The word gospel literally means “good news” and occurs 93 times in the Bible and refers to the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation. This good news (or the gospel) is the message that God will give us pardon from our sins and gift us eternal life with Him in heaven, if we will turn away from our sins and turn to Him, accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Saviour and Lord.
“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
How To Understand the Gospel (Good News)
The key to understanding the gospel is to know why it’s good news. To do that, we must start with the bad news. The Old Testament Law was given to Israel during the time of Moses. The Law can be thought of as a measuring stick, and sin is anything that falls short of “perfect” according to that standard. The righteous requirement of the Law is so stringent that no human being could possibly follow it perfectly, in letter or in spirit.
Despite our “goodness” or “badness” relative to each other, we are all in the same spiritual boat – we have sinned, and the punishment for sin is death, separation from God, the source of life (see Romans 3:23). In order for us to go to heaven, God’s dwelling place and the realm of life and light, sin must be somehow removed or paid for. The Law established the fact that cleansing from sin can only happen through the bloody sacrifice of an innocent life (see Hebrews 9:22)
The gospel then involves Jesus’ death on the cross as the sin offering to fulfill the Law’s righteous requirement (see Romans 8:3-4 & Hebrews 10:5-10). Under the Law, animal sacrifices were offered year after year as a reminder of sin and a symbol of the coming sacrifice of Christ (see Hebrews 10:3-4). When Christ offered Himself at Calvary, that symbol became a reality for all who would believe (see Hebrews 10:11-18). The work of atonement is finished now, and that’s good news.
The gospel also involves Jesus’ resurrection on the third day. (see Romans 4:25). The fact that Jesus conquered sin and death (sin’s penalty) is good news, indeed. The fact that He offers to share that victory with us is the greatest news of all.
Why We Share The Gospel (Good News)
For many Disciples of Christ, sharing the gospel does not come naturally. That’s why it’s important to demonstrate, from scripture, why we should engage in sharing our faith. This will bring about a conviction to share God’s good news in the absence of feeling like it. What follows are four biblical reasons for actively sharing the gospel.
- To Make God Famous
The reason for sharing the gospel is the very same reason for our existence, which is to bring glory to God. Perhaps the best way to think of glory is our word “fame.” We live to declare the wonders of God, or to make Him famous. When we love others with God’s love, or give Him thanks in all things, we are singing His praises – making Him famous. When we choose not to sin, we declare to the world that God is more satisfying than sin. We are declaring His greatness.
- To Reach Lost People
2 Corinthians 4:4 states that, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
This is the tragic, but accurate, depiction of the state of people apart from Christ. Satan is holding them hostage, keeping them in prison, and blinding them to the Gospel. As Paul states in Ephesians, they are “without hope and without God in the world.”
- To Be God’s Ambassadors
God has entrusted us with the responsibility of being His ambassadors: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
- To Increase Our Joy
The apostle John in the beginning of his first epistle states, “We write this to make our joy complete.” Why do we share the gospel with others? It completes our joy. If we are enjoying our walk with Christ, our Christian experience is still incomplete until we can share it with another. So the perhaps the greatest thing we can do to excel our own walk and joy in the Lord is to be engaged in sharing this joy with others.
How To Receive The Gospel (Good News)
(Enter into a relationship with God)
Jesus clearly lays out the way we must accept the message of salvation offered in the gospel in these words: “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” – Matthew 11:28-30.
Come to Him…
Conversion is not some long, drawn-out process. It is immediate and instantaneous. You don’t need to clean up your life before you come to Christ. You simply come with all of your problems, sins, and shortcomings and he will accept you as you are (see John 6:37).
1st – Recognize that you are a sinner. No matter how good a life we try to live, we still fall miserably short of being a good person. That is because we are all sinners. The Bible says, “No one is good—not even one.” We cannot become who we are supposed to be without Jesus Christ.
2nd – You must believe. To believe means “to take hold of something.” We must admit that we are helpless sinners in desperate need of a Saviour and believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. The Bible tells us that “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” This is the Good News, that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die in our place when we least deserved it.
3rd – You must repent of your sin.
The Bible tells us, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” To repent means “to let go of something.” We do this when we put our trust and faith in Jesus and turn the direction of our lives over to him. That means turning away from our old, sinful lifestyles and being willing to change and become a different person. Instead of running from God, we can run toward him.
4th – You must receive Jesus into your life. Becoming a Christian is not merely believing some creed or going to church. It is having Christ himself take residence in your life and heart. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in . . .” If you would like to have a relationship with Christ, simply pray this prayer and mean it in your heart.
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe you died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess you as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.”
5th – You must learn of Him.
Once you have entered into a relationship with Jesus, you will discover that the greatest desire of a true disciple of Jesus Christ should be to learn of him in order to know him. Knowing Christ involves encountering him in a personal, intimate way as we learn that he is who he says he is (see Philippians 3:10). As we walk and talk with Jesus Christ in our heart and lives, and as we begin to read his Word, we begin to see things the way Jesus does. We have new eyes because we have become a new creation.
6th – You must proclaim Him. As we grow to really ‘Know Christ’ intimately we grow a natural desire to ‘Make Him Known’ to the world around us. We must value reaching out to our world with the Gospel of Christ, showing his relevance in every aspect of life as you spread the gospel.
If you would like to know more about having a relationship with God simply click on the following link. www.cru.org/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html
I’d love to hear about your decision so that I may celebrate with you. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org