God created mankind in His own image. We humans are like God in at least these three ways:
* we are given dominion and responsibility over God’s creation
* we are given immortal souls that will live forever
* we are given the power of choice, a free moral will
However, from the time of Adam and Eve, men and women have exercised their freewill to rebel against God. All have sinned. The Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). No matter how many good works a person may have done, every person has committed sin against God. The Bible says, “ For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it ” (James 2:10). It declares, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, every person old enough to be held accountable stands condemned before God because of their personal sin.
Furthermore, no person can by any effort on their part remove sin from their record. God in His absolute holiness requires every sin to be punished by death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This makes the bad news even worse. Our immortal souls are lost and deserve to be eternally condemned to Hell.
The Bible word "gospel" means good news. So the gospel of Christ is the good news that God has made a way for people to be saved from their sin. This is a gift. The Bible assures us, “The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God’s grace offers us forgiveness and restores us to a right relationship with Himself. It works like this:
* God loves us. John 3:16 is called the Golden Text of the Bible because it capsulates God’s plan to save us. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love is absolutely amazing and totally undeserved.
* Christ died for us. Since you and I could never remove our own sin, God sent Jesus Christ to be our Savior. On the cross He served as a substitute for us, shedding His perfect blood for our sins and dying the horrible death we deserved. In this way, Jesus became the atoning sacrifice, which satisfied God’s holy anger against our sin. The Bible says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Corinthians 5:21). It explains that we “are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:24-25). Again, it says, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4:9-14).
* Christ arose for us. After Jesus died on the cross, he was buried in a tomb. But because He was the Son of God, the grave could not keep Him. He arose bodily from the tomb on the third day after His death. To prove He was alive, Jesus appeared to many people (over 500 at one time) for a forty-day period after His resurrection. The Bible lists these facts as the basis of the gospel: “By this gospel you are saved . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared” (I Corinthians 15:2-5). Then his disciples witnessed Jesus ascend into heaven, where he reigns at the right hand of the Father.
* Christ is coming again for us. Jesus promised to return one day to take us Christians to be with Him forever. This return will validate that He really is the living Savior and Lord. Furthermore, God “has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man [Jesus] he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Those who have accepted the risen Christ will be ready to live with God. All others will remain lost and be condemned. Jesus explained, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
The forgiveness of sin that Jesus offers is available to all. But it must be accepted by each person individually. Each man or woman must make a personal decision to become a Christian. Here are some plain Scriptures that explain the conditions a person must meet.
Paul wrote, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:9-14).
Peter preached, “‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:36-41).
In summary these Scriptures tell us these things:
* A person must hear the gospel. We hope this brief has presented the good news of Christ to you simply and clearly.
* A person must believe in his/her heart. A person must place trust in Jesus Christ as the Savior who died for sins.
* A person must confess with her/his mouth. The mouth naturally will say what the heart believes, that “Jesus is Lord.”
* A person must repent of sins. Repent means to be genuinely sorry for one’s sin and to turn one’s life back toward God.
* A person must be baptized for forgiveness of sins. In the Bible, baptism is immersion in water, portraying the saving death, burial and resurrection of Christ. This is not a human work, but is rather a submission to Christ’s saving work. Also, to be effective baptism must be preceded by the previous steps: hearing the gospel, believing it, confessing Christ, repenting of sin.
Finally, the promise to every person who trusts the Lord through all of these conditions is this. He/she will have sins forgiven, will be saved, will receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, and will be added to the Lord’s church. Such a person has become a follower of Christ and may rightly wear the name Christian.
Will you become a Christian by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ?
If you understand this gospel and want to become a Christian, call (513-539-9584) or email us (email@example.com). We will help you fulfill God’s conditions.
If you have further questions and would like to understand the Bible better, please call (513-539-9584) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). You are always welcome to come learn at our church services. We will help you know the Lord Jesus personally.Home »