Of all the teachings of scripture, this is by far the most important thing you should ever learn.
The Gospel, which means 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 fours:
1. Who God is
2. What Man is before God
3. Jesus Christ
Some of you who are Christians would recognize this pattern coming from the Four Spiritual Laws. The difference between the Four Spiritual Laws and this is that what I’ve written is that it is a much deeper version of it. And the biggest difference is #1 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.
Who God Is
The Bible says that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), 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
He has, by inspired men, written the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21), and it contained His commandments; His standard of righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Whoever want to enter into His kingdom must be morally perfect or complete (Matthew 5:20). To break or fail to keep any of His commandments is to sin, to miss the mark or fall short of His righteousness (James 2:10 & 4:17).
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 neither cares for, or understands the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).
To sin is an act of rebellion against God. the sin that was committed cannot be compensated, so good works (increased obedience, penance, sacrifices, etc) can never be enough (Isaiah 64:6).
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 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).
If you’re wondering why God cannot just forgive when we ask it; the problem is that for Him to do that is an abomination as the bible said:
15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.
– Proverbs 17:15
The price has to be paid (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
Enter, 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 when He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 & John 1:14). He is the promised messiah; born in the line of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16, Matthew 1), and He will come as a man, born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
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). There, He finished the cup of God’s wrath (Matthew 26:38-39 & 27:46). On the 6th hour He died; God’s wrath was ended (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).
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 and heart 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); and that Jesus saves and His sacrifice* is enough. Surrender to Jesus and make Him your Lord.
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 have now the power to keep it but God alone (John 10:28-30). He will bring you to heaven (Philippians 1:6).
The Bible also says that you will change, fundamentally. Formerly your mind is bent towards sin, but after you’re saved you will become a “new creature” which means you are a new person with a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). And as a new creature you are now a slave to righteousness whereas before, a slave to sin (Romans 6:16-18). The slave to sin hates righteousness, but the slave to righteousness loves it; and though you will continue to struggle against sin, it will not have mastery over you (Romans 6:14).
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 (John 17:3)
c) The necessity of modesty, purity, and holiness
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.