"This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:10)
The message of Christianity, the gospel, is good news. The good news of Christianity is that we can be reconciled to God. You may be thinking, “Reconciled to God? I didn’t know that we were estranged?” Well, in order to understand just how good this news is, we must first understand that there is bad news.
God, the holy and loving creator of all things, made us to reflect His beautiful character (Genesis 1:26–28), to glorify and enjoy Him forever (Psalm 37:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13–14). He is perfectly holy, worthy of all worship, and a righteous Judge who will punish sin (Exodus 34:6–7; 1 John 1:5, Revelation 4:11, Romans 2:5–8).
We were created to love God and bring glory to Him by joyfully obeying His commands. Tragically, like Adam and Eve, we have all decided that we don’t want to live under God’s rule or obey His commands (Genesis 3:1–24, Romans 3:23). We would rather love ourselves, bring glory to ourselves, and obey the desires of our own hearts (Romans 1:21–25).
This rebellion against God’s rule is what the Bible calls sin. From birth, all people are alienated from God, hostile to God, and subject to the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:1–3). We have all failed to live for God’s glory and instead live for ourselves.
There is a deep cost of sin (Romans 6:23). Because God is eternal and holy He must punish sin, and we are in danger of eternally falling under His just judgment. This is the bad news that we must come to understand in order to see and savor the good news about Jesus.
The matchless good news about Jesus is that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). God sent His one and only Son, Jesus (John 3:16). Jesus, being fully God and fully man, lived the life of perfect love for God by bringing glory to Him and joyfully obeying His commands (1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5). Jesus died on the cross, bearing God’s just punishment for the sin of all of those who would ever turn from their sin and trust in Him (1 Peter 2:24). Three days after His death, God raised Jesus from the dead, proving to us all that His death on our behalf was an acceptable substitute (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, 21). Jesus offers His perfect righteousness and sacrifice for sins to us as a gift, to all who will deny themselves and follow Him (Matthew 11:28; Revelation 22:17; Mark 8:34–35).
Now, Jesus calls us all to turn from our sins and trust in Him (Mark 1:14–15). The good news is that if we truly repent, leaving our sins behind, and trust, placing our faith wholly in Jesus, we will be reconciled to God for all eternity (1 John 1:9). For those who turn from their sin and trust in Jesus, nothing can or will ever separate them from God’s love (Romans 8:28–39). Once we acknowledge in humility our desperate brokenness and sin (Luke 18:9–14) and receive Christ as Lord and Savior by God’s grace through faith, God forgives our sins, declares us righteous, and seals us with His Holy Spirit as a pledge of our future redemption (Romans 3:21–27; Ephesians 1:13–14; 2:8–9). Having been reconciled to God, Jesus calls us to live under His Lordship and in the fellowship of His church (Ephesians 4:1–3).
But the ultimate prize of this good news of the gospel is God Himself, and not just His gifts (John 17:3; 1 Peter 3:18). The ultimate reason the gospel is good news is because Christ’s work has removed every obstacle to our reconciliation with God, and it enables us to glorify and enjoy Him forever (2 Corinthians 5:17–19; Ephesians 2:13–16). We can begin a life-giving, all-satisfying relationship with the God of the universe that will last forever. This new life is available for everyone today! (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Dear reader, along with Jesus we want to encourage you to turn from your sins, trust in Him, and treasure Him as the Lord of your life. Please contact us as we would love to speak and pray with you about what it means to be a Christian and follow Jesus.
Email email@example.com to begin the conversation.
More Resources on the Gospel
What is the Gospel? by R. C. Sproul
The Gospel by Desiring God
What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
Basic Christianity by John Stott