(Romans 1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Can you pick out which one of these phrases is the gospel?
The truth is, while these phrases sound good, none of them are the gospel! Unfortunately, we are living in a Christian culture where the terms of salvation are losing precision even though the Bible gives us a precise message. We hear a lot of preaching that tells us what the gospel produces before we ever hear the contents of the gospel itself. If I were to ask you the question, “What is the gospel?” how would you respond in precise terms?
The word gospel means “good news.” We all need good news. We need news that tells us how to be clean from our sin against God. We need God to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. We need grace instead of religious works. So in plain terms, what is the good news? In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the Apostle Paul lays it out the terms of the gospel in language that cannot be mistaken with any of the puzzling messages we often hear today.
(1 Corinthians 15:1) “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
(1 Corinthians 15:2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
(1 Corinthians 15:4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
That’s it – nothing more and nothing less.
[box]In the simplest terms possible – the gospel is that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again.[/box]
All those other messages we often hear fail because they do not provide this message of good news.
Once we hear this simple message, how does God demand we respond? Faith is the only response that God will accept. Our response cannot contain works or else it fails to be the work of God on our behalf. We put our faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and in the victory of His resurrection from the dead.
(Ephesians 2:8) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
If you never put your faith in Christ and His death for your sins and resurrection from the dead, would you do that right now?
Christian, the clarity of the gospel is one of the great battles, perhaps the biggest battle, we are facing today in the Body of Christ. The gospel is not only our means of salvation from the penalty of sin; it is also our means to daily practical deliverance from the power of sin and it conveys our hope for a future free from the presence of sin. It is the starting point for living with a renewed mind.
[box]Renewed Thought – The purpose of the gospel isn’t to make me happy, make me wealthy, or give me a higher self-esteem. The ultimate purpose of the gospel is to make me a usable, holy vessel for God’s purpose and glory.[/box]