(The Good News)
Thank you for opening “The Gospel” window of our website. Here you’ll find a thorough, though not absolutely exhaustive, explanation of the Gospel, or the Good News, concerning how God has made possible your reconciliation to Himself through Jesus Christ. You might want to get a Bible and look up the references offered after each point so as to document that what we’re claiming is really what the Bible teaches. Lord bless your effort!
Creation-God created man, us, in His Own image, in the first man Adam, to love us and to be loved and served by us as our God and Father (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:4-25, Matthew 22:34-40, 1 John 1:1-4). Most people are convinced that, if there is a God, He must be cruel and hateful because it’s their impression that He created them for the purpose of judging, or condemning, them. That would, not only, not make any sense, but is totally contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. God created us in our first parents to enjoy an eternal relationship with Him in which He would be appropriately glorified, or recognized and honored for all that He is, and take pleasure in us and we in Him as we lived consistently with His design.
Rebellion-Convinced by Satan, the adversary of God and man, that God was intentionally depriving us of equality with Himself, we, in Adam, rebelled against God by consuming the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the one thing God had specifically forbidden Adam to indulge in, immediately making ourselves mortal (subject to physical death), enemies of God, morally corrupt, and bringing ourselves under eternal judgment (Genesis 3:1-24, Romans 3:10-18, 23, Romans 5:12-14, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:11-15). As mentioned under “Creation”, most people, when confronted with the God of the Bible, see themselves as victims of a God who created them to sin and to, therefore, be judged. It was, however, we, in Adam, who defied God because we were dissatisfied with His design for our relationship. That we were morally corrupted by that original sin can still be seen in our natural bent toward disobeying God even now (Romans 3:10-18). We are not victims of God’s design, or of Adam’s sin, but were willing participants in a rebellion against our Maker and are, therefore, born into the world already guilty of sin, subject to its consequences, and worthy of eternal judgment.
Atonement-God, in spite of our rebellion and moral corruption in Adam, loved His human creation (us) so much that He atoned for (provided a covering, or payment) our sins, our rebellion, our moral corruption, in the person of His Eternal Son Jesus Christ who entered humanity through the virgin birth, lived a life without sin as our substitute, and was then made culpable, or accountable, for our sin and punished by God for it in our place by His personal rejection by God the Father and crucifixion on the cross (Isaiah 53, John 3:16-21, Romans 3:21-31, Romans 5:6-8, Philippians 2;5-11, 1 Peter 3:18, Matthew 26:1-27:66, Mark 14:1-15:47, Luke 22:1-23:56, John 18:1-19:42). About 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ the prophet Isaiah was permitted by God to look into the future where he saw the person of Jesus Christ, who he identified as “the arm of the Lord” (Isaiah 53:2). He described, in incredible detail, the disposition of Jesus, how He would be perceived and treated by the Jews, and even His rejection and death as satisfaction for man’s sin. Isaiah actually described Jesus’ sinless character and defined His death as satisfying God’s wrath, His righteous indignation toward man, in Isaiah 53:11-12. Jesus paid the sin-debt, owed to the Creator-God, of every human being.
Authentication-The person and work of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, would have had little credibility apart from some means of authentication. Consistent with, literally, thousands of years of prophecy, however, God raised Jesus from the dead as authentication, or proof, both of His identity as the Son of God and of the effect of His substitutionary life and death for man’s (our) sin. By His resurrection from the dead and appearance before hundreds of credible witnesses, Jesus proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that He was, not only, who He’d claimed to be, but that He had in fact satisfied God’s standard of justice, His law, and paid the penalty for man’s sin (Romans 1: 1:1-4, Romans 4:23-25, 1 Corinthians 15:1-19, Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-53, John 20:1-25). The Bible does not demand a blind faith in the words and works of the first century Jesus Christ, but provides corroboration that His sacrifice, consistent with Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 53:11-12), was accepted by God the Father as substitutionary for the eternal judgment of every human being. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most documented fact in all of history.
Reconciliation-Our understanding that we were created by God for a personal relationship with Himself, that we violated His design bringing judgment on ourselves and corruption into the world, that God atoned for our sin in Jesus Christ, and that the sufficiency of Jesus’ person and work were authenticated by His resurrection will only result in our, in your, reconciliation to God if, fully convinced of your guilt and the legitimacy of the provision made for your sin in Jesus Christ, you’re willing to repent (experience a change of heart) of your sin, your rebellion against God’s rightful authority over you as His creation, and place your trust fully in the person and sacrifice of Jesus as satisfaction of God’s righteous judgment relative to your personal sin (John 3:16-21, Romans 3:21-31, Romans 4:1-25, Romans 5:6-8, Romans 10:8-13, Colossians 1:9-23). Though our “sins” take on many shapes, they’re all, ultimately, rebellion against God. People will, sometimes, attempt to justify their sin by pointing out that no one else was damaged by their behavior, but the effect of our behavior on other people is less than half of the equation where morality is concerned. In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus explained to the Jewish lawyer (expert in the Mosaic Law) that “the Great Commandment” was to love God with all of one’s being and his neighbor as himself. While God certainly intends for man to love others, He intends for him to do so in response to his first love for God.
That said, what man needs, what you need, is not a self-willed moral transformation, or to accomplish something extraordinary, to be judged worthy of the rewards of righteousness, but to be reconciled to your Creator, to the One True God. If, and when, you surrender your life back to Christ and trust Him as Savior the absolute righteousness of Jesus will, according to Romans 4, be “imputed”, or reckoned, to your account. In other words, like someone’s putting money into your bank account to cover an overdraft, the righteousness of Jesus will be counted as your righteousness because your sin was counted as His sin when He died on the cross. You will be genuinely, and eternally, forgiven of your sin and reconciled to the God who created you to love you and to be loved by you.
If you believe…
How exactly can we, can you, make application of the realities you’ve just learned? In Romans 10:1-5, the Apostle Paul expressed a profound desire that his own people, the most religious people who ever lived (the first century Jews), be saved, or reconciled to God. He explained that they had a “zeal”, or a passion, for God, but that it was not consistent with knowledge, meaning it was not based on a right understanding of God’s standard of righteousness. That was not, of course, true of all first century Jews, but most were, without a doubt, confused about what constituted a “God-kind” of righteousness. They’d errantly believed that by their attempt to practice the law God had laid down in the Old Testament, in spite of their moral corruption, they would be declared righteous, just, incorrupt (Romans 3:10-20).
Paul gave an abbreviated explanation of what we’ve already explained above, and then answered our question concerning how to make application of Christ’s provision for our sins, your sins, in verses 6-13, when he wrote:
“6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
What Paul was saying was that, because no human being descended from Adam and, therefore, morally corrupt, could ever, by an effort to keep God’s law, undo his corruption, Jesus Christ had been sent to fulfill God’s law in corrupt man’s place and that there was no need for any further authentication of that reality by some further physical eyewitness experience with Christ, but that by faith in the testimony already provided by Old Testament prophets, Jesus Himself, and the New Testament Apostles, if they were to “confess with their mouths”, or to acknowledge, Jesus as the “Lord”, as God incarnate, and believe in their hearts, or to be genuinely convinced of the reality of His death and resurrection as payment for their sins and the proof of it, they would be “saved”.
By “saved” Paul meant they would be delivered from their spiritual death, from eternal judgment, and, ultimately, from mortality, because they would be reconciled to the God who had created them for an eternal, personal, relationship with Himself to begin with. God did not create man, He did not create you, in Adam to condemn you to death, to separation from Himself, but to experience an eternal, joy-filled, life as His child and servant. Your adversarial relationship with God can come to an end and be replaced by a personal walk with Him, at this very moment, without any religious ceremony, without the prayers or the approval of any religious official, if you will simply bow your head and express your surrender back to His authority and trust Jesus as Savior on the grounds of the Bible’s testimony of His sacrifice for your sins and authenticating resurrection from the dead as your only hope for being reconciled and forgiven.
Living life in Christ!
If you’ve just committed your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and trusted Him as your Savior, we’d love for you to e-mail us, or to contact any of the churches, or people, whose identities appear on this website to share your decision. We’d like to encourage and help you in any way we can including guiding you to a local congregation of people who’ve made the same decision you have so that they can help you to grow in the new relationship you now have with Christ. If you haven’t yet made the decision to commit your life and trust to Jesus but would like more information, again, please feel at liberty to contact us or someone else identified on our site. For the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we want to help. Lord bless you for having invested time in your own spiritual life today and we hope to hear from you soon!
John & Tammy Cooley
Burkina Faso West Africa