What is the Gospel?
#1: You are a Sinner Explanation: Paul said in Romans, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “Sinned” means that we have missed the mark. When we lie, hate, lust, or gossip, we have missed the standard God has set. Illustration: Suppose you and I were each to throw a rock and try to hit the North Pole. You might throw farther than I, but neither of us would hit it.Application: When the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short,” it means that we have all come short of God’s standard of perfection. In thoughts, words, and deeds, we have not been perfect.
#2: The Penalty for Sin is Death Explanation: Paul continues, “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)Illustration: Suppose you worked for me and I paid you $50. That $50 was your wages—that’s what you earned. Application: The Bible says that by sinning we have earned death. That means we deserve to die and be separated from God forever. Since there was no way we could come to God, the Bible says that God came to us!
#3: Christ Died for YouExplanation: Paul says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)Illustration: Suppose you are in a hospital dying of cancer. I come to you and say, “Let’s take the cancer cells from your body and put them into my body.” If that were possible, what would happen to me? What would happen to you? I would die in your place. I would die instead of you.Application: The Bible says Christ took the penalty that we deserved for sin, placed it on Himself and died in our place. Three days later Christ came back to life to prove that sin and death have been conquered and that His claims to be God were true.
#4: You can be Saved through Faith in Christ Explanation: Paul says in Ephesians, “For it is by grace [undeserved favor] you have been saved [delivered from sin’s penalty] through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Faith means trust. Illustration: Just as you trust a chair to hold you through no effort of your own, so you must trust Jesus Christ to get you to heaven through no effort of your own. Application: You must trust in Jesus Christ alone, and God will give you eternal life as a gift!
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13