From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: | Phone: 1-800-435-4343”
What Is the Gospel?
by R.C. Sproul
There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel.
The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the Gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.
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*Bible delivery not garunteed.
GOD - Holy & Just; His nature demands that he punish evil
MAN - Sinfull & Rebelious; Our nature is rebelious and we are totaly depraved
CHRIST - God & Man; Lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death for our sins and rose from the grave defeating death
RESPONCE - To recieve the gift Jesus won for us we must turn back to him, repenting from our sins, and place our full faith in his work on the cross.
Here are some proofs of a genuine work of salvation:
By: Trisha Ramo
Are you wrestling with the thoughts that you aren't saved? Do you question whether your faith in God is genuine? Perhaps you feel like you've had a conversion experience in the past but your not sure if you're a true convert. Below are five questions to ask yourself and explanations that provide general proofs of a genuine work of salvation. We hope that these provide helpful insight to you:
Is there present belief in God?
We are never to depend upon a previous testimony of something we did years ago such as pray a prayer or sign a card or walk down an isle for an altar call, we must presently be confessing Jesus Christ as Lord through faith.
Is there a habitual impenitent sin in your life?
A true Christian will not habitually and impenitently practice a lifestyle of sin. (1 John 1. 5-10). This does not mean that we will ever be sinless, this side of heaven, but that we who are in the light do not seek to remain in darkness.
Is there observable growth?
There must be an observable growth in the life of the believer. We are called to grow in our salvation in the areas of knowledge, love, grace, and fruit. (John 15; 2 Pet. 3.18). Those who think that nothing more than a mere confession of faith is needed, to prove oneself a Christian, run the danger of self-deception and ultimately lack assurance of their salvation.
Is there a pursuit for holiness?
A true Christian is not to remain carnal in mind and affections. We are to pursue holiness. A believer in Christ, hungers for righteousness and seeks to be pleasing in obedience to the Father. (Hebrews 12:14). This proof is extremely telling regarding ones salvation as well as their spiritual maturity. Do we love darkness? Do we rejoice in sinfulness? These things are to be rejected by the true child of God.
Do you hold to the essential doctrines of the Faith? Especially, having to do with the Doctrines of God, Authority, and Salvation?
There are certain doctrines and teachings in Scripture that cannot be breached. The failure to hold to the "Essentials" will result in heresy, false doctrine, and false hope. One of the reformers once said, "If you have the wrong God in the end you meet the Devil". Thus, it is essential that we have the right God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). That we believe in the true identity of Jesus Christ, being fully God and fully man.
We must believe that the Bible is the word of God and the final authority for all of faith and practice. We will have no foundation otherwise. Believing, therefore, that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired is essential. For without it we would not know God at all. Also, we must believe in a proper view of salvation. In other words, it is by grace through faith that we are saved and not by human works lest we boast in ourselves. (Eph. 2.8; Tit. 3.4-7).
These proofs are never to be mistaken as works. That is, that none of the above mentioned are offered as works which prove that we have earned the right to be saved. Rather, we are saved by nothing more than sovereign grace. Assurance is a miracle of God and it is reserved for the child of God. For the Christian, we have the blessed promise of assurance and that we can know for certain whether we are saved or not. Below are two powerful verses on assurance that you can take comfort in:
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5.13).
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without doubting, for He who promised is faithful." (Heb. 10. 22-23).
Copyright © 2007-2014 Trisha Ramo
Wondering if Your Faith is Genuine?
To Speak with an Evangelist call:
The gospel is the message about the forgiveness of sins given to the world. It tells us the truth about who we are and shows us what God requires of us. It is the only way the acquired punishment for our sins can be satisfied and the only way we can be restored in our relationship with God.
You might think that you haven't sinned against God or that you haven't done much that would displease Him. Well it might help to go over some of the sins that are listed in the Bible...
"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."
- Galatians 5:19-21
If you would like to test your morality try going through the tens commandments that God set forth in Exodus 20 for his people to follow...
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image…”
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.”
“Remember the Sabbath day…”
“Honor your father and your mother…”
“You shall not murder.”
“You shall not commit adultery.”
“You shall not steal.”
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
“You shall not covet...”
Maybe you have seen a few that you haven’t kept so well. Maybe you have told a few lies or maybe stolen some music online. Some of you still might not think you have broken any of these commandments. Well let’s take a closer how Jesus breaks down a few of these commandments…
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”
- Matthew 5: 21-22
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” - Matthew 5:27-28
Well that makes it even harder to follow these commands. I don’t think I’ve met a man yet who hasn’t looked at a women with sexual desire or a person who hasn’t been angry with someone. We have all done the things God has forbidden in the Bible. None of us have lived up to the standard that has been given by God. We have all disobeyed him and shown him that we are unworthy to be with him his perfect presence. The Bible states that…
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.“
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are a like polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
- Isaiah 64:6
So we all find ourselves in opposition to God, sinning against his commands, and that is a serious position to be in. It would be unjust for God to pretend that we haven’t disobeyed him. If someone murders a child and the judge lets him go free then that Judge is corrupt. God will not be a corrupt judge. He will do what is right and follow through with the punishment required for the sin.
“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
- John 5:29
We saw that we have done evil by breaking the laws of God. We have acquired an eternal debt of sin in which we cannot pay. And we have been given only one life, and by sinning we have soiled it. Therefore according to the righteousness of God we must face him guilty on the day when he judges our lives.
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…”
- Hebrews 9:27
This is the point where the good news comes in. Although God is completely just, he is also amazingly loving and perfectly merciful. Maybe you have heard what he has done for you and I in the popular verse John 3:16…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
- John 3:16
and it goes on to say…
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
– John 3:17-18
So, there is hope for the sinners of the world, God has loved us and instead of giving us instantly what we deserve, he has been slow to anger. He has offered up his Son as sacrifice. If you read in the Old Testament you will see that while God’s people were waiting for the savior, they had to sacrifice animals to cover their sins. Well Jesus was the savior they were waiting for and he lived a perfect life, without sin, and laid down his life as the final sacrifice. He didn’t just die to cover sins, but he took our sins on himself, so bore our punishment.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
That is the saving gospel. That we all have sinned, and deserve the punishment for our wrongs, but God being loving and merciful gives us his Son so that whoever turns from their sins and trusts in Jesus for their forgiveness is reconciled to God.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
– Romans 1:16
“…God chose you as first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”
– 2 Thessalonians 2:13
This is a magnificent offer that not one of us deserves, and yet God has generously obtained this forgiveness for us. He calls us all to repent and have faith in Jesus. The Bible tells us that in order to be saved, we must respond to death and resurrection of Jesus with Faith. We must have faith that Jesus is God and has died for the sins of those who trust in him.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
Those who have faith are adopted into the family of God. When God looks at his children, he does not see their guilt, but instead he sees his Son Jesus. This is the pathway to victory in Christ. This gospel does not lead you into an easier life, more profitable job, fewer health problems, better grades, obedient children, or happy marriages. This Gospel brings you into a right relationship with God and shows you how to take joy in Him no matter what your circumstances. He will work in you through his Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus every day. When you die he will take you unto himself and you will spend eternity with Him in perfect communion.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
– 1 Peter 2:9
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days away in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of our savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
– Titus 3: 4-5
Stephan J Albin
New Sojourn Ministries 2013
New Sojourn Ministries; Lee's Summit, MO
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"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from Hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness."
- Arthur W. Pink