-9 & 9:1-7); the sacrifices covered but could truly pay for their sins (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice for sins, and He had accomplished for us, forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:10, 14, 17-18).
- The word “Church” means those who are “called out” of the world (Ephesians 2:2-3 & 1 John 2:15-16). The Church is not a building or a club membership, but are made up of true believers in Christ; they are the body of Christ (1 Timothy 3:15). Today, church is synonymous with the word “Congregation”; a place where people congregate or gather together. As you read scripture, you will learn about Sheep and Goats; those who believe and those who do not.
- There is a 5th Sola I will also write later, and I believed it to be very biblical but essential for believers to accept.