LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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THE GOSPEL

 

 

The human condition is a desperate one. A realistic assessment of what we see in everyday life tells us that people have a very serious problem with the issue of good and evil. Most people try to do good, but there are so many that seem to have no interest in doing good but are dead set on hurting as many people as they can.  In fact, even we “good people” have a hard time being good all the time and we are constantly doing things we wish we hadn’t done. Why is this? It is because of what the Bible calls sin.

Sin separates people from the God that created them.[1] This is sad as it means that there is no hope and no way out for us unless there is some way we can be brought into a right relationship with God. But as long as we are sinners it appears that there is absolutely no hope because it is just not in us to stop this sinning business no matter how hard we try. This verse tells us, "GOD CARES!"

However, God has a different perspective on this. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:9 that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. People who do not know God have a picture of a wrathful God just standing over people looking for some reason to strike them dead. But that is not who God is!

So, in spite of our hopeless human condition, God has some good news for us. This good news is called the GOSPEL. In fact, it is interesting that the word that is translated by the word gospel in our English Bibles is a Greek word that means good news. In fact, our modern word gospel comes from an old English word godspel, meaning good tidings.

Our modern culture has virtually no idea what the gospel is. Some would have you believe the gospel is about being narrow-minded and condemning people that practice what are accepted as modern virtues, such as abortion and homosexuality. But this is nothing more than misinformation given with the intent to discredit the real gospel.

When Jesus of Nazareth began his public ministry, his first emphasis was for people to repent and believe the gospel.[2] While the gospel involves believing, it is much more than just believing some facts or some kind of a religious creed. The Apostle Paul wrote that the gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.[3]

The gospel is really very simple. The good news is that God has made a way to take the sin out of people’s lives and bring them into a right relationship with Himself. This He did by sending Jesus Christ into the world to deliver people from their sins.[4] He did this by living a perfect life and then going to the cross to make “vicarious atonement” for our sins. That expression is theological jargon that means that Christ died on our behalf so that God could forgive our sins and still be just and righteous while showing us mercy.

The Bible puts it very beautifully: The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. . . . If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.[5] This really is good news! Jesus died for the ungodly[6], that is, for EVERYONE, even modern Americans that don’t believe in absolutes and such a thing as truth; He even died for people who don’t believe in such a thing as sin or salvation from sin.

Romans 5:6 –11. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 



[1] Isaiah 59:2.

[2] Mark 1:15.

[3] Romans 1:16.

[4] Matthew 1:21.

[5] 1 John 1:7, 9.

[6] Romans 5:6.