Of First Importance: The Plain Gospel and a Little About Me
The gospel is simple and unchangeable.
The "gospel," or "good news" is simply this. Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, died on the cross for the sins of the whole world and rose from the dead. If you believe he did this for you, you have eternal life.
If true, then it is the greatest and most divisive fact of human history. It separates the world into two camps--believers and non-believers.
The Biblical author Paul says these words:
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures."
1 Corinthians 15:3-4(NIV)
In the New Testament book of Romans, Paul states the only thing a person must do in order to receive eternal life:
"If you declare with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
This verse echoes the above verses in Corinthians in the following ways:
1. Declaring "Jesus is Lord" is the same as saying "Jesus is God" since only God is Lord.
2. It implies that Jesus, who clearly claimed to be God, died.
3. It says Jesus was raised from the dead.
4. It says that by believing this, one will be saved.
What Paul says perfectly parallels Jesus' own statements of divine authority and mission such as:
"For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son, will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them."
God, who loves the world, is also just and must punish sin. Christ speaks of a literal place where those who reject his free gift of salvation will spend eternity. According to the scriptures, God never intended people to go to hell. Jesus says hell was "prepared for the devil and his angels" in Matthew 25:41, not people. But man's sin must be punished. God is perfect(Matthew 5:48) and cannot allow sin to go unpunished.
According to the scriptures, all people have sinned:
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
The punishment for man's sin is death and hell. Death is not only physical, but spiritual:
"For the wages(cost/consequence) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
1. No man can save himself from his own sin. To be saved from sin one must be granted forgiveness for committing sin.
2. All men have sinned.
3. Sin must be punished.
3. All men need to be forgiven in order to be saved from the punishment for sin.
4. Forgiveness is something only God can grant.
5. Jesus, God in human flesh, came to earth and lived a sinless life.
6. Jesus died on the cross and took the punishment for the sin of every man on himself. He died in our place, for our sins and rose from the grave.
7. If you believe in what he did for you, you are saved. Your sins will be forgiven because he paid for them on the cross. When you believe, that payment is put to your account, you are reconciled with God, and you have eternal life.
This is the best news in all the world. Nothing else I say for the rest of my life compares to it. The choice is yours to accept or reject what Christ has done for you.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will have everlasting life."
A Far Less Important Footnote(About me)
So, why am I here on Hubpages? A brief explanation:
- I love movies and I will do my best to write about them from my unique perspective. My movie discussion will be different than most everything you will see out there.
- I love to talk about religion and anything pertaining to it.
- I love history because it's a story we live in and create every day.
- Put these together and what do you get?
Awesome. That's what.
See you soon.