The Gospel

The word “gospel” means “good news.” The gospel is the good news about what God has done to save sinners in his Son, Jesus Christ.

All of mankind was created to know, love, and serve God. He is the Eternal, Infinite, Almighty Creator, the fountain of all life, goodness, and being. As St. Augustine put it, he has made us for himself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in him.

The early chapters of Genesis tell the tragic story of how mankind, beginning with our forefather Adam, turned away from God in pride, unbelief, and disobedience, listening to the voice of the serpent (that is, Satan) rather than to the voice of God. As Adam’s offspring, we have all inherited a corrupt, sinful nature and are liable to eternal condemnation. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

The gospel is the good news of how the holy and righteous Lord of all has acted to save sinners. His promised salvation is the central theme of the whole of the Holy Scriptures. As soon as man fell from God, the Lord promised that he would one day send a Savior, a seed of the woman, who would crush the head of the serpent and bring about redemption (Genesis 3:15). This Christ—or Messiah (“Anointed One”)—was foretold and prefigured all throughout the Old Testament. Moses, David, and all the prophets looked ahead to the coming Savior, the true sacrificial Lamb who would take away the sins of the people (Exodus 12; Isaiah 53), the ruler on David’s throne who would reign forever and bring rest to his people (2 Sam 7), the Sovereign King whose dominion would be from sea to sea (Psalm 72) and in whom all nations would hope (Isaiah 11:10).

Scripture bears witness that in the fullness of time, God the Father sent his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. The everlasting Son of the Father, equal with God, emptied himself by taking on a human nature (Philippians 2:5–8). He became man so that as man he could live the perfect life that we ought to have lived and die the death that we should have died. Jesus came as the new Adam, who was faithful when tempted (Matthew 4:1–11); the new Israel, who was ever and always obedient to the Lord his God (Matthew 2:15); the true Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). In his death on the cross, Jesus bore God’s just judgment in the place of all who would believe in him. On the third day Jesus rose again from the dead, triumphant over sin and death and hell, and ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of God the Father until the day he returns to judge the living and the dead. Because of his atoning work our sins are forgiven, we receive his life-giving Spirit, we are adopted as God’s sons, and we are destined to one day inherit everlasting life in the presence of God.

The gospel is not about us; it’s about Jesus. It’s not about what we have done; it’s about what he has done for us. It’s not about our deserving; it’s about his mercy and grace. The good news is this salvation is free: “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelations 22:17). Though it cost everything to God’s Son, it costs nothing to you. You do not earn it through your good deeds. You do not work for it. You merely receive it by repentance (turning from your sin in sorrow and contrition) and faith (trusting in Christ alone as your Savior). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “To the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

Reconciled to God by his grace in Christ, we are empowered to live new lives. Though we are not saved by works, we are saved for works, which the Lord has prepared for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:8–10). We seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, in faith, hope, and love, as we eagerly await the day of Christ’s return, when we will be made perfectly happy and holy in his presence (1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:4). Until then, as the Lord’s redeemed people, we gather regularly to worship as his church, enjoy fellowship with one another, spend time regularly in the Word and prayer, and seek to be obedient to our Lord’s commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19–20

If you have questions about Jesus or the gospel, we would invite you to join us in worship and conversation.