Walking Through the Gospel
We live in a world where there is so much bad news that it is easy to have no hope. All you need to do is turn on the TV and see how hopeless our world is. Even the things that seem to give hope are not lasting, but are temporal. Today I want to share with you good news that is eternal, it will not end, and it has the power to change your life! This good news can be known by answering four questions.
The good news begins by answering the question, who is God? There are many ideas about who God is. There are many religions, and even more opinions on if God really exists. But the Bible tells us who the one true God really is.
First, God is the Creator. The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). From Sun, moon, and starts, to the birds of the air, fish of the sea, and beasts of the field, God made them all. God the creator made all things and owns all things (Psalm 24:1). All that God originally made was good as a reflection of God’s character.
Second, God is holy. This means that God is separated from all sin. He is perfect in all His ways, and there is no evil in Him. 1 John 1:5 says, “This is the message we heard from Him and announced to you, that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” There is no shadow of change or corruption in Him, for He is holy!
Third, God is just. Since God is perfect and holy, He expect all of His creation to live to His standard of holiness. Matthew 5:48 says, “Therefore, you must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The holy, just, creator is the one true God of the Bible.
The second question we must answer is, who is man?
First, man was made different and distinct from all the rest of creation. Man was made in the image of God. This means that man was made in God’s likeness. Man is relational like God. Though imperfectly, man loves, communicates, displays anger, etc. like God. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God made man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Man is unique from the rest of creation.
Though man was originally made good, man sinned. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This means that each of us has broken God’s Law: lying, stealing, blasphemy, etc.
This is not good news, but this reality gets even worse. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 that, “The wages of sin is death." The world would have us think that naturally we are all good, but the Bible tells us that there is no one good, no not one (Romans 3:10-12). Since we all have sinned, and God is a just God, He must punish all disobedience. This means that we all deserve the eternal punishment of God's wrath for our sin.
You might be wondering, how this is good news? In order to know how good the good news actually is, we must first see the bad news.
Though this is bad news, the good news surpasses the bad news of before. This good news is understood by answering the question, who is Jesus?
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Son of God. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form.” This means that Jesus is fully God. Jesus came to earth as a man but was perfect: fully God and sinless man. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sins to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Since Jesus was perfect and never sinned, He did not deserve the punishment for sin which is death. But Jesus willingly died on the cross that sinners might be forgiven and justified in His sight. God demonstrated His love for us while we were yet sinners, by Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 5:8). Jesus was nailed to the cross and shed His blood, because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus bore the wrath of God, that you and I rightfully deserve, so that we might be forgiven.
If Jesus just stayed dead, He would be like all the other dead “gods” and false religions out there, but Jesus did not stay dead. Three days later He rose again, defeating sin and conquering death!
While it is true that God loved the world enough to send His Son to die for sins, the Bible calls us to a response. We must answer the question, how are we saved?
First, we must understand how we are not saved. Many people think they can earn God’s forgiveness by being a good person. However, the Bible tells us that salvation is not by works. If people live their whole lives believing that when they die God will weigh their sins and their good deeds to see if they did enough to get in, they will be face to face with God who will says, “depart from me I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). Our righteousness is as filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6), and our salvation is by grace through faith, not by works so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If we cannot earn our salvation, how are we saved? The Bible tells us that we might turn. The Biblical idea of repentance is that we are walking in sin, but to realize our disobedience before God, confess it to Him, and forsake. It is to turn from a life of ungodliness to God as our Lord. Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return to our Lord. And He will have mercy on him and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
The Bible also tells us that we must trust. This means to give up the futile attempt to earn God’s favor by works, and trust in the perfect work of Christ alone to save you. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
You don’t know how long you have to live. It is appointed for man once to die and after that the judgement (Hebrews 9:27). But today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Trust in Jesus!
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