What Is The Gospel? (A Simple Test)

(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?

 

  Put your faith in the Lord

  Turn your life over to the Lord

  Trust God with your life

  God has a purpose for your life

  Ask Jesus into your heart

  Trust in the Lord with all your heart

  Make Jesus Lord of your life

  Turn from your sin

  Repent

  Receive Christ

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]

What Was Finished On The Cross?

(John 19:30)  “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Some people believe in a doctrine called “The Harrowing of Hell.” This term comes from the Latin phrase Descensus Christi ad Inferos (“the descent of Christ into hell). During the Reformation, in Protestant churches it came to mean that Christ took on our sins and then suffered our eternal punishment in Hell after He died. But did this really happen or is it a misunderstanding that was solidified by medieval writers and repetitive recitation of the Apostle’s Creed in liturgical worship? “It is finished” is where we find the answer.

The Greek word captured in the phrase “It is finished” is teleo. It literally means “to end, complete, execute, conclude.” Those around the cross looked on the broken, battered, and bloody man hanging there assuming His words meant that His life was finished. Little did they know those words carried far more meaning for them than they could ever hope. We hear in those words the hope for the condemned in Israel who were indicted by the prophets long ago. We hear in those words the hope for us as our souls balanced in eternity as He suffered under the weight of our sins on the cross.

[typography font=”Give You Glory” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]1. The means of reconciliation was accomplished on Calvary:[/typography]

(Colossians 1:20) “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

(Ephesians 2:13) “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

[typography font=”Give You Glory” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]2. Redemption and the means of forgiveness were accomplished on Calvary:[/typography]

(Colossians 1:14) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

[typography font=”Give You Glory” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]3. The burden of the Law was removed on Calvary:[/typography]

(Colossians 2:14) “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

If all of this was accomplished on the cross, then there is no doubt the punishment and wrath of God were poured on the Lord Jesus Christ while He hung there. Those hours of agony were far more than the torture of the beatings and piercings. He literally suffered an eternity for all humanity at that time. He literally became the sin, sacrifice and scapegoat. There are no other verses in the Bible that indicate His suffering continued in Hell. In fact we are given information that He preached during the three days and nights in that place.

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  • “It is finished” literally meant the punishment for your sins and my sins were accomplished. There was nothing else that could be done and nothing else that you or I can do.
  • “It is finished” is the declaration the payment is complete.
  • “It is finished” means we can live righteously today because He fulfilled all righteousness.
  • “It is finished” means we can live without guilt.
  • “It is finished” means we can live without self-condemnation.
  • “It is finished” means we can die to self.
  • “It is finished” means the greatest battle ever fought was won.

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[box]Renewed Thought – Christ’s work is accomplished. Now go live today a life that He paid for you to live.[/box]