The Gospel (in a Nutshell)

what-is-the-gospel

The Gospel is a very simple message that can be hard to communicate.  I hope this page, by taking from my post GRACE AND TRUTH, does justice to the message, and encourages you to take a step of faith towards God.  It explains the purpose of the Law, and the need for our salvation through Jesus Christ, as well as how we ought to live our lives, after grace…

John’s testimony is a good starting point in understanding the Gospel message.

“For the Law was given through Moses; Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

What is the Law? The Law is the set of commandments by which we shall live without offense before God. As it was given to the Isrealites, the Law was like a manual for humans living in a fallen world. It considered the various areas by which offences would come and provided a way for justice to prevail. According to this Law, the penalty for disobedience and sin is death, a just recompense to God, against whom the offence was ultimately committed.

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (Jam 2:10).

What is the Truth? The Truth is that we can never measure up to the Law! It is humanly impossible. Even if we technically met the literal requirements of all the commandments, we would still fall short in Love, which is the greatest of all the commandments and the sum thereof! Love isn’t legalistic, and this is where we are all caught out! Many people who legalistically follow the Law lack the traits of love, which include humility, compassion and forgiveness.  The fullness of Truth is that, more than the Law, we need God’s Spirit to be righteous. Jesus came to make the Spirit of Truth available to us (John 16:7).

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” (Ecc 7:20).

In His most famous Sermon on the Mount, written about in Matthew 5, 6 and 7, Jesus highlights the fundamental truths within the Law, which are missed by those who are of the flesh, and not the Spirit.  He tells us that hatred is as evil as murder, and lust as sinful as adultery.  According to these righteous standards, no man is left standing.

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

What is Grace? Grace is a two-fold provision and expression of God’s love! Grace is mercy and favour, a gift of God that liberates us from the curse of the Law (being that no one can live up to its demands) and empowers us to live by the Spirit of the Law (which is Love, the fulfillment of the Law). First we are pardoned, then we are empowered to fulfil the Law, not by our own righteous works but by the transformative work of God’s indwelling Spirit. The evidence that the grace of God is active in our lives is the fruit of Love…the fruit of the Spirit.

“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).

Jesus’ exhortation to “be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48) may cause some to approach His teachings the same way that we once approached the Law – legalistically.  However, this offer of perfection is found only in accepting Jesus as our righteousness, and abiding in His Spirit (John 15:4), which powerfully transforms us “to will and to do” God’s will (Phil 2:13).  We are made perfect daily, as we abide in Christ, the Authour and Finisher of our Faith (Heb 12:2).  More than forgiving us, God gives us a gift – Himself!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

If we know the Truth about our nature, we ought to be humble and thirst for His righteous nature. Knowing that we are not qualified in ourselves, we seek the qualification and justification only God can give, by accepting His gracious pardon through Jesus Christ.  If we have received His Grace, we ought also to be gracious.  If we know the Law, that it is fulfilled in Love, then we ought to practice love and teach others about love. We should lead others to its Source, so that they too may be delivered from condemnation, and experience joy, peace and liberty in His presence!

“where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).

Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah (Christ or Saviour), and the Son of God (the Father and Creator), who was sent from Heaven to die on the Cross of Calvary to save all men from their sins (John 3:16), and was risen to life on the third day (1 Cor 15:3-4).  He was the only one able and willing to pay the price, and because of His sacrifice, all who believe in Him will have eternal life and are saved from condemnation.  This is the good news that Believers in Jesus Christ spread to anyone who will lend an ear.

It is not a call to religion.  It is not a license to sin.  It is an invitation to humility; to experience the power of God and to love.  If you have not accepted this invitation, it’s not too late to repent and receive God’s forgiveness and Christ’s empowerment to live a holy life.  Please do so today!

Photo credit: http://www.redeeminggod.com

Further Reading: WHO IS JESUS?; WHAT DID JESUS DO?; WHAT DID JESUS SAY?

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