The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Bible explains that when a person is born into the world, he/she inherits some significant relationship problems between themselves and God. These problems are the result of the first disobedience of man against God. When God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Garden of Eden, He gave them one simple command.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
Later, Satan cast doubts on these instructions from God, saying to Eve:
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’? … “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Your first reaction may be:
“First of all … I don’t really understand what all this has to do with me … I didn’t rebel against God.”
Well, I can certainly understand that you did not rebel against God in the Garden of Eden. But, when a person is born into the world, they will inherited the same spiritual problems that Adam and Eve did.
“Listen, I’m not really trying to be mean or anything, … but, there’s no need to continue, because I really don’t believe all that bible stuff anyway …”.
I can certainly understand people not believing the Bible. It has a reputation among many as being an out-of-date old archaic book of morals … nothing more. But, this is a reputation created by the vast majority of people who have never read the Bible. Honestly, wouldn’t you like to know what the Bible says before you decide whether or not to believe it? I mean, if Satan really exists, and he hated Adam and Eve enough to want to destroy them, then the last thing he wants you to do is know about the good news God has for you in the Bible — the message of love and hope of having a relationship with God. Besides, all I really want to do is share what the Bible says. I’ll let you decide what you want to do with that information, alright? Fair enough?
If you’re reading this sentence, then I’m assuming you simply want to know what the Bible says — that’s a great step in considering a message of hope in a starting a new relationship between you and God.
Now, before we understand that good news, we really need to fully understand the bad news of our current condition before God. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s instructions, hoping the lie from Satan was true, hoping to be like God, three major things happened:
- They lost their joyful and innocent relationship with God.
- They gained a nature that opposed God. This includes outwardly (by their actions) and inwardly (by a selfish way of thinking and new desires).
- The reality of “death” entered the world.
And more bad news for us…
Today, we can see that the fall of mankind has directly effected us — our nature, our lifestyle, our way of thinking. How? Well, by comparing our own moral behavior against the standards of the ten commandments would be an excellent way to see this.
Here’s a quick listing of those commandments:
(1). Do not have any other Gods other than Me — The One True God — the Creator of the world.
(2). Do not worship or bow to any idol of any false god.
(3). Do not use the name of God in a casual or profane way.
(4). Specially observe the seventh day by resting on this day and by remembering God throughout this day; this is to be done in observing that God created everything in six days and then God rested on the seventh day.
(5) Honor your mother and father.
(6) Do not murder.
(7) Do not have sexual intimacy with anyone other than your spouse.
(8) Do not steal.
(9) Do not lie.
(10) Do not look on anything that is not yours and desire to have that as your own — this would include your neighbors possessions, or spouse.
See Exodus 20:3–17
These commands from God demonstrate that our moral nature was changed after the fall. Remember, there was no need for the ten commandments before the fall — we did not have any rebellious tendencies against God. Now, however, we naturally rebel against God — and we are naturally selfish. Whether we are religious or not, God has created us with the understanding that we are to be good. There are lots of people who live in guilt because they know they are not living by a standard of good that they know they should be keeping. And yet, we find from our nature that it’s impossible to live as we know we should.
So, how do we live with ourselves, knowing that we’re supposed to be good … but finding that we can not do so?
We simply lower the standards; we sooth our conscience by comparing ourselves with others that we consider to be worse than we are. This is a way to excuse ourselves in our own minds. This also demonstrates that our way of thinking was changed after the fall. But God’s standards are not “pulled down” to something that excuses us. God operates from “perfect standards”. This is terrible news for us. In fact, the Bible says we will be judged after we die.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
And when it comes to the judgment of God, we find that the grading scale is based on “pass” or “fail”. We either we receive a perfect 100 or a flat zero.
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
There are many who think that God should “just forgive them” … they are quick to cite a one-sided view that God is supposed to be a “God of Love”. They find it hard to believe that God would judge them, and condemn them to an eternity in hell. In fact, many even refuse to believe in hell.
Believe me when I say that I understand such reasoning. The truth is that we are in quite a mess. It’s such an ugly picture, it’s hard to handle the truth! But it even gets worse, … God doesn’t owe us forgiveness — in fact, He doesn’t even owe us a chance for forgiveness — we blew it — big time! Unpleasant but true. It’s arrogant thinking to believe that God owes us a chance to escape the judgment for my sins. Thinking along these lines demonstrates that we do not yet understand the severity of mankind’s initial disobedience, as well as each and every single one of us, personally, breaking His just, holy, righteous commandments. God is a God of Love, but, because He is completely holy, He operates on a standard of perfect Holiness, and Righteousness.
Are You Ready for Some Good News?
Here’s the good news, even though God doesn’t owe us a second chance … He is a Wonderful God of second chances ; He has worked out a divine plan for us to be restored to an absolutely perfect standing before Him — even our nature to be restored to one that is completely perfect before Him! Aren’t you glad! Do you want to understand the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
God, knew from the beginning that mankind would rebel. Nothing has caught Him off guard! And, He knew, even before He created man, what it would cost to restore fallen people back to a righteous standing before Himself.
God sent His one and only Son as our only chance of escaping judgment.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Here’s how this plan works. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, volunteered to set aside all His divine rights as the Son of God in heaven (Phil 2:5–9). He left heaven and came to the earth as one of us. He took on flesh and blood and was born as a man on earth. Now, being fully God, and fully man, He was uniquely qualified to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He was the only man who lived a perfect life, completely holy before God the Father — He committed no sin (Heb 4:15).
And then the most shocking event in history took place. In a plan created out of love for us, between God the Father, and God the Son, both willingly fulfilled their parts, the Son of God voluntarily took the full wrath of God the Father for the payment of the sins of mankind. God the Father willingly unleashed all His holy wrath against sin onto His Son … and the penalty of sin was paid in full.
This was all necessary to set up what several have called, “The Great Exchange” (2 Cor 5:21). God offers the “unspeakable gift” (2 Cor 9:15 | Rom 3:24 | Rom 6:23) of forgiveness to those who choose to honor and worship Him by believing this good news, turning from their lifestyle of sins, and trusting whole in His goodness provided through Jesus Christ as our only hope (1 Cor 15:3–4). The Bible says there is only one way to God, and that’s through Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6) and His work on the cross on our behalf. Apart from that one event, there is no hope of forgiveness or restoration to God. God applies our sins to Christ’s payment on the cross, and give us the righteousness of Christ for those that believe and accept that gift. To those that understand this plan (Jn 1:10–13), and treasure this kindness of God by accepting the gift of this “exchange”, God promises to come and abide with us, being our God. Many want forgiveness without yielding to God’s authority (Jn 3:20–21) … but this will not result in receiving the gift of forgiveness. We are told we must repent and receive a new nature (2 Cor 5:17). This is what it means to be “born again” (Jn 3:3) by the Spirit of God.
Is God Leading You to Be Saved? … A Word About Repentant
There are many who want to be saved, and even believe this message of hope and restoration. Why is it then, that the Bible refers to religious people who believe the gospel message, who think they are saved, but are not? ( See Mat 7:21–23). I think it’s a matter of repentance. No one wants to be condemned to hell for an eternity … even those that believe the gospel message. So, how can we tell if we really have a heart of repentance? Ask yourself this question: Do I desperately long to be set free from every sin in my life because I see and love the righteous perfect holiness of God? Or do I just want to be set free from the sins that bring about trouble for me, guilt, problems, relationships with others? If you feel shame and remorse for every sin in your life because you see them as an offensive to His righteousness and holiness, and you sincerely long to please Him, then there’s evidence that you are experiencing repentance as described in the Bible. This attitude of repentance is necessary for salvation. However, if your only interest is in escaping judgment, you need to stop and ask God to reveal to you just how bad sin is to Him. Repentance of sin starts with an attitude of agreeing with God’s viewpoint about the sins in your life! It’s admitting that sin is wrong to the degree that God says they are wrong. It’s understanding that sin is so offensive towards God’s holiness that Jesus Christ had to die on the cross as the only way to make payment match the seriousness of the offense towards God. And, it involves wanting God’s holiness more than wanting to enjoy the pleasures of sin. (Jn 3:20–21). Do you have an understanding about sin that agrees with God’s viewpoint? When you accept the free gift of God’s forgiveness, you will also be given a new nature, which gives you the power to turn from sin. So, salvation is not from works, but the signs of salvation will produce the “fruits of a new lifestyle” as an indication that it has happened in your life!
Now for the best news of all, how do we accept this gift of forgiveness for sins, understanding the plan of salvation, and having a heart of repentance with a desire to turn from sin? If all these things are true, the Bible says: All who call on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved (Rom 10:13). Receiving Christ, and the truth of the gospel is like receiving a gift (Eph 2:8–9). You simply call out to Him, and ask Him to forgive your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross on your behalf. Repent from sins and live in a way that pleases Him with His power to help you. (No, you will not be perfect, but yes, you will find many changes going on — and He will give you strength to live better and better for Him as time passes ). The Bible says, as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become sons and daughters of God in His family (Jn 1:10–13). If you accepted this truth and desire to honor God by trusting in His kindness as your only hope — then you have been given the right to become a son or daughter in the kingdom of God. You can continue to grow by finding a Bible-believing Church, share with them your commitment to Christ, and continue to grow in your new life by reading and obeying the Bible.
If you have comments, I’d love to hear from you. Please consider emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org